“Three things give the student the possibility of surpassing his teacher: ask a lot of questions, remember the answers, teach.” – Comenius
You’ve just qualified as a teacher and are now eager to pass on all your wisdom? But how do you find your first pupils?
Across the UK, thousands of children engage in extra-curricular activities every day in addition to their school work. The most popular way for parents to choose an activity for their kids is through word of mouth.
To help you out, we’ve given you some tips for finding students for your painting classes.
Drawing lessons or painting classes are very popular activities for children and even adults.
This particular hobby develops creativity and imagination. So if there is such a high demand, how and where should you look for your first students?
Who better to do your publicity for you than your loved ones?
Before embarking on a big advertising campaign all over your area, start off by talking about your extra-curricular painting classes to relatives.
Friends, families, neighbours, get the word out there as much as possible.
Your network will expand quickly! Source: Pixabay
A short overview of your skills can have a real impact. And while you’re at it, why not show off your artistic masterpieces to these people?
At a family dinner or when passing your neighbour in the street, there’s always an opportunity to find new students.
Your friends and family know you well and vice versa, it will undoubtedly be easier to teach acquaintances.
They will also be able to give constructive criticism on your teaching techniques, the good and the bad, which will help you improve.
After those close to you, target your local corner shops.
Bakeries, florists, pubs, hairdressers, newsagents, libraries,… shop owners often let people leave flyers beside the till or even in the shop window.
Sometimes small shops have notice boards as well.
Make sure your advert stands out. On this kind of notice board, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of flyers.
Tip: use bright colours, illustrations or photos and be precise but concise.
Some key information needs to be included:
Once you find your first students, word of mouth will kick in. Your friends will continue to talk about you and the flyers will spread quickly.
Word of mouth is an age-old method of communication, one your grandmother is sure to tell you is the best.
That’s why it’s essential to leave your phone number or a way to be contacted.
You are bound to get calls from different people even if you don’t know them.
Finding enough art students to become a full-time painting tutor does not happen overnight.
While word of mouth can help expand your network, you should also think about putting up ads in a number of schools.
Are drawing lessons really necessary when kids have been drawing all their lives?
Why, of course! While children start to develop an artistic style from an early age, the artistic techniques must be practised in order improve.
But learning to draw or paint and other artistic practices must be approached in a fun and creative way for young children. So why not leave a few flyers in primary schools?
For a one-off painting lesson or a weekly class, many children want to learn the basics in drawing and painting while having plenty of fun.
Try to stand out from the rest! Source: Visual Hunt
Secondly, schools will all have some form of display board. Between announcements for book sales, and private lessons of all kinds, don’t be afraid to put up an ad for extra-curricular classes or introductory lessons in painting.
In colleges, these tutoring courses can help students improve their graphic arts skills in order to pursue a career as an artist.
You could even attract students by teaching other techniques that don’t feature on the national curriculum.
For A-level students, private lessons can be a way to improve grades for some or a way to relax and destress for others. It may work well as a refresher course for those preparing to apply to fine art schools.
It’s never too late to start painting!
With their busy University timetables, students don’t always have the time to take on an extra art class in addition to their studies.
Having personally taken art classes for several years, I sometimes finished classes at 8pm and wasn’t able to go to drawing classes as a result of these hours.
By posting leaflets at the Universities, you will give some students the opportunity to continue painting at a time and place that is more convenient for them.
Don’t forget about art schools!
Although these students will have a high level of drawing and painting, some may need a bit of extra support to cope with the pressures of art school.
Learning to draw or paint can now be done online, so why not use the internet to find students?
Social media is particularly useful for getting your name out there.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,… there are many ways to make yourself known. Source: Pixabay
Why not start your own YouTube channel?
Making videos creates a community of followers who are interested in what you can do.
People can easily watch your videos and learn to paint.
Remember, you don’t want to reveal all your secrets and all your techniques, but rather give people videos on certain things, like what materials and equipment to use for example. Brushes, canvases, palettes, easel, information that will interest a number of painters out there.
By coming across your videos, Internet users get an idea of your teaching method and can contact you to take your paintings classes on a weekly or monthly basis, it’s up to you!
Instagram is by far the best form of social media for painters. A platform dedicated entirely to images, painters can display their creations an promote their masterpieces to a wider audience by using hashtags.
Creating a page and building a network of followers can be a good solution for finding students.
Feel free to take a picture of the different drawing and painting techniques that you teach: watercolour, charcoal, ink, acrylic painting, oil painting, pencils, pastel drawing lessons, etc.
Show off all the painting skills you have.
You can also have fun and get creative by publishing step-by-step tutorials on how to draw a portrait or landscape.
Then use a series of photos or time-lapse to display your work.
With more than 2 billion active users each month, Facebook is crucial for networking your business. Many companies use this method to make themselves known and attract new customers.
Create a page or a group to highlight your skills and share adverts for painting lessons for all levels. Why not stream live videos to explain a certain technique or introduce your subscribers to the history of art?
Rembrandt, Picasso, Monet, Courbet, Da Vinci, Van Gogh, can be a great way to attract people’s attention.
Although this is not specifically considered social media, blogs can have the same effect on your professional network.
Many budding artists start by looking for advice on art blogs.
It’s a good idea to write posts on subjects like the live model, still life, sketches, the human body, visual arts, how to paint drapery, how to paint a landscape, draw a sketch, …
Topics that you are passionate about allowing others to learn and deepens their understanding.
By typing “learn to paint” or “try out painting” into google, potential students may come across your blog.
Many platforms make it possible for tutors to be contacted by students. Source: Pixabay
Several online platforms connect students and teachers. Superprof is one of them. With nearly 160,000 students since the launch of the website, using this method makes it easy find new students.
How can I stand out?
By putting effort into your profile!
The teacher profile must be accurate and complete.
List all your skills and all the painting styles you teach.
Instead of simply putting “painting teacher” don’t hold back on boasting about all the painting techniques you can do (knife painting, canvas painting, decorative painting, porcelain painting, etc.).
Do not forget to specify your background and experience: Royal College of Art, School of Fine Arts, art workshops, self-taught artist, etc.
But also the type, of course, you’re offering: intensive courses, weekly classes, personalised lessons, children’s painting workshops, adult introductory classes, advanced training courses, art school preparation classes, summer courses, lessons for adults, trial classes, small group activities, individual lessons, etc.
Not all the teachers on these platforms teach the basics of drawing or the various painting techniques in the same way, so be as specific as possible on your way of teaching.