Internships for artists can be valuable experiences, but they can also be experiences that are grunt work that have very little value.
Internships in art can be helpful, but they are not required to have a career in the arts, and often do not have as much value as is placed on them
Learn about how to research art internships in your field, what to look for, including red flags, and how to maximize your experience in an internship.
Discussion by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artist Deepti Menon.
- There’s a HUGE range of internships, some great, some awful.
- You don’t need to do an internship to have a career as an artist.
- People can tell if you’re doing the internship just for your resume.
- Research your internship well, figure out the logistics of the internship.
- Some internships require specific degrees or experiences to apply.
- Smaller arts organizations and regional museums can sometimes provide a more fruitful experience because they are much smaller.
- Is the internship paid? Will they provide funds for transportation, travel?
- Most internships are unpaid, which unfortunately limits who can apply.
- Even with an unpaid internship, you can sometimes negotiate for other expenses to be paid or other perks.
- Don’t even hesitate to do cold calls, you can reach out to local arts centers, smaller museums.
- Internships with independent artists are pretty much always via word of mouth, they usually aren’t listed.
- Internships that have open calls for you to apply for (Pixar, major art museums) are super competitive and really tough to get.
- Ask your network: former teachers, other artists about internship opportunities.
- You can also search listings on arts organizations’ pages.
I unfortunately can relate to being discouraged from art by adults when I was young.
This has affected my art practice, where I sometimes try too hard to get external validation when I should just be enjoying what I make!
Often, the adults around you think they’re helping when they don’t understand the negative impact they will have later on.
Bowsers is a moderator in our Discord server.
- Print Collection, Met Museum
- Eric Carle Museum
- Newport Art Museum
- Davis Museum
- Norman Rockwell Museum
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