The Art Biz ep. 35: Leading Your Own Art Workshops and Retreats with Lorraine Glessner

Teaching art workshops for artist organizations and venues can contribute significantly to your art income. But you can dramatically increase your bottom line when you organize those workshops yourself.

Artist and instructor Lorraine Glessner
Artist and instructor Lorraine Glessner conducting a workshop.

Of course, creating and running your own workshops presents challenges that you don’t have when groups and individuals hire you. If you earn money from teaching, or if you’d like to, this episode of the Art Biz Podcast is for you.

In this episode, I talk with Lorraine Glessner talk about how she makes a living as an artist and an instructor and why she views her retreats as “collaborative teaching ventures.”

Music by Wildermiss

I wasn’t only teaching, but
collaborating and sharing with fellow students.

©2018 Lorraine Glessner, Participants Within the Vast Imagination. Encaustic collage on wood, 48 x 60 x 1.5 inches.


Here are a few things that came up during our conversation.

  • How Lorraine began teaching against her will and better judgment.
  • The steps Lorraine took to transition from assistant professor to running her own art workshops, and why she did it.
  • The role that teaching plays in Lorraine’s art and why it’s critical that she continues to teach.
  • Why Lorraine thinks of teaching as sharing and as a collaboration.
  • How her retreats are different from workshops–what the experience is like.
  • How she finds venues for teaching.
  • The pros and cons of doing workshops for hire v. organizing her own.
  • Lorraine’s ideal workshop schedule for a year.
  • What the calendar for promoting the workshops looks like, and why she sometimes doesn’t have complete control over that calendar.
  • The process for booking workshops and how far in advance she starts that.
  • The tools she uses to stay organized for her workshops.
  • The percentage of her income that is attributed to teaching.
  • How Lorraine balances a committed studio practice with a demanding teaching schedule.
  • Where the best connections and sharing occur during her retreats.


Art Biz Success workshops
Lorraine’s workshops

Related Episode

Making a Living as a Teaching Artist with Elizabeth St. Hilaire

About My Guest

Lorraine Glessner’s love of surface, pattern, mark-making, image and landscape has led her to combine disparate materials and processes such as silk, wood, wax, pyrography, rust, paper, and more in her work. Lorraine is a former Assistant Professor at Tyler School of Art, Temple University, artist mentor, workshop instructor and an award-winning artist.

She holds an MFA from the Tyler School of Art, Temple University, a BS from Philadelphia University, and an AAS in Computer Graphics from Moore College of Art & Design. She has a diverse art background with skills that include painting, sculpture, graphic design, interior design, textile design, photography, and digital imaging.

Since 2016, Lorraine has evolved from an assistant professor of art to running her own workshops and retreats.

Follow Lorraine on Instagram.

Music by Wildermiss

This episode is sponsored my signature business-building program, the year-long Art Career Success System.

Whether your goal is to increase your income, expand your venues, become more articulate about your work, enhance your online reputation, or nurture your audience, the Art Career Success System gives you what you need.

It’s called a system because the actions you take in the course are things that you will do repeatedly throughout your career. Your approach this year will be different from the approach you take next year or the year after. But when you follow the Art Career Success System, you can easily update it to reflect your changing needs.

Join the ACSS community and get your business in shape.

Update from Lorraine on August 12, 2020

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21 thoughts on “The Art Biz ep. 35: Leading Your Own Art Workshops and Retreats with Lorraine Glessner”

  1. This is a great, inspirational podcast that is definitely thought-provoking. I was especially interested in Lorraine’s organizational skills and how she goes about finding venues in which to teach. Thanks to you both!

  2. Thanks for this podcast Alyson and Lorraine. I’m interested in how other workshop instructors lead and organize their retreats and how they balance teaching and painting. While it’s a lot of work organizing your own workshops, it’s so much more rewarding and exciting. I love every aspect of the process and it’s much more rewarding financially.

    1. Janice: Happy you found this and that it was useful. I hope people click on your name and read about your Workshops in Wild Places. So cool!

    1. I don’t know the answer to that, Alison. I’ll try to get her to pop in and respond because it’s a great question. I carry business insurance that covers my events.

  3. Really enjoyed the podcast I’ve been thinking of teaching and found her approach, info very helpful. I took an art workshop from Lorraine, she is a great teacher! Thanks for sharing Alyson, always so professionally done, and all the right questions asked:)

  4. Sally-Ann Davies

    A great podcast, very encouraging. This is exactly what my plans are going to be. Thank you. Currently I am teaching art in high school. This podcast has given me the encouragement to follow my dream to focus on organising my own workshops along side my studio practice.

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