• Shannon Marie Ferguson

5 Things I Wish They Taught Us In Art School


Since I graduated in 2016, I've been meaning to sit down and write down some of the things I've learned in the time since then that I really wish I had learned about before graduation. Speaking to other graduates from the past few years, it seems not a lot has changed. This is especially true for those of us that jumped straight into freelancing post college. Comparing notes with someone who went to an on-site school vs my mostly online education, many of the complaints remain the same.


Let me know in the comments below if you agree or disagree, and if there's anything else you wish had been included in your higher education to prepare you for the future!

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1. HOW TO CREATE A PASSIVE/ALTERNATIVE INCOME

For a lot of graphic designers, artists, and illustrators, being able to create additional means of income outside of client projects is essential. It can create a buffer when booking is slow, clients are behind on their payments, or you just need a little extra to pay the bills. There are many different ways to create passive income, like; selling art, teaching art, selling e-books, selling apparel and home goods featuring your own work, and more. This was never mentioned in any of my classes in school, but it is now an important part of how I make enough money to be independent as a designer.

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2. THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Having a strong social media presence can be just as important as having an online portfolio. Social media pages can be very beneficial - you can be discovered through your work you've shared online and a potential client or customer may be encouraged to follow you, share you, or contact you. In this day and age everyone knows what social media is, but not everyone is social media savvy. I look back and wish we'd had the opportunity to learn about social media more, how to start a professional social media profile, how important the branding of that is, and ways to post to attract attention/get found online.