Artist Interview with Angela Fehr
Artist Angela Fehr talks about how her business selling online art classes and in-person art workshops, along with her membership community.
Angela Fehr Bio
From her home in northern British Columbia, Canada, through her video lessons on her website and YouTube, Angela Fehr has created a community of watercolor lovers that spans the globe. She wants every painter to know the freedom of fearless self expression and she has made it her mission to share this empowering message through lessons in watercolour technique and loose intuitive painting. More than anything she demonstrates that the most important thing you bring to your art is you.
Please tell us about your art classes and workshops?
I teach watercolor courses for artists who yearn for a heart-guided, intuitive painting style (often called “loose watercolor”). I’ve been teaching online since 2013 and have over 20 courses included in my Fearless Artist Membership site.
Please tell us about your art background?
I have twenty-five years’ experience in teaching myself to paint in watercolor. I love teaching because I’m really reinforcing the lessons I’ve learned over my own artistic journey.
How did you get started teaching online courses?
After starting a growing YouTube channel, my desire was to create a course that would offer a more structured learning opportunity than just random lessons online. I launched my first course with Skillshare in November of 2013, but quickly transitioned to my own website where I could set the tone and format of my courses myself.
Do you think that creating online art classes is a good way for artists to build a business around their art?
I believe there are huge opportunities for artists to teach online, and I don’t see that going away anytime soon, especially as more interactive courses become possible through live calls, student community and so forth. The opportunities to build a thriving business are there, however, a love for teaching and connecting with students is an essential quality for an artist instructor to have.
Please tell us about your community membership?
After years of teaching online, a membership community only made sense. It provides access to almost all of my course content, as well as ongoing learning through the live sessions and opportunity to interact with me and fellow students in the community. The live content I offer almost every week is created in direct response to the conversations we have in the community and the specific needs of member artists.
Are monthly memberships popular for artists?
I think there’s a demand for both. Some students prefer to own a course, rather than “rent” one. Buying an individual course gives students the opportunity to go through the course at their own pace, or revisit it years later, while others prefer the ongoing engagement offered in the community. I find many users buy a single course or two at first, and when they are really invested in their own growth in watercolor, they often transition to a community membership.
How do you organize and sell workshops in other cities?
I receive invitations to teach around the world and I enjoy teaching in person and meeting many of my online students this way. Often I will schedule my own workshop in a city my family is planning to visit, aided by an artist who lives in that city and who can help me with the legwork.
Are in-person art workshops a good business opportunity for artists?
Many artists are transitioning to teaching online as the travel schedule required to make in-person workshops financially viable is demanding. If you live in a location where students will readily come to you, this would decrease your expenses and make it easier to teach in person.
What advice do you have for artists aspiring to create a business around their art?
If you’re making art your business, the first objective is to really work your strengths. Do the things that make you light up; it’s the art you’re passionate about that will reap the most response. And then, try lots of different ways of approaching this business of art until you find the one that works for you. Be willing to think outside the box, and be patient. I tried graphic design, painting art on commission, I researched licensing and freelance illustration before I found the career path that fit for me, and it’s truly something I really love to do and light up for every day!
Angela Fehr’s most popular art class is her membership community that gives access to all her courses. Get access to more than 25 of Angela’s art classes, plus join a supportive community. Angela offers live lessons, live critiques, demonstrations and interviews that are available only to Fearless Artist members.