Friend having difficulty finding work
August 26, 2010 9:18 PM   Subscribe

My friend has been having some difficulty finding an art teacher job, and wants to branch out to other areas. Any suggestions?

As you know, the recession has made it difficult for anyone looking for work, and especially people looking for secondary school teaching positions. Are there any in demand areas that it might be useful for her to pursue? What ways can she use her skills outside of the educational environment? How should she go about searching for work?
posted by omredux to Work & Money (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I would love to sign my kids up for an after school art program. However, they tend to be very expensive and with the economy as it is . . . blah blah blah. How about your friend offer ridiculously affordable after-school art classes, art clinics on Saturdays, etc.?
posted by Sassyfras at 9:30 PM on August 26, 2010 [2 favorites]

posted by rhizome at 10:00 PM on August 26, 2010

Tutoring, substitute teaching, temping in an office (many graphic design departments hire artsy people as temps)... all the while keep on hunting for that art teacher job. Maybe she could volunteer at an afterschool program, teen center, children's hospital, etc... to build up some connections?
posted by emd3737 at 10:09 PM on August 26, 2010

An art major was telling me how most of her graduating classmates were getting jobs at Michaels (arts and crafts store) and Trader Joe's. Just saying.
posted by mnemonic at 10:15 PM on August 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

Art-based birthday parties for kids. (Or adults!) She comes to the party, sets up a kick-ass art project, the kiddos do their thing and get to take home something they made. She brings the materials and charges for her time and expertise. Sort of like a birthday clown, but not terrifying.
posted by corey flood at 10:30 PM on August 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

Look for art teaching positions at local adult schools.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:56 PM on August 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

Learn to tattoo. I am not being snarky. That's how artist's are surviving right now.
posted by cda at 6:11 AM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Give private art lessons - from personal experience I know a lot of people are interested. My mother is a highschool art teacher and professional artist, and she has a booth at the local farmer's market selling paintings - sells enough for mad money but not living wages (which she doesn't need). But people are always coming up to her as she's painting and saying "oh, I used to draw when I was younger, I could really use lessons. Do you offer private lessons?" Mom doesn't want to give private lessons, but your friend might benefit from doing something like this, at least on a part-time basis.

Also seconding getting into tattooing if your friend is really good at portrait work and sketching. That makes a lot of cash. Need someone to take your friend on as an apprentice though, and practice on leather.
posted by lizbunny at 6:49 AM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Thanks to everyone for the help! I'll pass on this list to her, and see what she thinks she should pursue.
posted by omredux at 8:06 AM on August 27, 2010

Teach classes for non-credit granting programs at community colleges.

Group art lessons - i took art lessons as a kid within a group of 5-8 kids at a time in an artist's living room.

Looks for arts-based non-profits in your area that have programs for children - she'd be a good community outreach person for such programs.

Paint murals or do faux finishing in private residences.

Paint murals for nursery schools.

Go around to local restaraunts and other businesses and offer services designing ads.

Make greeting cards and sell them at local craft fairs.

Offer to design cover art for albums from local bands.

Intern at a museum (again, go for something like community outreach to use the education schooling) and work up from there.

Sell her artwork at local fairs. Take custom commissions.

Courtroom or police sketch artist?
posted by WeekendJen at 8:11 AM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Also seconding getting into tattooing if your friend is really good at portrait work and sketching. That makes a lot of cash. Need someone to take your friend on as an apprentice though, and practice on leather.

My sister, an artist, is doing this--it involves several thousand out for equipment at the outset, followed by several years of compromised income while one apprentices. Just something to be aware of.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:13 AM on August 27, 2010

Etsy is worth a try if she has practical art skills, as well (hey, some of the art teachers that I've known ... didn't).

Pet portraits are apparently a way to make money for some folks.

And although there will be billions of applications for every opening, she might want to look at all sorts of listings on Craigslist for anything even remotely appealing: office work at a publisher that does art-related books and more, gift shop work at a museum (gives her a better position for hearing about openings in the education department), and so on. They have to hire SOMEONE, and she might as well give it a short and present her experience as something unique and appealing.

It might also be time to get a certificate in special ed or graphic design or something to add to her appeal, if she can get or borrow the money (I don't mean student loans; maybe from family).

Good luck to her!
posted by wintersweet at 10:51 AM on August 27, 2010

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