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Learn art with online courses and programs

With online courses from edX, you can explore world culture through art. Learn about the differences between classical and modern art, and study various mediums and styles.

What is art?

Humans have been creating art as a means to document daily life, explain natural phenomena, and record important events. From ancient cave paintings to contemporary art, people have used art to communicate emotion, preserve memories, incite conversation, or invite criticism. Art can be provocative and challenge boundaries and definitions. 

Artists work with a variety of materials and media, sometimes using more than one within a single project. Contemporary art includes a range of visual, auditory, and performance-based practices and experiences. Different types of art include: painting, photography, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, installation, music, performance, dance, poetry, and creative writing.

With courses delivered though edX, learners can take a trip through history and study the works of da Vinci, Vermeer, and Goya; dive into the world of Japanese bookmaking for a new perspective on visual storytelling; or explore the fundamentals of design thinking to enhance your problem-solving skills.

Art | Introduction Image

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Art course curriculum

If you are interested in studying art, online art tutorials and courses can expose you to a variety of topics ranging from the underlying principles of poetry to art history related to various eras, movements, and regions around the world. Explore how edX’s catalog of courses can help you expand your knowledge of the fundamentals of and techniques for using different mediums. 

You can also pursue coursework that focuses more on careers in art. Online courses in the business of art administration can prepare learners for management positions in the art industry. Team leaders are needed to manage designers, direct artistic projects, and consult with other companies or team members. Specialized classes can also give learners hands-on experience conducting artistic research, which provides transferable skills that can be valuable for aspiring or current performers, composers, or producers.

Are you curious about how Hollywood fits into the world of art? Do you want to understand the nuance and inspiration behind European paintings? Or, maybe you’re passionate about the convergence of art and science in image processing. Learn about art with courses delivered by edX and immerse yourself in a vibrant world of creativity.

Explore art jobs

A background in art can lead to many new and exciting job opportunities. In addition to pursuing a career as an artist, individuals could apply an art degree to the management of an art organization as an arts administrator, executive director, or development associate.

Art backgrounds can also lay a foundation for a range of creative roles, including:

  • Animators: work with a specific medium to create graphics and illustrations, which may be used for videos, games, or visual effects. This role relies heavily on artistic ability and vision.

  • Photographers: use their knowledge of composition, storytelling, and creativity to capture images. They may use only film or digital cameras, or a combination of the two, to produce their work.

  • Art teachers: instruct learners on various aspects of art history and/or creation. The requisite knowledge and instructional skills will vary depending on the institution and grade level. For example, a university professor may need an art education degree.

  • Web designers: turn functionality into usable digital “art” in the form of websites and applications. They may use code, such as HTML or XML, to perform regular tasks, and are usually expected to have and produce multiple ideas for a single project.

  • Illustrators: create visual components for books, magazines, greeting cards, and other products. A high degree of artistry and creativity is needed for success in this profession, whether the product is designed on a digital device or with pen and paper.

  • Graphic designers: work with both text and images to create designs for clients. They have a strong understanding of typography, layouts, and how each element contributes to the overall aesthetic. 

  • Fashion designers: may be responsible for conceptualizing, developing, and designing an entire collection of clothing and accessories. They typically start by drawing their ideas on paper or using computer assisted design (CAD) to create prototypes.

Professionals with a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree have a range of opportunities available to them within the art world, or within other sectors where their knowledge of art can set them apart from other candidates. 

How to learn art online

Artists typically possess strong creative skills and think critically about the composition and content of their work. Learning art history can help aspiring graphic designers, fashion designers, and illustrators understand the culture and context related to different types of art. Technical roles in web design and user experience may require additional computer programming experience, knowledge of psychology, and strong communication skills.

Online art courses, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, and boot camps can help you learn how to become an artist and build the skills needed to start a creative career in the arts. However, every job is different, so consider the type of art you want to work on, the industry you would like to work in, and a potential employer’s hiring criteria before choosing which educational path best suits your needs.

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