Summer Jobs for Art Students


Summer jobs help art students pay the bills and put their skills to use. Work at a camp, assist a professional artist or seek out a residency that allows you to sell your own work. If you're looking to secure something as soon as summer comes around, start polishing your resume and portfolio in late winter or very early spring so you can get a jump start on the season.

A summer camp counselor with one of her campers.
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Look for jobs at kids' summer camps, which are often staffed with teens and college students. Look for live-in camps that offer an array of artistic options for students, or even more traditional summer camps that offer arts and crafts. Day camps at the local YMCA or community centers also hire college students to teach arts and crafts, painting or dance.

A summer camp counselor is helping young girls learn how to kayak.
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Teach art workshops or classes to kids in your home. For example, you might teach messy art to 4- and 5-year-olds two days a week or basic sculpture classes to middle-schoolers. Before you spread the word by word-of-mouth to family and friends, make flyers or create a social media page. Create a budget that outlines the cost of materials, beverages or snacks, as well as the amount you want to earn per hour, so you'll know how much to charge. Rent a studio space in an established art space for your workshops, which can give you a forum to spread the word -- but also increase your overhead.

A young woman is helping a little girl with arts and crafts.
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Leverage your contacts at your art school or university to seek out assistant positions or summer internships -- some of which might be paid. Contact your school's internship coordinator, but don't stop there. Check out websites such as, as well as any internships listed on the websites of other art schools. Be prepared to show a portfolio of your own work and to create an artist's statement, among other documents, to apply for each internship. Another option is to look for work-study opportunities within your school. Some schools have an art gallery or museum where you can apply for a job.

A young intern is working in a business office with a colleague.
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Look for an artist-in-residence program that isn't limited to established artists.
San Francisco-based Recology, for example, offers student artist-in-residency programs that include a studio and the use of materials. Some artist-in-residence programs cost money, but others have grants or subsidies available. What's more, because you'll be working on your craft during the residency, you'll get the chance to sell your work -- often in the galleries sponsored by the program. Network with artist's guilds or arts councils in your area, where you can also apply for grants to fund the residency. Also, seek out opportunities on websites such as ResArtis or TransArtists.

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