The Art Academy is a for-profit (not a dirty word) institution and a Hasbro Monopoly-like landlord of San Francisco.
I’ve hired several eager and capable interns from the Academy of Art and I have to say that I’m concerned that they will, like so many graduates with a fine art degree, never be full time artists.
I’ve got no doubt that they have received capable art instruction or the Academy of Art couldn’t possibly enroll so many students.
However, it puzzled me to learn that the Academy of Art has no admission requirements.
Prospective art students do not have to have “any art experience.” They don’t even have to show a portfolio of their work.
Can you imagine applying for Julliard and not having to audition? Images of American Idol come to mind.
We all know that the arts are a tough business so stacking the odds in your favor with the best education available is a minimal strategy.
It also appears that the Academy of Art University pays little to no attention to teaching the business and marketing aspects of selling one’s art.
This is mission critical and this missing piece of education could end an artist’s career before it starts.
Like it or not, art school graduates had better be good at something else besides creativity or they’re not going to make it.
The good news, in my opinion, is that developing a “marketing mindset” is not that difficult nor is it beyond the capability of a reasonably intelligent person.
So why not make business and marketing a cornerstone of the standard curriculum?
One reason? Because generally professors are academics, not entrepreneurs. And so there’s no need for them to fuss about unique value propositions and target markets, or even respect these basic business concepts. But guess what?! A thriving full time artist is an entrepreneur extraordinaire.