Artist Options

The Cat Eye

Artists can find options for improving their craft outside of traditional college route


  For those who are more creatively inclined and can’t afford college – or just don’t want to go – there are other options to help further develop talents and/or provide platforms which will offer the opportunity to procure a decent following. Some of these are free, sponsored and some can go up to the thousands in price.

  An Artist’s Colony is basically like a group chat for creative people via real life. They are retreats, secluded places in which to let yourself become more in touch with your own poetiental creativity. The cost can either be around $1,000 or you can have someone fund you. There are rendences that are already paid for that you can apply to, such as the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha and Headlines Center For The Arts in San Francisco.

  Burnaway writer Matthew Terrell wrote about his journey in his article “Burning Questions: What to Expect From Artist Residences.”  

  “I’ve completed residency programs in 2012, 2013, and 2014. For each residency I was accepted into, I probably applied to nine others. A tremendous amount of research goes into finding the right programs and writing the perfect application essays, after which I anxiously wait to be accepted, rejected, or waitlisted. Each time, I’ve had to temporarily rearrange my life so I can complete these programs. My time spent in residency at the Studios of Key West, Atlantic Center for the Arts, and Djerassi Resident Artist Program was creatively charged, productive, and full of networking opportunities. Through this process, I’ve learned much about how to pick the right residency, and how to use one residency experience to gain another. Here’s my advice for anyone wishing to dive into the artist residency circuit,”  Terrell wrote.

  Writers/artists retreats offer many opportunities to experience the world. Attendees have the option to spend a few months in Italy to sculpt, a couple of weeks to revise poems in California, time to finish up an entire novel in Canada or paint away the days out in the Venezuela. There are more than 100 residency programs around the world. They not only offer the chance to get away from people as well as responsibility, but also include the possibility to earn grants, academic fellowships, and various competition awards. The cost depends on where you want to go, really. Sometimes you have to pay for everything, the class, the trip and your food, or you can be funded.

  Writers workshops function similarly to a college course, but are less complex. They provide writers with an opportunity to obtain crucial feedback, as well as sharpens the writer’s skills. The general cost is around $100 and you can find Writer’s Workshops that are offering free lessons.    

   Writers Conferences help expand connections in the world of all things literary. They provide the opportunity to meet editors, agents, publishers, and other writers. Missouri State University in Springfield holds a yearly writers conference that the English Cub attends.

 “I got some great tips from writers more experienced than me. My favorite session was about fiction story telling. I don’t think the instructor was published, but she had written things in the past. We  learned how to create a better plot in our writing. I would definitely recommend attending this conference if you have a passion for writing,” junior Kamryn Yach said.   

  “I gained more knowledge on how people share their work. The poetry stand was by far my favorite. We wrote our own slam poetry and heard some others. You will meet a ton of people, it’s insane. You will also learn a ton in the classes you sign up for,” sophomore Aniston McMillen said.

  Writer’s internships are great for those seeking out credit towards the dream career of a journalist. Attendees will get to watch professionals in action and learn the ins and the outs of the professional world of journalism. JuxtaProse, an online literary magazine, is in need of a editorial intern. Uline is offering a paid Copywriter Internship, which is in Pleasant Prairie, WI at their Headquarters.

  Free online courses offer aspiring artists to showcase their creativity through convenient classes. Sites such as Skillshare, The Crafty Writer and Gotham Writers are some sites that provide good content and an aesthetically pleasing formats. Yale has a course in poetry, Purdue University has writing lessons, and MIT has courses in fiction, all about revising and publishing, and making essays, all of which are free and online.

  There are many opportunities out there. Dream on.