Innovating Through Artistry

Archive for September, 2008|Monthly archive page

A Sophomore’s Summer Building a Business

In Employees, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Health & Wellness, Marketing, Risk on September 30, 2008 at 8:06 pm

Kelly Penick has written a few articles on this blog. Here is another post about her progress building a business as a sophomore in college. I began working with Kelly, as one of her advisors, last year. Here are links to some of Kelly’s other posts to learn more about her journey.
My First Try at Buying a Business
Jumping Off a Cliff Daily Towards My Future
Her Passion: From a Freshman at Appalachian State, Boone, NC

By Kelly Penick

Oh the click of the time clock on Wednesday, August 20th, 2008 to 10am. This moment was my 600th hour of education at Artistic Academy—and my moment declaring my completion. What a wonderful feeling to turn my timecard in for the last time.

I have to say that my leaving the Artistic Academy was bittersweet. I had grown close to one of the instructors and adopted her as one of my grandparents. Her hugs and loving words meant the most as we did our final toast with diet squirt cola and I hit the road for Raleigh. My mom and I were on our way their to take one of my state board exams.

As I rode along I reflected on the last few months. One of the goals that I can fondly look back on is one of the instructors saying that the Esthetician course takes 4-4 ½ months to complete and I was able to beat the clock and make it all happen in 3 ½ months. Read the rest of this entry »

The DIY Artist

In Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Interesting Articles, The Idea on September 26, 2008 at 3:30 am

Written by Kamal Sinclair

Kamal Sinclair is a professional artist and consultant, who works to balance the creation and business of art. Currently, she is the Executive Director of Strategic Arts Consulting and is working with Fractured Atlas on the expansion of their Professional Development Program. She is interested in empowering artists and arts organizations with business knowledge through entrepreneurship seminars, business planning workshops, situational analysis, and strategic planning.

As we have all witnessed, the world has been “re-created” by the exponential growth of the web and technology. The Internet has fundamentally changed how we conduct business, socialize, and manage our lives. Rapid advancement and exponential increases in global communication have created an entirely new competitive environment for most industries. Older companies are restructuring to remain competitive and newer companies are emerging to meet the unprecedented demands of the “information age” customer. The cost of producing and distributing products and services has decreased so dramatically in some industries that traditional supply chains have shorten or rerouted through new intermediaries. Artists and arts organizations have not escaped these changes.

Traditionally, artists were tasked with developing their craft, then “auditioning” or “presenting” for an intermediary such as a film studio, theater company, record label or gallery. The intermediary would often invest in the continued development of the artist’s work, prepare it for the marketplace, expose it to an audience and sell it for a profit. The same model persists in the not-for-profit arts sector, except that raw talent is cultivated by organizations that received philanthropic funding or government support. Regardless of whether the middle man is for-profit or not-for-profit, they both operated a supply chain in which artists audition for their “big break.” Read the rest of this entry »

Fractured U: Continuing Education Resource for Artists Online

In ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, The Idea, WEBSITES & BLOGS on September 24, 2008 at 11:30 pm

Need entrepreneurial training? Good news! Fractured U, a service of The Fractured Atlas organization, started in 2007, is building online courses for artists of every discipline. While they currently offer only a few classes online, they just recently finished a call for new course offerings as of September 1st. Not only will their roster of course offerings expand greatly, but those who submitted classes were paid $1000 for an introductory course and $500 plus revenue sharing for advanced courses. What a great idea!

This organization mission is to be a deep resource for all artistic disciplines. They seek to help artists and arts organizations function more effectively as businesses by providing access to funding, healthcare, and education in a context that honors their individuality and independent spirit by nurturing today’s talented but underrepresented voices, hoping to foster a dynamic and diverse cultural landscape of tomorrow.

What a great organization and perhaps just the kind of support you might need right now!

About Fractured Atlas
Fractured Atlas was founded in 1998 by current Executive Director Adam Forest Huttler. For their first few years, they operated as a performing arts producer in downtown New York City. In that form they worked with a hand-picked roster of exciting young theatre companies, choreographers, musicians, and performance artists.

The events of 9/11 threatened to close Fractured Atlas’ doors permanently, but with strong support from their Board and executive leadership Fractured Atlas reinvented itself as an arts service organization in 2002, with the goal of more effectively impacting a wider segment of the arts community.

Since then Fractured Atlas has launched a broad range of programs and services, including the Artists Affordable Healthcare Initiative. In recent years they have added liability insurance, professional development, and advocacy to their activities. Fractured Atlas’ fiscal sponsorship program has grown from 6 local groups to over 1,000 nationally, and in 2008 our membership topped 5,000 artists and arts organizations, with an expanded audience of 55,000 through the Open Arts Network.

As the first service organization to serve the needs of arts groups as well as individual artists in all disciplines, Fractured Atlas is a unique and vital new resource.

To that end, Fractured Atlas has been an arts industry leader in the use of technology to address challenges facing the arts community, share information and resources, and empower arts organizations with practical tools for managing their operations. Nearly all of Fractured Atlas’ services are accessible online, from health care to fiscal sponsorship to professional development.

The Poetry Archive

In ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, The Idea, WEBSITES & BLOGS, Writing on September 23, 2008 at 6:35 pm

Andrew Motion is an English poet, novelist and biographer, who is the current Poet Laureate in the United Kingdom. A Poet Laureate, for those of you who do not know, is a poet officially appointed by a government and is often expected to compose poems for State occasions and other government events. In England, the official poet of the monarch is an appointed made for life, since the time of Charles II. What a great job huh?

Seems like Andrew Motion could just sit back and write poems these days, but almost three years ago he set out on a mission to create a not for profit organization called the The Poetry Archive.

With almost no poetry on television, outside of your occasional rapper turned poet, and the poetry shelves of most bookshops small and poorly-stocked, Andrew recognized that poetry is increasingly no longer part of familiar life. Read the rest of this entry »

US Financial Crisis Creates Artistic Opportunity for Global Transformation

In Art, Cooking & Food, Current Events, Emotional Intelligence, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Fashion, Leadership, Music, The Idea, Theater/Film, WEBSITES & BLOGS, Writing on September 22, 2008 at 7:40 am

Last week I spoke at, and attended, Linda Naiman’s Transformational Leadership for an Age of Innovation workshop in beautiful Vancouver Canada.

David Fushtey, who is both an excellent sculptor and an attorney, principal for The Governance Council in Canada, gave an incredibly thought provoking presentation on the importance of governance with a conscience. What does this mean and why should we as artists care?

Well, I think last weeks devastating news about the financial meltdown of the United States most prominent and oldest banking institutions, that has not been seen since The Great Depression in 1929, and which will cause the US taxpayers ultimately to incur liability for at least 700 billion dollars, frankly, is enough. And in case that does not speak to you, or you don’t make enough money to care about the generations of taxpayers to follow that will pay for the greed of big business, perhaps understanding, with an election upon us, that it is UP TO US to help change how our leaders govern and what kinds of ethics they bring with them will.

Yes, your heard me correctly– I said UP TO US! Read the rest of this entry »

Music Entrepreneur Bridget McDaniel, Ignites Imaginations Through Story Telling

In ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Music, The Idea, WEBSITES & BLOGS on September 19, 2008 at 5:56 am

Flutist Bridget Muldoon McDaniel was a member of both the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra in Evansville, IN and the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra in Owensboro, KY for ten years when in 1986 she founded Tales & Scales, the nation’s only music-telling organization (a not-for-profit performing arts eduction organization).

For 22 years, this innovative troupe of instrumental musicians has collaborated with outstanding composers, writers, directors and choreographers to create interdisciplinary works in a mission to ignite the imaginations of children and family audiences. Using minimal sets and costumes, the uniquely-talented performers combine music, story, theatre and creative movement in their dynamic presentations. From its home base in Evansville, Indiana, the troupe tours the United States performing in schools, concert halls, performing arts centers, and with symphony orchestras. Read the rest of this entry »

And Now for Something You Create!

In Art, Creative Support on September 18, 2008 at 5:56 am

Spend a moment focusing on your own creativity. Paint like Jackson Pollack! I am in Vancouver Canada attending Linda Naiman’s- Creativity at Work– Transformational Leadership for an Age of Innovation Workshop and am doing some of the same kinds of things here!


A very zen-entrepreneurial quote by Jackson Pollack: When I am in my painting, I’m not aware of what I’m doing. It’s only after a sort of “get acquainted” period that I see what I have been about. I have no fears about making changes, destroying the image, etc., because the painting has a life of its own.

About Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) Read the rest of this entry »

Artistic Entrepreneur Creates Fire Tree Studios

In Art, Emotional Intelligence, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Interesting Articles, The Idea, WEBSITES & BLOGS on September 17, 2008 at 5:27 am

I met Melissa D’Antoni at the RISE workshop I gave in Austin this past March. She opened Fire Tree Studios just a couple of years ago. The purpose for Fire Tree Studios is to provide “a safe and sacred space for clients to discover and explore their creativity, joy and personal truth utilizing the expressive arts, coaching and yoga modalities”, according to Melissa.

I received a newsletter from Melissa this week and thought this excerpt from it was an interesting read in light of the last couple of posts I have written.

“As the sun illumines the moon and the stars, so let us illumine one another.”

by Melissa D’Antoni

This morning a client of mine had a powerful experience in her painting process. As I observed her as she painted, I could tell she was stuck in her process…her energy had stopped flowing. Her body stiffened, eyebrows squinted and she physically began to contract. I could almost hear the inner critic doing it’s ‘number’ within her mind, trying to sabotage her creativity by inviting her to doubt herself.

I asked her what she was thinking about. She said that she wanted to de-emphasize several images and focus on one central image in the center of her painting. As she spoke, she used her hands to communicate and she pushed away the images that she didn’t want to see and used a welcoming gesture to communicate how she wanted to bring this central image out more into the forefront.

As I mirrored these hand gestures to her, immediately she was able to see that she was actually more focused on pushing away something she doesn’t want, rather than focusing on what it is that
she DID want to bring into the limelight of her experience. Painting is a kinesthetic process and she was using her hands to express what she was feeling-by moving the energy in her body it brought her to a greater understanding of herself. This is a great example of how self-expression can deepen our creative process and even our life experience. Read the rest of this entry »

Uhhm, would you help me? No, that’s ok, forget it…

In Author: Lisa Canning, Emotional Intelligence, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Interesting Articles, WEBSITES & BLOGS on September 16, 2008 at 5:10 am

I think learning to ask for help, and then acting on it, is one of, if not, the hardest lesson in life to learn.

And, an even more challenging “mindset” to cultivate, as a teacher, in another.

As artists we are taught to develop a critical eye– to find what’s wrong with something first, instead of finding its virtues first, so that we can improve and learn from it for the sake of our artistic development. As a result, often, our inner critic has little room to accept the help we need because we are too busy beating ourselves up with a laundry list of mistakes and short comings to find room to take one more opinion or suggestion that might deepen or further our painful realizations.

Or, perhaps, we believe our inner critic has served us well, often serving as a self preservation mechanism, because our experiences listening to it tells us: “I have always made every decision and done everything on my own with enough success for me, thank you, so why would I need your help anyway?”

The article below, Nobody Does it Alone, was spot on in reflecting my own experiences learning about asking for help, which for me began my senior year in college in earnest, when I started my first entrepreneurial venture. Why then? Because I was in-over-my-head and simply could not accomplish what was needed without help. Thank God for it too because the incredible new doors of exponential growth that occurred then, and continues to this day from learning to ask for help, has taught me what an incredible strength- and not a weakness- it is to be able to.

If there was any one thing in this entire world I wish most for to change, if I could have just one wish granted, it would be this– for everyone in the world to be able to learn to ask for help and act on the support they are given. Certainly not because everyone who offers help is perfect, or better than us, or necessarily even right, but largely because so often it is exactly the help we recognize instinctively that we need in that moment to transform our situation, or move a critical step forward in our lives, if only we would ask for it and then accept it.

And, the irony of it all is that the struggle and barriers to be able to simply ask for it, and act on its benefits, lies deeply rooted in what, as artists, we are most blessed with: our imagination. This very strength we have helps us create part of what can hold us back from being able to make great strides forward– if we let it.

Enjoy this article by Jonathan Fields

Nobody Does It Alone

Simple fact…we need help!
Simpler fact, we need even more help asking for help!
At least I do. Whether it’s learning to blog, researching a new market, launching a business, snowboarding, being a good father, husband, partner and, well, just person…I need help.

And, I have to tell you, for the better part of my life, I’ve denied this. Read the rest of this entry »

As Artists, Our Manifesto

In Emotional Intelligence, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, The Idea on September 15, 2008 at 5:13 am

Most of us in the arts recognize the discovery process we engage in daily, to create our works of art, that lead others to inspirational moments witnessing what we create.

But as artists we must come to understand that our role is one that has a much larger purpose which includes opening the minds of others, crossing boundries in thinking, and creating opportunities through the human bounding of artistic expression to unite people, places and ideas. We are bridge builders, idea sparkers, innovation creators who can serve as a catalyst for others to find their own source of inspiration, imagination and generation of ideas.

Our goal should always be to illuminate the hearts and minds of others first, to engage them in dialogue through the common unifer that our artistry can bring second, and yes, thirdly to find a way to profit from it consistently.

While the pursuit of art begins as a self filling journey, and one that leads us through a rigorous introspection of our needs, values and desires, we have an obligation to turn our inner workings inside out by using who we are to serve as leaders, innovators, communication builders and transformational connectors for all segments of humanity and to introduce the lightening rod of artistry for learning.

This is what comes with our gift of artistry.

It is our obligation to learn how to most purposefully learn to use it, to not only serve at the center of learning for others or to provide the cultural connections we as human beings need, but importantly to serve as a catalyst for economic development and creation that will allow for our important skills to be placed as the center of what the world values.

The reason we must do this is simply because the individual experience of art is that important to the creation of future leaders of the world, and, future leaders are the economic engines and change agents who’s ideas are utilized around every subject matter, including the arts, to stimulate economic development and global change.

We have an obligation to each discover our role to be at the center of the evolution of a world we each can impact. Where can you begin?

Bite-Size Arts Ensemble- what’s next

In BOOKS: Learn and Grow, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Music, The Bite-Size Arts Ensemble, WEBSITES & BLOGS on September 15, 2008 at 12:49 am

The Bite-Size Arts Ensemble, for those of you following the evolution of this ensemble, had a wonderful first performance and fundraiser, but a few short weeks ago. We raised $2200.00, which given we are a new ensemble without a following just yet, and given the state of the economy, was really a wonderful beginning. Friends, family, business associates, and new audience members from our press efforts and invitations from members of our board, yielded a nice turn out at a first class venue, The Florsheim Mansion resulting in a very interesting evening.

Film maker Kevin Kent was responsible for the creation of a film, with our audience, that focused around what sparks our imaginations, what influences our creative process and how did performances that evening, from members of the Bite-Size Arts Ensemble, act as a catalyst to open the hearts and minds of our audiences. As soon as it is edited, the film will appear on our website. Read the rest of this entry »

Entrepreneurial Training Ground Found in Teaching Artist Disciplines

In Entrepreneurial Tool Box on September 11, 2008 at 8:41 am

As artists we are exemplary problem-solvers in our artistry and life-long learners constantly striving to improve, deepen and refine our artistic expression. We work specifically with the skills of creativity: discovery, wonder, and combining it with our knowledge of the world to create new experiencial revelations through our work.

Part of the way we do this comes naturally to us through associations we make and the metaphors we use to describe the unspeakable. An example of how metaphors do this can come from looking more closely at a statement like this: “My love is like a red rose”. Of course we all know that the person we love is not a foot and a half tall red flower, but the use of the metaphor allows us to imagine how that image relates to someone we love, deepening the substance, context or shape of it by confronting the boundries of our understanding, deepening our view and allowing new levels of understanding to be discovered as a result of the comparison the use of metaphors create to illuminate our subject matter.

An artistic education is an irreplaceable medium for developing this kind of intelligence and by working through a structured program that develops the use of metaphors more fully, through a teaching artistry development program, artists have a wonderful breeding ground for developing the kind of innate skills also required of an entrepreneur.

What is a Teaching Artist? Read the rest of this entry »

Are You Entrepreneurial Material?

In BOOKS: Learn and Grow, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Risk, WEBSITES & BLOGS on September 9, 2008 at 11:43 am

There is a new book out by Jon Gillespie-Brown titled So You Want To Be An Entrepreneur. The book includes a 50 question quiz which was devised to calculate your “entrepreneurial quotient”.

If you take the quiz you will find out how entrepreneurial you are feeling and acting today. My score was 96, though it appears I skipped a question or two– so who knows if it would have been higher or lower. The quiz is a bit long so be patient taking it. What was your score today?

Small Business Expert Takes Notice of Artist as Entrepreneur

In Art, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Interesting Articles, WEBSITES & BLOGS on September 8, 2008 at 7:30 pm

This article appeared on The American Express Open Blog Forum on August 20, 2008. It is written by Steve King who is a member of The Small Business Trends Experts Network. He is also a partner at Emergent Research, a research affiliate at the Institute for the Future, and senior fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. He is a co-author of the Intuit Future of Small Business report series, which is a three-part study that examines significant trends affecting small business over the next decade. Steve also blogs at Small Biz Labs. Thank you Barry Moltz for passing this along!

From jazz musicians to painters, a growing number of artists are choosing to become entrepreneurs. Artists do this so they can pursue their artistic passion and pay the bills. And while making a living as an artist continues to be difficult, 3 broad trends are combining to create new opportunities for artist entrepreneurs:

1. Consumer interest in unique, one-of-a-kind or handcrafted products is growing, broadening the market for works of art.

2. The Internet is creating new and effective methods for tech savvy artists to find an audience – and for art buyers to easily find art that interests them.

3. Technology is reducing the costs of producing many types of art, allowing artists to price at levels that attract new buyers and expand the art market. Technology also gives artist entrepreneurs the ability to create and manage small businesses with multiple revenue streams. This greatly increases the likelihood they will generate enough revenue to succeed.

Collage artist and illustrator Claudine Hellmuth is a good example.
Read the rest of this entry »

Q: What is America’s Most Precious Natural Resource?

In Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Interesting Articles, WEBSITES & BLOGS on September 5, 2008 at 8:48 am

A: It’s not oil.

“Creativity is America’s most precious natural resource. It’s renewable, unlimited and universally available. Creativity is our heritage, our promise and the source of our prosperity. And, like a natural resource, creativity needs to be respected, conserved, stewarded and celebrated. But, like a natural resource, creativity can be polluted, squandered and blocked”, says Tom Tresser.

Who is Tom Tresser?

Tom Tresser is a consultant, producer, educator and trainer who helps individuals, companies and communities leverage and amplify their creative assets in order to solve problems, create economic value and trigger civic engagement. The name of his company is CreativeAmerica.

I met Tom recently working on a project to bring John Cimino from Creative Leaps Int here to Chicago next week to speak. I just love Tom’s view and passion for creativity and the innovative classes he teaches.

Tom created and has taught “How To Be a Cultural Activist” at DePaul University’s School for New Learning in Chicago, Illinois. This class explores issues of cultural policy and exposes students to the tools and techniques of effective social change organizing. The class uses lecture, guest lecture/performance and field work. The image shows members of the street theater activist group Billionaires for Bush visiting the class. Tom’s other DePaul classes which explore creativity and civic engagement: “Who’s Lying To You Now?” (critical thinking and the media), “The Politics of Creativity,” “Creative Tools for Social Change,” “Building an Online Catalog for Civic Activism in Chicago,” and “International Creativity Policy.”

Tom has also created and taught “The Artist as Activist” for Loyola University’s Theater Department here in Chicago. For this class students formed teams and partnered with campus social change organizations to produce creative events to help those organizations. To learn more about his classes click here.

If you liked Tom’s opening remarks click here to read more from Tom’s Manifesto.

Artists Coalition Brings in Voters

In Entrepreneurial Tool Box, The Idea, WEBSITES & BLOGS on September 4, 2008 at 7:45 am

Using contemporary artists’ original works on billboards throughout the state of Missouri, from early September to early November 2008, a nonpartisan organization, Art the Vote hopes to elevate the importance of registering and voting in the November election.

The organizations focus is to engage, register and mobilize young voters and the creative community in the political process prior to the November 2008 election. Art the Vote was launched by a committee of artists and arts supporters in January of 2008. This Missouri-based effort is among the many unprecedented “firsts” of this election year. Read the rest of this entry »

A Trunk of Treasures

In ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Music, The Idea, WEBSITES & BLOGS on September 3, 2008 at 7:38 pm

Have you ever felt as though when asked to describe your artistry that you find yourself realizing you have many fragmented parts? You have done a little bit of this and a little bit of that- a project here and another, unlike the last, over there. In thinking about your career path you might feel a bit as if you are opening a trunk filled with your own treasures, some which co-exist nicely and the others that bump into each other in agitation.

And isn’t that the beauty of art?

I think so, but how can you take all of the fragmented pieces that form you and your art, along with the memories of projects, and important moments in your life and pull them together to be one whole concept to present to the world and financially benefit?

How can you take all the things you love to do and put them together like a “trunk” show to showcase your treasures and produce something meaningful? Read the rest of this entry »

Robin Hood Saves the World One Dish at a Time

In Cooking & Food, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, The Idea on September 2, 2008 at 7:41 pm

The story of Robin Hood is so well known that it scarcely needs to be reviewed, but don’t worry, I’ll do it anyway. The “facts “, at least one romantic version of them, are these. In the time of Richard the Lionheart a minor noble of Nottinghamshire, one Robin of Loxley, was outlawed for poaching deer. Now at that time the deer in a a royal forest belonged to the king, and killing one of the king’s deer was therefore treason, and punishable by death.

So Robin took to the greenwood of Sherwood Forest, making a living by stealing from rich travellers and distributing the loot among the poor of the area. In the process he gained a band of followers and a spouse, Maid Marian. Despite the best efforts of the evil Sherrif of Nottingham he avoided capture until the return of King Richard from the Crusades brought about a full pardon and the restoration of Robin’s lands. (In other versions he dies at the hands of a kinswoman, the abbess of Kirklees Priory.)

That, in a nutshell, is the legend, as well as the premise for a very interesting restaurant in Montreal Canada. Read the rest of this entry »