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  #16   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-24-2012, 07:13 PM
thepalmlion thepalmlion is offline
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Re: Grumbacher Demo Artists

timeracer, what ever happened to your Grumbacher experience?
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:40 PM
EBD EBD is offline
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Re: Grumbacher Demo Artists

We have a fairly new Michael's store in our city. At first I wanted to teach there, but after viewing the type paintings offered as fine art, decided against applying to teach there. After reading your comments on this thread, I'm really glad I didn't pursue this teaching venue.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:38 AM
pmcxxx pmcxxx is offline
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Thumbs up Re: Grumbacher Demo Artists

Teaching painting for Michaels can be very rewarding for you if:


You LOVE art and teaching. ( It also helps to know your stuff)
You want a part time gig
You are personable and can " sell " the program to prospective students
You are can work and think for yourself without help /direction
You are able to build and run your own business.
You want to work only when the hours you want.

If you treat this as a job, you are going in the wrong direction. You have to think of it as your own business. A business where you don't pay rent, you get materials for free, you have folks doing your collections and running promotions / discounts also at no cost to you and nobody tells you what to do. Does that sound like a bad deal??

Michaels corporate and upper management are strong supporters of the program. Classrooms in use reflect well on store managers. They need you and they appreciate you. Nobody tells you what to do or how to do it.

In 1 &1/2 years I've gone from one student to over twenty, teaching four classes over three days per week. Some students have been attending for over a year .

If you enjoy what you are doing success will follow.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:32 PM
redrio7 redrio7 is offline
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Re: Grumbacher Demo Artists

been there, done that
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:50 AM
wensab wensab is offline
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Re: Grumbacher Demo Artists

Very interesting read!
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Old 04-01-2016, 10:08 PM
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Imzadi Imzadi is offline
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Re: Grumbacher Demo Artists

Has anyone else here have a more recent or current experience teaching at Michaels, since the last post on this thread in 2012?

I just noticed that a local Michaels is offering painting classes again. As other posters have said, they usually offer cake decorating & knitting. And at one point, they cut out the painting classes completely. So I was surprised to find the painting classes back. I checked the Grumbacher website which lists job openings for an instructor at a couple other Michaels within driving distance.

I'm not sure if that's a good thing, as in I can get that position, or is it an indication that those slots empty because other artist/teachers have also had the same type of experiences listed in this thread? That Michaels has never done anything to improve the working conditions or communications between the painting instructors & the store employees.


There are a couple of "Paint & Wine" places around here and I was surprised to see from the posting of pictures on their Facebook pages that they do remarkably well. Their classes always seem full - and they post projects from their finished events every week. While I know those are advertised more as social events, something to do for a couple hours and to have fun, than to really learn painting, many of the projects turn out really well. I would think some of those people who tried it for fun might then want to try their hand at taking a few classes at Michaels to improve, especially if a real art school is too intimidating or too intense for what they want to achieve.

But, I also don't want to have the same negative, waste of time experiences as an instructor that were posted in this thread. I used to teach as an adjunct professor at community colleges and LOVED teaching beginners. I also did teach a couple projects at one craft store once - not a Michaels. And I also had a problem where the cashiers were indifferent to helping promote the classes or helping the students find the supplies or even signing them up. I stopped teaching there after that.

I wonder if it's pandemic, or a jealousy thing, that the employees don't support the fine arts? I'd make more money in a couple hours than they'd get in a whole shift if my class fills up. But, if I show up and there is only 2 students, then it's not worth reserving my evening for that or the time & effort I put into preparing for the class. Maybe it's some "glue gun crafts" mentality, being indifferent to fine arts, even if it means costing their store potential sales? Heck, it's not coming directly out of their pockets. And as long as those cake decorating supplies get sold, they don't care?

Any further input on this?
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Last edited by Imzadi : 04-01-2016 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 04-10-2016, 10:55 PM
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bluemoonstar bluemoonstar is offline
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Re: Grumbacher Demo Artists

I've been teaching at our local Michaels for 4 years now. It took about a year to get regular students, but I do have several who've been studying for 1-3 years with me. I LOVE working with my students, especially my kids, and they are what makes it worthwhile. I know I won't get rich, but I feel like I'm really doing something worthwhile in sharing what I know. Plus, it keeps me painting and I know my own skills have greatly improved over the past 4 years.

But don't expect them to be receptive to any suggestions or attempts by you to promote yourself within the store. Michaels Corp. seems to have a passive-aggressive relationship with the painting program, often seems at odds with actually helping it be successful. No demos, no flyers, no advertising other than what Corp. provides. The best way to get cashiers to promote you is to get them to come to a class (its free for them) and get excited about what you do.

HOWEVER- Michaels recently made changes that lost them a LOT of instructors. (Requiring instructors to do "FREE" classes for 2-4 hrs. & an "Open Studio" for 2 hrs. per month at minimum wage). Like everything else, I expect that "this too shall pass". But I'm in a store with supportive management, which helps. I work there part time anyway, so I'll continue to do it while its convenient.

Good luck, I hope you have a good experience!
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Last edited by bluemoonstar : 04-10-2016 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 04-11-2016, 08:18 AM
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Azure Wings Azure Wings is offline
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Re: Grumbacher Demo Artists

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemoonstar
HOWEVER- Michaels recently made changes that lost them a LOT of instructors. (Requiring instructors to do "FREE" classes for 2-4 hrs. & an "Open Studio" for 2 hrs. per month at minimum wage). Like everything else, I expect that "this too shall pass". But I'm in a store with supportive management, which helps. I work there part time anyway, so I'll continue to do it while its convenient.

Minimum wage! Wow. It really shows how little they think of teaching art. I'm sorry to hear it. I didn't make much when I taught at Michael's (about nine to twelve years ago, before the Chartpak set-up), but I think it worked out to at least a little more than that, varying depending on how many students I had. At that time, we were able to put together our own offerings, and hang flyers in the art section, and my store put up a poster board on an easel at the entry with class listings. I still didn't get many students, but it helped. Later, they stopped allowing that. That was about when I left.
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Old 04-12-2016, 12:05 AM
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Imzadi Imzadi is offline
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Re: Grumbacher Demo Artists

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemoonstar
But don't expect them to be receptive to any suggestions or attempts by you to promote yourself within the store. Michaels Corp. seems to have a passive-aggressive relationship with the painting program, often seems at odds with actually helping it be successful. No demos, no flyers, no advertising other than what Corp. provides. The best way to get cashiers to promote you is to get them to come to a class (its free for them) and get excited about what you do.

That's too bad. Considering what a really popular, cross-country trend those "Paint & Wine" type places I mentioned are, you'd think Michaels would get a clue, jump on what has become a really lucrative business, use the same techniques of advertising in social media and elsewhere, make it super simple to just take a class, and pull in potential future customers with the possibility of turning on new people to become life-long painters - even if just for fun and to relax. A hobby/craft that lasts well beyond one session. Many of those "Paint & Wine" photos I've seen are mostly millennials. THAT is the time to get them excited & hooked on painting. They need a place to go that isn't as serious or intensive as a professional art school. But, more than the one night of really no art training at all at a "Paint & Wine" event.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemoonstar
HOWEVER- Michaels recently made changes that lost them a LOT of instructors. (Requiring instructors to do "FREE" classes for 2-4 hrs. & an "Open Studio" for 2 hrs. per month at minimum wage).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azure Wings
Minimum wage! Wow. It really shows how little they think of teaching art. I'm sorry to hear it. I didn't make much when I taught at Michael's (about nine to twelve years ago, before the Chartpak set-up), but I think it worked out to at least a little more than that, varying depending on how many students I had.

NOW, it makes sense why there are two job opening so close by and at the same time. That wasn't listed in the job opening descriptions. It doesn't sound like they value the art instructors. I wonder if Walmart owns Michaels? First of all, there is no guarantee that any particular class will even fill up or run. So, it's NOT like we'd be guaranteed to rake in a lot of money for a 2 hour class, so it would "even out" to only be paid minimum wage for working there 2-4 hours two other times a month in addition, as those extra times would bring in the students.

More than likely, people would ONLY sign up for the FREE classes and open classes and not pay $25 for a painting class. So ALL I'd be making is the minimum wage for the required extra work they'd want me to do.

I also have a job in the afternoons and evenings. I can't give up 8 hour shifts to do a 2-4 hour JOB at minimum wage. Especially if I wanted to try teaching at both stores. I was hoping that my nights off would be for teaching the classes. I guess Michaels just expects the art instructors to be college students or "starving artists" where they'd be just sitting home otherwise, doing nothing, and ANY money they make, even for 2-4 hours is a good thing.
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Old 04-12-2016, 01:00 PM
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Azure Wings Azure Wings is offline
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Re: Grumbacher Demo Artists

Well, you have to consider, their interest is not really in the classes except as that brings customers in to buy paints and canvases.... Unfortunately, it shows.

Unless things have changed since I taught at Michael's, they're owned by a big company out of Texas that also owns Aaron Brothers (a frame and art supplies store). I like my nearby Aaron Brothers store... they also allow me to bring in small sized flyers for my workshops. They don't have classes or workshops there.
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Old 04-13-2016, 08:01 PM
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Imzadi Imzadi is offline
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Re: Grumbacher Demo Artists

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azure Wings
Well, you have to consider, their interest is not really in the classes except as that brings customers in to buy paints and canvases.... Unfortunately, it shows.

Unless things have changed since I taught at Michael's, they're owned by a big company out of Texas that also owns Aaron Brothers (a frame and art supplies store). I like my nearby Aaron Brothers store... they also allow me to bring in small sized flyers for my workshops. They don't have classes or workshops there.

You'd think an art supply store would have an interest and investment in cultivating enthusiasm in making art and wanting to continue to paint art, versus just getting customers to buy products ONE time and then having the supplies sitting in the back of a drawer, unused.
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Old 04-14-2016, 12:31 PM
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Azure Wings Azure Wings is offline
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Re: Grumbacher Demo Artists

Well, Imzadi, you and I think that would be a better business model! And I'll bet we're in good company here.

Oh, well....
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Old 08-12-2016, 03:29 PM
BethMac BethMac is offline
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Thumbs up Re: Grumbacher Demo Artists

I taught for Michaels and Grumbacher for three years, and this year (May 2016) finally left them. I'm located in the Chicago suburbs, and I had a good experience. I had excellent store managers who were very helpful, and had a few students who used me regularly. Overall, it wasn't a great money maker, and there is a lot of time required outside the classes, especially when you're at the beginning.

The reasons I left were these:

1. I didn't have the time to put in on the classes. I run a business which takes most of my time, especially on weekends. My only time with my family was evenings, and some of these were necessary for Michaels classes. I didn't like that.

2. I didn't care for the required classes. I think it's a great way to get students interested, but it only pays minimum wage, and after doing them over and over monthly, it becomes incredibly boring for the instructor.

3. They didn't have many drawing classes available, so I had to continually create my own. This was time-consuming, and I just didn't have the extra time to do it after awhile.

Other than that, I enjoyed the Michaels team I worked with, and knew them well and really liked them all. I still like stopping in to chat with them when I go to Michaels. I loved getting the employee discount for supplies. I enjoyed actually teaching the classes, but didn't like time commitment. After doing it for several years, I find it much easier to do any kind of teaching of that sort.
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Old 08-28-2016, 08:38 AM
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bluemoonstar bluemoonstar is offline
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Re: Grumbacher Demo Artists

Update on my Michaels experience...
we relocated to Florida a couple months ago. I was supposed to be able to transfer to a store here, but the manager never changed the paperwork. Subsequently, there were no openings in store positions, so in order to teach, I had to take a $2.25 PAY CUT (back down to minimum wage, after working for 4 years to finally make a little over 10/hr with them!)

I decided to continue teaching there for a while, see if I can build up a clientele. I was able to make decent money teaching before. However, I've no desire to go back to work in the store, not after how I've been treated. I'm also looking for other teaching venues, as there's several art organizations in the area.
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