Otis College of Art and Design Adds Business Courses for Creative Pros

Students who pursue design- and art-related careers no longer must learn art business skills on their own after graduation.

Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles has launched a college-to-career initiative called  Your Creative Future. This program ensures that all art and design students develop the full set of professional, business, and entrepreneurial skills needed to launch and sustain successful careers.

This initiative includes business practices courses for every student, discipline-specific professional preparation, real-world engagement, career services, and individual mentoring. Some students can minor in entrepreneurial studies.

Otis College Art Design

Courses such as business planning, basic accounting, principles of finance, cost structuring, invoicing, and taxation are tailored for artists and designers. Students learn about portfolio development, presentation delivery, and client relations within their majors.

The College’s Creative Action program provides project-based opportunities with local and international organizations.  Internships, travel study opportunities, and individualized career counseling are also available.

The Career Services office connects students and alumni to internship, freelance, part-time, and full-time employment opportunities. The online job board features over 2,600 employers.

Students who choose to minor in Entrepreneurial Studies dive deeper into the world of start-ups, small businesses, and solopreneurship. They will form their own studios, develop their work or products, and market themselves.

About Otis College of Art and Design

Established in 1918, Otis College of Art and Design offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a wide variety of visual and applied arts, media, and design. Degree programs include:

  • architecture/landscape/interiors
  • graphic design
  • illustration
  • animation
  • game and entertainment design
  • motion design
  • costume design
  • painting
  • photography
  • sculpture
  • product design
  • toy design

The College’s mission is to prepare diverse students to enrich the world through their creativity, skill, and vision.

Alumni and faculty include MacArthur and Guggenheim grant recipients, Oscar winners, and design stars from Apple, Pixar, Mattel, and more.


Designers Prepare for New Career Paths in Surface Imaging

DESIGNERS. Although the number of printed publications has declined, exciting new opportunities are emerging for designers who want to specialize in print.

Advances in industrial inkjet printers have made it possible to print images and designs on dozens of surfaces including fabrics, wallcoverings, wood, ceramic tiles, cork, metal, plastic, vinyl, glass, and folding cartons.

Although these printing systems were first used for signs and advertising graphics, they are quickly being adapted for use in architecture and interior design. For example, industrial inkjet printers are generating decorative patterns and images on murals, tabletops, and wallcoverings.


That’s why experienced textile design instructor Ujiie Hitoshi has created a new Master of Science degree in Surface Imaging at Philadelphia University.  According to Hitoshi, the MS in Surface Imaging will prepare students for career paths as imaging specialists in design, product development, and management in the fast-growing movement toward make-to-demand manufacturing and greater customization in experiential and interior design, residential and commercial architecture, apparel production, and home products.

Surface Imaging at PhilaU from Philadelphia University on Vimeo.

Students will use a variety of printing technologies in the new Center of Excellence in Surface Imaging and develop imagery for various physical forms.  Students will explore direct surface imaging on diverse porous and non-porous substrates. Students will also explore fabrication printing, including material subtraction (laser) and deposition technologies that can be used to create embossed effects. The Center of Excellence in Surface Imaging is part of Philadelphia University’s Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce.

The Surface Imaging program focuses on the integration of (1) design and creativity; (2) printing technology and applied engineering; and (3) innovative business systems to inform future leaders..

According the Ujiie, “The new MS program is for anyone who is interested in getting cutting-edge training in this rapidly expanding field. Ideal candidates are designers, artists, or craft practitioners who have a bachelor’s degree in art, craft, or design. However, we can provide prerequisite courses for those who do not have creative visual backgrounds.”


Philadelphia University: Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce: MS. in Surface Imaging

New York Institute of Art and Design Offers Online Courses in Design and Writing

The variety of on online courses available to self-motivated creative professionals continues to expand.

NYInsituteofArtandDesignThe New York Institute of Art and Design has added three of their most popular courses to their online learning center: The Complete Course in Interior Design, The Complete Course in Wedding and Event Planning, and Jewelry Design: Beading and Wire Working.

Each course is available entirely online to students all over the world. The NYIAD online learning center is accessible via desktop or laptop computer, smartphone or tablet, wherever students have an internet connection. Students can now access everything they need for their online course in one place – lessons, audio clips, video training and tests.

The Interior Design Course is approved by Certified Interior Decorators (CID) International. Students learn design trends, color theory, concepts of scale and proportion, furniture styles, lighting, and fabrics. Alongside their NYIAD mentor, students complete a variety of room designs and develop a portfolio of professional- quality work. By the time they graduate, students have the artistic and the business skills needed to work as an interior designer.

The Wedding Planning Course is accredited by the Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC). Students learn how to turn their passion for weddings and events into a career. From pre-planning to execution, the course teaches students how to work with clients and vendors to plan any event. All students who complete the course have a solid foundation in the business of wedding planning; they are ready to work in the field that they love.

The Jewelry Design Course teaches students to create and sell their own unique line of jewelry. Students learn the basics of color theory and composition, patterns, beading, jump rings, spirals, right-angle weaves, and a wide array of other techniques. The course also teaches basic photography and marketing skills so that students can go on to sell their jewelry online and at trunk shows.

“The New York Institute of Art and Design’s mission has always been to provide the highest quality training to anyone interested in advancing their skills,” said NYIAD Education Director Jay Johnson. “And offering our most popular courses online means that students will have access to the best creative education anywhere they go.”

Other courses offered through the online learning center include:

Professional Blogging

Creative Writing: Fiction and Memoir Writing

 Feng Shui Interior Design

The blogging course covers everything from blog design, post length and frequency, to finding and attracting new readers, and earning money with your blog both online and off. The Fiction and Memoir Writing course is enables aspiring writers to improve their skills and get feedback from published authors. Attendees learn how to develop intriguing characters and storylines and publish their work.

About the New York Institute of Art and Design

Founded in 1985, The New York Institute of Art and Design provides online education for creative professionals all over the world. Through a unique combination of personal mentoring and online education, NYIAD students can learn how to master a skill and turn it into a career. The New York Institute of Art and Design is owned and operated by Distance Education Co., LLC, along with sister school, New York Institute of Photography.


New York Institute of Art and Design

Creative Pros Can Learn Skills or Teach Courses on Skillshare

Do you need to expand your photography, design, writing, illustration, or entrepreneurship skills? Or: Can you teach any photography, design, or technology skills that might make life easier or more creatively fulfilling for others? Either way, you might benefit from Skillshare.

SkillshareLogoLaunched in 2011, Skillshare is a global learning community that offers a low-cost way to learn real-world skills from anyone, anywhere. All classes are focused on skills that you can use immediately, either in your career or on personal projects.


If you have knowledge to share, you can promote your own local, in-person classes on Skillshare. You can set your own fee for the classes your list on Skillshare, keeping in mind that most Skillshare classes cost around $20 per ticket. Skillshare’s goal is to keep the classes affordable and accessible to as many people as possible.

If you can teach a course in photography, film, design, illustration, fashion, or technology, you can apply to teach an online class. The classes can’t be promotional and must involve the completion of a hands-on project that enables students to show what they have learned.

The online classes are still in beta, so only a limited number of applications are being accepted. But the Skillshare approach looks promising.

In November, 2012, Mattan Griffel became the first Skillshare teacher to earn $25,000 in ticket sales for one online course. He teaches students how to code, using Ruby on Rails, one of the hottest programming frameworks for building websites. By the end of the five-week course, each student must use Ruby on Rails to build a basic web app.


When looking to refresh or expand your own skills, you can find new classes listed on Skillshare every day. Business topics include everything from entrepreneurship, website design, public speaking, and digital-marketing to graphic design fundamentals, visual storytelling, coding, and app store optimization. For a relief from the daily grind, enroll in a Skillshare course on cooking, gardening, or wine tasting.

More Details

Skillshare is based in New York City, but Skillshare classes can happen anywhere. Local classes enable students to meet their teachers live and in person. Online classes happen on Skillshare.com and attract students from anywhere in the world.

The online teachers provide guidance, resources, and interactive lectures and office hours. Students can work together, share questions and ideas, and exchange feedback throughout the duration of the class.


Skillshare Classes

Becoming a Skillshares Teacher

YouTube: Learn Differently with Skillshare


Huffington Post: Avi Flombaum, Skillshare Teacher, Earns $100K a Year, Quits Day Job

Continuing Ed Program Teaches Web Design, Graphic Design and Online Marketing

Here’s a great example of how colleges are adapting their programs to cater to the growing demand for lifelong learning.

OneRiverSchool-DoorOne River School of Art and Design in Englewood, NJ will be launching specialized Digital Certificate Programs that will aim to meet the creative learning needs of adults in northern New Jersey. The Programs will be in four specific areas of interest: Graphic Design, Web Design, Online Marketing and Digital Photography.

“In today’s marketplace, adults want new digital skills that will contribute to their personal or professional growth,” says Matt Ross, founder of the One River School. “If you run a small business, having these skills can provide you with new services to sell. If you work in the corporate world, these skills may help to increase your salary or provide flexibility to gain a new position. On a personal level, these can simply be cool, exciting, and fun skills to have. Whatever the goals are of interested adults, our four Digital Certificate Programs will allow them to attain this valuable education at an affordable cost in a high-tech facility that’s centrally located and easily accessible.”

One River School of Art and Design’s Digital Certificate Programs will be flexible: they will allow students to customize their areas of study and tailor the days/times of their classes to mesh with their busy home or work schedules. The Programs will require students to take three required classes in their chosen specialty and complete their certificates by adding three electives from a large menu of class options, including “Intro To Online Marketing”, “Photoshop and Illustrator”, and “Blogging Basics”. There will be a maximum of 12 students per class, and each class will be taught by industry-leading instructors who also teach at major universities in the tri-state area.


“One River School of Art and Design’s new Digital Certificate Programs will be personalized for all of our adult students,” says Ross. “They’ll allow members of our community to gain experience with the latest digital creative tools, and be more competitive in their chosen fields.”  Classes will begin in April.


One River School of Art and Design

Digital Certificate Programs