Fine Arts Program — Course 3

Career Development & Pursuit

Instructed by John English

Not sure if this is the right course for you? Book a consultation now.

The Career Development & Pursuit for Fine Arts course is a dynamic and intensive 10-week bootcamp designed to empower aspiring artists with the knowledge, skills, and strategies required to build a compelling body of work that appeals to galleries and facilitates the sale of artwork. Recognizing that artistic success extends beyond artistic talent, this course also emphasizes the development of vital networking and marketing abilities necessary for thriving in the competitive fine arts industry. This is the third and final course in the Fine Arts Program and is designed to take students across the finish line as they prepare to contact galleries and outline career strategies

Throughout this course, participants will engage in a series of immersive learning experiences, hands-on projects, and interactive discussions that foster creative growth and professional advancement. By exploring both theoretical concepts and practical applications, students will gain a comprehensive understanding of the various aspects of the fine arts industry, enabling them to navigate its complexities with confidence and proficiency.

Mediums Covered: All traditional 2D Mediums.

Skill Requirements: Advanced

Delivery: Live & Online (all classes are recorded and available on-demand)

Course Objectives

  • Continue to refine and polish technical skills

  • Marketability and Presentation

    Understand the criteria and standards of galleries, collectors, and art buyers, and learn how to curate and present artwork to maximize its market appeal.

  • Continued research of galleries and collectors

  • Networking & Collaboration

    Establish meaningful connections within the fine arts community, forge relationships with industry professionals, and explore collaborative opportunities for artistic growth and exposure.

  • Marketing Strategies

    Gain insight into effective marketing techniques, online platforms, and social media strategies to promote artwork, reach a wider audience, and build a personal brand as an artist.

  • Business Essentials

    Acquire fundamental knowledge of art pricing, contracts, licensing, copyright, and other legal and financial considerations necessary for success in the fine arts industry.

  • Representation Standards

    Understand the process of approaching galleries, preparing portfolios, and effectively communicating with gallery owners and curators to secure representation.

  • Skills Beyond Art

    Enhance professional skills such as time management, organization, self-promotion, and resilience to navigate the challenges and demands of a career in the fine arts.

Enrollment Closes

July 14

Semester Dates

July 16  – Sept. 17, 2023


10 weeks (23 Live Classes)

Class Time

Sundays, 2pm – 5pm PT



A mentorship co-taught by two seasoned pros

Illustrator and painter John English

John English

John English was raised in the company of New York’s most talented illustrators. He is the co-founder and program director of Visual Arts Passage. He is also the founder and director of The Illustration Academy.

In addition to being represented by several prestigious galleries, John has received numerous awards from organizations including New York Society of Illustrators, Los Angeles Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts, Graphis and Print Magazine. John’s work has graced the cover of Newsweek, the pages of Esquire, Money, and Essence, and the publications of Penguin Books, Bantam Books, Hitachi, 7-Up, NCAA, Sprint Corporation, and the Knoll Furniture Group.

Illustrator and gallery painter Raymond Bonilla

Raymond Bonilla

Raymond Bonilla is a highly acclaimed illustrator and fine artist based in Buffalo, New York. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in New Media and Illustration from the State University of New York at Fredonia in 2005, and later received his Master of Fine Art from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco in 2009.

Raymond has been recognized for his exceptional talent, winning numerous awards such as Best in Show in the Great Lakes Emerging Artist Competition, being a finalist in the Artists Magazine Annual Art Competition, and being awarded Gold Medals for advertising by both the Society of Illustrators of New York and Los Angeles. He has also been selected for inclusion in the Communication Arts Illustration Annual.

In addition to his painting, Raymond shares his knowledge and passion for the arts by teaching part-time at Visual Arts Passage. He is represented by the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, Virginia, Abend Gallery in Denver, Colorado, and Meibohm Fine Arts Gallery in East Aurora, New York.

Award-winning Guest Speakers

Each semester, Commercial Gallery students gain access to 6 visiting artists and one featured gallery director. These industry leaders answer student questions, complete in-depth demonstrations, and provide real-world advice for building a career in fine arts.


What makes this Mentorship unique?

As a mentorship student, you will gain access to a vast wealth of resources to better your understanding and improve your skills. You will be paired with a high-caliber professional, who will be with you every step of the way.

Live Classes

Every class is delivered live and is fully interactive with lectures, demos, critiques, and guest speakers. Consider this your front row seat.

Connect on Discord

laptop image of zoom art class for illustrators and concept artists

Study Hall

guest speaker events with comic book artist, Afua Richardsons

Guest Speakers

Learn-by-doing Assignments

Broaden and explore new skills while developing work that appeals to galleries and clients

Students are tasked on a weekly basis with a variety of skill-building exercises, real-world assignments, and projects to help refine and improve. Once students establish direction, their assignments will aim to build a body of work with that focus.

Enrollment Closes

July 14


Student Testimonials

I was pushed to try new techniques and materials. I really enjoyed the projects and the opportunity to let loose in regards to my own process and style.
Ren LindroosIllustration Student

Payment Installments Available

Even though our courses are the best value, with the high caliber instruction and personalized mentoring, there are finance options available to make the mentorship program financially possible for as many artists as possible. Select Shop Pay or Affirm at checkout to view options.

Frequently Asked Questions

No. Students only commit to one mentorship course per semester. Once you complete a course, you can register for the next course, to continue your progress in the mentorship program.

The Mentorship Program can be complete within a 10 month period. Students are encouraged to repeat the third course in the program, Establishing Career & Clients.

Each course in this Mentorship Program is $1199.

The Mentorship program is a "get out of it, what you put in" experience. That being said, our courses are structured to accommodate individuals with a busy schedule. We recommend setting aside a minimum of 3 hours for your live course and 2 hours to complete assignments and course work. We highly encourage students to commit more time if their schedule allows.

Mentorship courses enroll 4 times per year, during the winter, spring, summer, and fall semester. You can view the program calendar here.

We recommend that most students start with the first course in the Commercial Gallery Program, Gallery Fundamentals: Direction & Voice. Highly experienced students may qualify to attend the second course in the program, Gallery Portfolio & Inventory. If you are not sure, feel free to send your work to hello@visualartspassage.com and a team member will get back to you with a recommendation shortly.

Need Some Guidance?

We can help you with any questions related to enrollment, portfolio development, and the student experience.