Expanding Horizons – A Professional Development Workshop for Visual Artists

It is a truism that artists are passionate about creating art. However, for the professional artist, the ability to create art is not enough to ensure sustainability and make a living. While it is true that the primary concern of the artist has to be the creation of a good body of work, due attention must be paid to acquiring other skills that will facilitate the promotion of one’s work. The artist requires the relevant skills in order to also manage his/her art as a successful business. These skills include the ability to define one’s career path, but also to understand both legal and financial matters, and how to brand and market one’s work.

The Expanding Horizons workshop is intended to provide such skills. The three-day workshop consists of practical sessions aimed at contributing to the professional development of participants. The structure of the workshop days provides some space for the participants to exercise their newly acquired skills and report back to class.

Course Objectives

The general objective of the programme is to inculcate in artists key skills that will facilitate their professional development and contribute to building successful careers. Specifically they will be able to:

  • Understand the role of business skills in the promotion of their art;
  • Understand the importance of defining their personal brand and goals;
  • Understand the skills needed to communicate about their art and to work with relevant partners in the art world.

Expected Outcomes

By the end of the programme the artists will:

  • Know how to use the relevant communication tools to promote their work;
  • Have a basic understanding of financial and legal matters as they concern their work;
  • Know how to price their work adequately;
  • Know how to plan and exhibition and how to document their work.


  • Professional Ethics
  • Career Planning; Branding; Portfolio Development.
  • Internet; Digital tools for artists; Using the internet to promote one’s art
  • Verbal and written Communications
  • Presentation skills
  • Financial literacy; Budgeting; Funding
  • Legal issues; Contracts; Negotiations
  • An overview of the art market; The Gallery system
  • Costing and Pricing; Event Planning; Exhibitions; Documentation

Description of the Modules

Professional Ethics

This session examines key ethical issues faced by artists. The goal is to advance the interest of artists by providing guidelines for general ethical behaviour and professional best practice. Through this module participants will develop strategies for dealing with ethical challenges when they arise in the course of their work.

Career Planning. Branding. Portfolio Development.

How can an artist advance both creatively and professionally in his/her profession? What should be done to build a sustainable life creating art? This session seeks to provide guidelines for the independent artist towards plotting an effective and attainable career path. Participants will be guided through the required steps for creating a personal brand. In addition, participants will come to understand the importance of a good portfolio and its role as a key tool for career development.

Internet. Digital tools for artists. Using the internet to promote your art

The wide reach of the internet and its easy accessibility makes it a valuable tool for the artist seeking to promote his/her work. This session focuses on the digital tools available to the artists for communicating about and marketing their work. Participants will acquire the skills for building a presence on the web through the creation of web pages and blogs. They will also learn the techniques of digital marketing and how to make use of social media for professional purposes.

Verbal and written Communications. Presentation skills

The professional artist is often required to write or make presentations about his/her work. The ability to communicate ideas about one’s person and work clearly and effectively is therefore of immense importance. This session will provide guidelines for developing written and verbal skills and will focus on the use of clear, appropriate and concise language. Participants will learn how to develop an artist’s statement and CV and how to prepare such material for art brochures and press releases as well as for marketing purposes. The session will also seek to equip participants with practical presentation skills.

Financial literacy. Budgeting. Funding. Costing and Pricing.

It is quite logical that an artist’s first concern is centred on the creation of a strong body of work. However, attention still needs to be paid to details of financial literacy. “How can I price my work adequately?” “How can I ensure that the price for my work adequately covers my overhead costs?” “Where does all my money go?” This session will be focused on responding to questions such as these. It will involve basic financial accounting, and the goal is to provide artists with a simplified structure that will help them in the handling of money matters.

Legal issues. Contracts. Negotiations

In this session, participants will be exposed to key legal issues that may arise in the process of making and selling art. Among other things, the session will provide guidelines on how to draw up contracts and how the artist can protect his/her rights in the various business relationships that might be entered with dealers, galleries, consultants, or other representatives. Tips will also be given on how to develop one’s negotiation skills.

An overview of the art market. The Gallery system

This session will provide an insight into the workings of the art market in Nigeria. It will explore how the galleries work and will provide the participants with guidelines on how to approach galleries as well as how to build relationships and pitch to them.

Event Planning. Exhibitions. Documentation

Through this session, participants will acquire the basic skills for organising an art exhibition. The session will take them through the various phases of the exhibition, from the preparation, through the actual installation to the de-installation of the exhibition. The session will also include guidelines on how artists can document their own work.


To Be Advised



Kindly make payments to:

Account Name: PAU School of Media and Communication

Bank: Zenith Bank Plc

Account Number: 1011193002

Sort Code: 057150288


A certificate of participation will be awarded to participants who fulfil all the requirements of the programme.


School of Media and Communication (SMC) Pan-Atlantic University, Main Campus, Km 52 Lekki-Epe Expressway, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos


Opeyemi – 08066385629, 08058127207

Isaac – 08033460440

Email – info@smc.edu.ng

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