The Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is launching a new Master’s degree program called The Business of Art and Design. How do I know about this? My studio manager, Casey, is applying and asked me for my thoughts on it. Here’s the course overview:
The Master in Professional Studies (MPS) in the Business of Art and Design provides a comprehensive, highly concentrated education in business management specifically for artists, designers, and related professions. Fundamental to the work of these creative professionals is the production of creative goods and services–yet until now there has been no business degree specifically focused on their unique needs. This innovative Master’s program meets this need with a curriculum that is designed to give students the knowledge and skills necessary to start, sustain, or grow an art or design related business, or to be a dynamic creative manager working with or within a business. In this fast-paced 14-month program, students earn 30 credits through a combination of online instruction and brief MICA-based residencies.
My first thought was that I should take this course. Even though I studied Economics and worked in business for a couple years there is still so much for me to learn about business in a creative industry. I have my go-to sources but loved the idea of learning from people who are spending enough time on the subject to develop an entire curriculum. Furthermore, the course focuses entirely on the business aspect while my sources often deal with creative and technical aspects. The pricing of the course is expensive – close to $30K. Is it worth it? Let’s ask Casey when she completes the course.
One more thought on MICA. I was concerned about the real-world-applicability of the school as a whole but quickly realized they have some great faculty who are very involved in the leading edge of the art world. For example, Leslie King-Hammond, who is the Founding Director-Center for Race and Culture, was the curator of the Ruinart show that I participated in during Art Basel. Listening to her vision about the show and knowing that a fashion brand like Moet Hennessy selected her provided a lot of credibility for me.
As for these other sources, here are a few of my favorites:
Nick Onken – Great blog about Nick’s photography business and his learning along the way – filled with practical info for photographers at all experience levels
Chase Jarvis – I recently met chase on a plane ride from Houston to Miami when we were sitting next to each other. Chase is an amazing marketer. Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Self-publishing, he’s on it. BUT, what I liked most about Chase was that when I met him he was on the phone talking about removing a buyout clause from a contract. This is a crucial lesson – photographers do not need to accept the buyout clauses (copyright grabs) that come to us in every contract.
Doug Menuez - Doug was a photojournalist who built up a multi-million dollar advertising career. He shares war stories and mixes in practical advice (like his Seeing Money post) or his Resolve blog at LiveBooks. He doesn’t update these often, but when he does, it’s worth checking out. You can also check out the Resolve Blog main page which has lots of great info.
John Harrington – I’m unclear on the relationship but I believe his company, Cradoc, makes FotoBiz and FotoQuote – two software programs to help photographers run their business. I’m not recommending the software (although it’s worth checking out as one option – I do use FotoQuote) but he is a good resource for what’s happening on the business side of photography. Lots of great links on this site to books I’ve never read, but should have.
Do these sites and the others I visit equal a Master’s Program? Doubtful, but they are a good start for a working artist…