Innovating Through Artistry

Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

The Girl From Someplace Else

In Art on January 5, 2009 at 6:05 am

"The Girl from Someplace Else"When I was in Santa Fe, NM, over the New Year, we of course stopped in to my favorite gallery there, Selby Fleetwood. I stumbled upon another of Rodney Hatfield’s paintings that I simply adore. While not mine yet, I simply love its duplicity and thought I would share it with all of you as a Happy New Year’s offering.

Rodney signs his paintings “art snake.” While I think how much you love something is far more important than the signature, I wonder if not using his name diminishes or helps to preserve (or increase) its value?

Either way, I find Rodney’s signature choice distinctive and interesting.

Can you get someplace in life for nothing?

In Accounting, Art, Author: Lisa Canning, Cooking & Food, Creative Support, Customer Service, Employees, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Fashion, Health & Wellness, Leadership, Legal, Marketing, Money, Music, Networking, Risk, Theater/Film, Writing on January 5, 2009 at 1:25 am

Is it ever possible in life to get somewhere for nothing and have it be somewhere really good? Over the decades, we certainly have heard that “there is no such thing as a free ride” and that “if it’s too good to be true, it likely is”.

But these days, thanks to the internet, there is lots of FREE stuff online, much of which supports the entrepreneur and a start-up venture.

According to an article which appeared in Entrepreneur Magazine this month, Gary Vaynerchuck, co-founder of Wine Library, has been taking advantage of free business tools for nearly three years to grow his 11 year-old wine retail business. Using a combination of web-based tools, such as social networking, blogging and video, he’s taken his company to annual sales of $50 million. One way Wine Library uses these tools, is to notify his friends of daily specials by using MySpace, Facebook and Twitter, in place of email. His success with these tools has even landed him two book deals and regular speaking engagements across the country. “Building brand equity and connecting with your consumers through these social tools has a global impact on your business and your brand,” says Vaynerchuck, 33.

Alison Boris, 38, and Kathi Chandler, 31, have also been capitalizing on free tools since nearly the beginning of their LA based hand bag boutique, called AllyKatStyle. Besides a MySpace page, they also have profies on Digg and StumbleUpon, which are community content sharing sites, to grow their business.

All these free tools also mean that for even a small business, the “little guy” can look a whole lot bigger, not to mention more sophisticated. With a price tag of FREE, it’s hard not to want to take advantage and get on the ride to somewhere great.

Have I gotten your attention? Good, then let’s get you started:

Communication/Email
Dimdim ( dimdim.com)- open source web conferencing application; free basic service
Jott (jott.com)-voice-to-text service for creating notes, lists, e-mails and text messages; free basic service
Oovoo ( oovoo.com) -video messaging, chatting and conferencing
Paltalk ( paltalk.com) – Group IM, chat and video call application
Plugoo ( plugoo.com) -direct chatting with any blog or site visitor
YouSendIt (yousendit.com)- send files up to 2GB; free basic service

Content, Media, Video
Audacity (audacity-sourceforge.net) Open source software for cross-platform audio recording
Blip.tv: (blip.tv)- Video blogging, podcasting and video sharing service; free basic service
BlogTalkRadio (blogtalkradio.com) radio network for users to host their own shows
DropShots ( dropshots.com)- Video hosting and photo sharing
Feedburner ( feedburner.com)- media distribution services for blogs and RSS feeds
Fix My Movie ( fixmymovie.com)- Video enhancement service; free basic service
Paint.NET ( getpaint.net)- image and photo editing software
Phixr (phixr.com)- picture and photo editor
Seesmic (seesmic.com)- Video conversation platform
SlideShare ( slideshare.net)- Share and embeded slideshows. Powerpoints and PDF’s into web pages
VideoSpin ( videospin.com)- video-editing software

Financial
BizEquity ( bizequity.com) – company valuations
Mint ( mint.com) – personal finance, money mangement, budget planning and financial planning software
MyBizHomepage (mybizhomepage.com) – financial dashboard for small business Quick Book users
QuickBooks (quickbooks.com) small-business accounting software; free simple start 2009 download)
Wesabe (wesabe.com)- Financial advice, analysis and planning

Marketing, Networking, PR
Wordpress (wordpress.com)- Blog publishing tool
Craigslist ( craigslist.org)- Online classified and job posting network
CollectiveX ( collectivex.com)-Create social networking and collaboration sites for groups
Digg (digg.com)- content sharing site
Linkedin ( linkedin.com)- Business social networking site
Pligg ( pligg.com)-Open-source, community-centric site for discovering, rating and sharing content
PolicyMap( Policymap.com) -Geographic and demographic information system for creating custom maps, tables and chartes; basic free service
YouNoodle ( younoodle.com)-Netowrking for startups and valuation with Startup Predictor
YourPitchSucks (yourpitchsucks.com) PR pitch reviewing and advising
Stumble Upon ( stumbleupon.com)- Content sharing site

Office Productivity, and Organization
Adobe Buzzword (adobe.com)- Collaborative word processor application
CutePDF Write (Cutepdf.com)- PDF creator; free basic service
Dabble DB ( dabbledb.com)- Create, manage and share online databases; free basic service
Doodle (doodle.com)- Schedule, and coordinate meetings and other appointments
FreshBooks ( freshbooks.com)-Invoicing, time-tracking and expense service; free basic service
SurveyMonkey ( surveymonkey.com)-Create and publish custom online surveys; free basic service
ThinkFree Office ( thinkfree.com)-Office productivity suite; free basic service
WuFoo (wufoo.com)-HTML form builder for creating interactive forms;free basic service

Project Management, Collaboration
Remember the Milk (rememberthemilk.com)-Task management solution and to-do lists
Socialtext (socialtext.com)- Wiki and website collaboration; free basic service
Team Task ( teamtask.com)-Collaborative project management and community website builder
Yugma (yugma.com)-Web meeting and collaboration service

Web
Google Alerts ( google.com/alerts)- E-mail updates on choice of query or topic
KickApps ( kickapps.com)- platform of applications to integrates social features into a website
Microsoft Office Live Small Business (smallbusiness.officelive.com)- Create a company website, domain and email; free basic service
Synthasite ( synthasite.com)- Web hosting and building
Weebly ( weebly.com)-Website and blog creator
Widgetbox (widgetbox.com)-web widgets for various applications
Woopra ( woopra.com) -Web tracking and analysis application; free basic service

SmARTist Tele-Conference Jan 15, 16 & 19-23

In Art, Current Events on January 4, 2009 at 11:59 pm

Build your art career from the comforts of home and learn from the “experts” while doing it via tele-conference.

2009 speakers include: Paul Dorrell- Successful Gallery Owner & Corporate Art Consultant, Alyson B. Stanfield- Art Career Expert, Joan Stewart- Self Promotion Expert, Lucia Capacchione, Ph.D.- Fulfilling Dreams Expert, Leonard DuBoff- Art Law Expert, Molly Gordon, MCC- Entrepreneur Expert, Peter Jason Riley- CPA Tax Expert, Shirley Williams- Successful Artist & Presentation Expert, Mari Smith- Relationship Expert, Nancy Marmolejo- Visibility Expert, Guillermo Cuellar, Ed.D.- Creativity Expert & Psychotherapist, and the creator or the SmARTist Tele-Conference Ariane Goodwin, Ed.D.

For a Calendar of Events click here

Here is a list of some of the things you can expect to learn:

*How you can take advantage of the hottest, new online marketing strategy, even if you’ve never heard of Web 2.0

*What you must know about selling your work in a corporate setting—so you don’t blow it

*How you can develop an art career vision, and business strategies, founded on your deepest values

*75% of US adults can be now found in social media—isn’t it time you tapped into this gold mine?

*What common mistakes you need to avoid when you put together your portfolio—or look like an amateur

*How to identify your most likely art buyers—so you can reach more of them and build a following

*How to find corporations who want your art

*Why Facebook doesn’t have much to do with class reunions, and everything to do with selling your art

*How to effectively negotiate contracts with corporations—or risk losing part of your sweet deal

*Why serious life and death crises can paralyze creativity, and how to keep the juices flowing

*Which tax deductions you can legally take as an artist—and which ones you’ve been missing out on

*How to make your art career sizzle with online tricks you need to know

*How to find a market for your art that fits who you are as a person and an artist

*Which inner blocks (fears, self criticism, guilt, pain) stop you from fulfilling your dreams—and how to win them over with simple techniques

*How a clear vision for your art gives you guidelines for making difficult decisions with peace and strength

*How to prioritize and develop the right promotional materials—for the right audience

*Why “tweeting” should be at the top of your list— or you miss out on a ready-made audience of potential art buyers

*How to follow up with potential buyers without fumbling the ball or falling over fear

Interested in signing up? Click here.

My 2009, and Yours?

In Art, Cooking & Food, Creative Support, Emotional Intelligence, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Fashion, Health & Wellness, Leadership, Marketing, Music, Risk, The Idea, Theater/Film, Writing on December 28, 2008 at 3:37 am

dreamstime_7322003Before every New Year, I find myself always hoping to be and do better than the year before. Don’t you? Yet, lately I have been feeling like my progress has seemed more like 2 steps backwards and 1/2 a step forward.

But if you’re anything like me, artistic, sensitive, self-critical and gushing with ideas, it’s hard to not want to let yourself flow with your creativity, even when you know progress can sometimes be painful. After all what do you have to lose- except for 2 1/2 steps one direction or the other, right?

The issue, of course, is when what once felt like a peaceful flow has now turned into a raging river. The kind of shift in your thinking or situation that makes you wonder what possessed you in the first place to ever think you could peacefully have your ideas flow into accomplishment- just the way you envisioned.

So now what?

I know how you feel, if you have ever felt this way. This whole past year for me, with my book, has felt like a roller coaster ride. My ride has had lots of unexpected twists and turns and the occasional jolt, just for good measure, when I least expected it. And all this adventure has me feeling a wee bit wobbly. (just like the Weeble Wobbles, remember them?)

Do I really want MORE adventure in 2009?

How about you? Are you ready to let your creativity spring like jack, out of-the-box, unconventionally? Are you ready for some bumps, twists and turns on your entrepreneurial creative adventure ride?

Not sure?

But remember, parts of the ride are GUARANTEED to be exhilarating- and it’s always those parts we most remember. Terror-filled-moments only last briefly, but when they occur how much more the rush of exhilaration mattered. Feeling creative freedom is worth a little terror, I think. Don’t you?

And so for me, wobbly legs and all, 2009 must include a number of new challenges and a few more new adventure rides.

My first, on both fronts, will be to self-publish Build a Blue Bike. My friend, composer and jazz pianist David Cutler, has just finished a book called The Savvy Musician. He and I have decided to release our books together sometime before June of 2009. Our books fit nicely together.

Of course this is not at all the road I expected to take, but it’s one that has just opened and I have to explore. I am over feeling stuck and wondering “so now what do I do with the manuscript?” It’s more fun to be looking forward to the anticipation of being on another creative adventure-filled-ride, really.

I have about 5 other projects, too, that I need to sit down to chart my course of action for in 2009. Of course, I already know that I will ultimately have to learn to let go of each of my plans, eventually, because each I plan will twist and turn and jolt in ways I cannot possibly right now even begin to imagine!

So why bother to plot my planning?

Because I believe luck favors the prepared mind. Hard work and perseverance in the end always win. Adding new hands, feet and heads as unexpected surprises into your adventure sometimes means rewritting the plan. And, as a result, that may mean the story may take longer to tell, but your determination and effort only make your story all that much more compelling when you reach your “lucky” happy ending. Our dreams, with preparation and perseverance, really can come true.

Welcome in 2009!

To ring in the New Year I am headed off to Santa Fe. It’s cold there but a good fire, a few unfinished books and a massage, and hot tub or two, at Ten Thousand Waves, are waiting for me there. I hope you too will spend some time before the New Year to plan your “luck.” I’m rooting for both of us in 2009!

How The Grinch Stole Christmas

In Accounting, Art, Cooking & Food, Creative Support, Current Events, Customer Service, Emotional Intelligence, Employees, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Artist Contest Contestants, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Fashion, Health & Wellness, Interesting Articles, Leadership, Legal, Marketing, Money, Music, Networking, Risk, The Clarinet Shop, The Entrepreneurial Artist Competition, The Idea, Theater/Film, Writing on December 23, 2008 at 3:04 am

f91ddde14399af3663324567dfa4My wish for you, ON CHRISTMAS DAY,
will be for you TOO, to keep the GRINCH at bay!

But if by chance, you simply cannot,
Band mighty together, as a great big Who-Ville lot!

WWHHYY????? Smarty-Arty, I hear you say?

BECAUSE, with all your JOY stirring together,
the grinch who came to visit, just might feel a WEE bit better.

Merry Christmas, my dears, what’s your ETA,
to ENTREPRENEUR The Arts, in a new innovative way.
PLEASE COME WITH ME, lets ride far, far and away!

signed your friend, an artistic missionIST, a student of Dr. Suess-a-visionIST, gliding, and sent with love.

Hey, do you want to BLEND in?

In Accounting, Art, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Fashion, Leadership, Marketing, Money, Music, Networking, Risk, The Idea on December 6, 2008 at 8:49 am

Remember me? Ryan Conrad? Juniata College Grad? Last time I blogged I shared with you my story about speaking at graduation.

I am sure you have heard the expression “ a little fish in a big pond”? I am now that little fish in a big pond called Virginia Beach, and I would not have it any other way. I’ve been leading a fast-paced life since I last posted, just days after graduating from college. I now work for Live Nation, the largest concert promoter in the world, where I handle sponsorships accounts.

Upon moving to the beach, my goal was to continue organizing and promoting parties that focused on art, fashion, and music. I was fortunate enough to meet a talented artist who shared my vision. We complemented each other very well because of our diverse backgrounds. My event planning experiences coupled with his artist network seemed like a great fit.

I took my concept that I created in college, which was a traveling fashion and art show targeted at the college demographics and transformed it with my partner’s help into Blend. In the last few months we successfully pulled off two parties operating under the name “Blend.” We chose the name Blend, because we effectively brought together the artist community, DJs to spin at our parties, and fashion designers. The main objective of Blend is to plan art and fashion shows featuring local artists and clothing company in the night club setting.

Our parties were featured in numerous forms of media and soon became a prime-networking tool for people interested in the arts. Sponsors such as Red Bull, Frank 151 magazine, and international clothing company, Shmack started to believe in the brand that has been created.

Unfortunately, Josh has decided to move on because of other commitments to his job. However, I’m already starting to plan the next party with other business people who believe in my vision. Blend parties truly brings out a diverse crowd and artists. Over the course of the last several months I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many passionate artists and fashion designers who are trying to make their mark. They stress time and time again how they just want people to see and appreciate their work. My hope is to have as many people as possible, or fish (to continue the metaphor) start to believe in the Blend concept. If I continue to be successful, just maybe, a ripple affect will be felt in art communities in other parts of the pond. I mean other cities, as I try to expand my Blend parties.
blend4blend1blend5blend6

Is Starving an Artistic Risk?

In Art, Cooking & Food, Emotional Intelligence, Fashion, Health & Wellness, Leadership, Music, Theater/Film, Writing on December 5, 2008 at 9:25 am

According to Wikipedia a starving artist is: someone who sacrifices material well-being in order to focus on their artwork. Typically living on minimum expenses, either for a lack of business or because all their disposable income goes towards art projects. Some starving artists desire mainstream success but have difficulty due to the high barriers in art such as visual arts, the film industry, and theatre. These artists frequently take temporary positions (such as waitering or other service industry jobs) while they focus their attention on breaking through in their preferred field.

According to Merriam-Webster, risk is defined as: the possibility of loss or injury : peril

If we financially place ourselves in low paying or dead end jobs are we expanding or limiting our artistic potential?

If you can’t pay your rent, and your big artistic break isn’t showing up at what point exactly are your choices in life diminishing? Is it when it comes down to leaving the profession you chose because you simply can’t pay your bills?

Or is it when your disregard for your mental, physical and economic health erodes your happiness and self-confidence?

Or is it when many of your life goals have a serious life sucks “gap” between what you hoped to accomplish and what you actually can accomplish?

Or maybe its when you feel like your creativity and imagination are almost all gone because you cannot endure the difficulty of a life that does not inspire your evolution and creative abilities?

Is it worth your time to consider if there is another path, one that only you can imagine, that can fill your artistic potential and provide you with a host of economic options?

How much value exactly do you place on nurturing, protecting and supporting a life filled with your own creativity?

A Playground for the 21st Century Artist Entrepreneur

In Art, Cooking & Food, Current Events, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Fashion, Leadership, Music, The Idea, Theater/Film, WEBSITES & BLOGS, Writing on November 28, 2008 at 10:21 pm

Eight years and $200 million in the making, the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, or Empac, resembles an enormous 1950s-era television set on the campus of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.
empac

But inside are not old-fashioned vacuum tubes but the stuff of 21st-century high-tech dreams dedicated to the marriage of art and science as it has never been done before, its creators say — 220,000 square feet of theaters, studios and work spaces hooked to supercomputers.

Within its walls, scientists can immerse themselves in data and fly through a breaking wave or inspect the kinks in a DNA molecule, artists can participate in virtual concerts with colleagues in different parts of the world or send spectators on trips through imaginary landscapes, and architects can ponder their creations from the inside before a single brick or two-by-four has been put in place.

As a facility, the new 220,000 square-foot center is like no other, boasting unrivaled presentation and production capabilities: a 1200-seat concert hall designed to the highest acoustical standards; an intimate 400-seat theater; and two highly flexible studio spaces, configurable as traditional black-box theaters or as fully immersive environments. Linked to a massive supercomputer, EMPAC’s potential for art and science spans the physical and virtual worlds and the spaces in between.

The EMPAC building’s conception and construction include many firsts relating to acoustics, theatrical and media presentation, structural integrity, lighting, heating and ventilation. The building is an extraordinary architectural statement. An international architectural competition led to the selection of the acclaimed British firm, Grimshaw, and to the building’s bold architectural conception.

Dedicated to advancing research and artistic production at the intersection of technology, media and the performing arts, EMPAC is poised to be a major contributing force in many artistic and technological domains. A main focus and major emphasis at EMPAC is the development and production of new works in the performing and media arts. Projects, residencies and productions at EMPAC will come from all domains of time-based arts, including but not limited to video, dance, music, theater, internet art, DVD productions, interactive installations, and multimedia art. Some pieces that are created or presented at EMPAC may grow out of the media-rich environment of EMPAC and could travel to other venues, nationally and internationally, others works may be site-specific to EMPAC.

As a facility and an environment, EMPAC will serve as a magnet to artists in a wide variety of time-based disciplines – performance, theatre, dance, music and film/video. The facility opened on October 3rd, 2008 and now offers artists residencies and commissions which include a rare and powerful combination: time to experiment in performance and production spaces of the highest quality combined with a technologically advanced infrastructure. As part of its mission to support artistic production with resources and facilities which are project-specific, EMPAC will provide access to equipment, expertise, rehearsal space, research, or other support as part of a commission, according to the needs of that project.

Here is an example of one of EMPAC’s commissioned projects, “There Still is Time… Brother”:

Commissioned by EMPAC, the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute [USA], produced by EMPAC together with the UNSW iCinema Centre for Interactive Cinema Research [AUS], and the ZKM | Institute for Visual Media [D] and in collaboration with The Wooster Group,THERE IS STILL TIME.. BROTHER« is a commission for an installation that consists of an interactive projection for a 360° screen.

wooster3wooster1

The commission is rooted in the recording of a Wooster Group performance developed specifically to be viewed as a projection on a 360° screen. The video is revealed by way of a window that scans around the screen, never showing the whole of the projection at once. The window is controlled by an audience member or performer who selects which part of the 360° video to reveal at any given time. However, it is clear that the sections of the video that are revealed are all unfolding in one, continuous 360° space and that there is some kind of linear timeline to the sections of the performance that we are watching unfold.

This piece challenges the notions of linear narrative in theater or film by creating a time-based theatrical experience that can be experienced in a new way each time it is “performed” by the individual controlling the interface which dictates that which we see and hear in the immersive space of spacialized sound and projection. The viewer is involved in an immersive process of discovery where their chosen point of view creates the dramaturgy of the piece and literally activates the story.

President Dr. Jackson said Rensselaer prides itself on interdisciplinary research and hands-on engineering learning, has a tradition of electronic arts, which includes a major in games and simulations. A performance center had been part of a long-range plan she and the trustees approved in 2000. The concept of Empac was born, she said, when she and her advisers decided to combine art with the problem of making sense of data, a problem that she said lay at the nexus of art, science, technology, cognitive perception and learning.

In 2001, an anonymous donor gave the university $360 million, one of the largest private grants ever made to an American university, enabling Dr. Jackson to jump-start not just Empac but other elements of her plan as well. That gift was later augmented by $40 million from Curtis R. Priem, one of the founders of Nvidia, a maker of graphics processors, and for whom the center will be officially named.

This center is a 21st Century Artists dream come true. Is there a project or an idea you would like to undertake with Empact?

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is the nation’s oldest technological university, offering degrees in engineering, the sciences, information technology, architecture, the humanities and social sciences. It is pre-eminent in research into biotechnology, nanotechnology, IT, and the media arts and technology. In addition to its MFA program, RPI offers bachelor degrees in Electronic Arts, and in Electronic Media, Arts, and Communication – one of the first undergraduate programs of its kind in the United States.

Contestant #3: Chuck DeWolfe

In Art, Entrepreneurial Artist Contest Contestants, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Marketing, Money, Risk, The Idea, WEBSITES & BLOGS on November 17, 2008 at 12:47 am

chuck_the_sell_art_coach

Written by Chuck DeWolfe

My name is Chuck DeWolfe I am 42 and have been working for my self since I was 12. When I was 18 I left my parents house and traveled for 15 years. In that time I received a BS in Art therapy and an MFA in fine art, had over 100 art shows collaborated with over 30 other artists and ran my own Gallery. I have worked in over 10 artists’ communities as a student, resident artist, visiting artist, art fellow, grant recipient, teacher, mentor and professional artist.

After chasing a tenure track position for several years I decided to stop and move back east and recover from what had been a very challenging four-year period of poverty, mental instability, bad personal relationships and enough drama to write my own HBO pilot – I was 33.

When I stopped moving I realized that from all my rich experiences and all the many respected people that I had created art with and for, I had nothing to show for it accept a truck which at the time I was sleeping in, and good number of lines on my resume.

I combined a free real estate class and some research in to a foster care business. I bought a 30-ache farm with a negative balance of -179.76 in my checking account. Began living with 3 to 4 boys’ ages 9 to 17 full time. I continued to show my artwork, invest in real estate and build my foster care business. After five years developing my program I gave the program to the state of Vermont. I began to research how I would work as an artist full time and share what I had learned about being an entrepreneur with other artists.

I studied the coaching model and began to coach artists one on one and started to study on line marketing and over the last two years have built up a small business working with people on line, selling my coaching programs and negotiating art coaching globally.

I had to overcome several personal changes surrounding money, marketing, selling, and a heroic identity as an artist that just did not serve my goals as an entrepreneur. When I started this project I did not email people. Now I have several web sites and communicate globally with hundreds of artists all over the US and abroad.

I have participated in and with exchanges with some of the most influential Internet marketers in the worlds today. All of which look at me a little side ways because they know, as I do, that artists are not going to pay you much to help them market, sell and promote their work.

Presently I am commented to unlocking the doorways in which creativity and art can meet with commerce and community. Offering to individuals a way at looking at themselves not only as artist but also as entrepreneurs. I will confess it has not been easy and for all my efforts my business is struggling in the face of what has been 2 years of perpetual work and striving to create a viable business on line serving artists.

I am committed to coaching and to looking at “creativity as currency” working with artists, and other creatives, in a financial structure that is dynamic and aggressively poignant in today’s world, to transform the ideas of so many into pragmatic solutions and uncover what at times is “the miracle” and the mystery of art and financial prosperity.

Respectfully – Chuck DeWolfe
www.chuckdewolfe.com

Contestant #1: Brian Owens

In Art, Creative Support, Entrepreneurial Artist Contest Contestants, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Money, Risk, Theater/Film, Writing on November 3, 2008 at 6:22 am

Written by Brian Owens

I was a bright kid in Detroit at a time when grant money for college was available. After four years of college I hired on with Chrysler Defense because I was broke and that’s where the money was. I was one of many engineers working to build a battle tank simulator to train tank crews for combat in the “european theater”; a war that never came.

Later, I moved to Florida because I was tired of winters and dodging bullets and was looking for an adventure of sorts. Again, I was one of many engineers working to build simulators, this time for combat aircraft.

I returned to art because I am an artist. It’s what I’m supposed to be doing. Since I have no children I could move in any direction I wanted. Maybe there is such a thing as a person being born to do a specific thing. My life is a pressurized, precarious life but this is part of the experience of being an artist, at least for me.

David Mamet said it best as he described the main character from a screenplay of his: “every lesson is driven home with such force … inescapable force … the real question is … can you get something from it; can you look at it?”. The lessons can be difficult. Still, I feel fortunate to know with certainty why I’m here.

I work in bronze and oil because it’s a challenge and requires discipline. But mostly, I do it because I like it. The awards and honors are great. They add institutional validity to a resume that is absent a degree in art. Also, grants make it possible for me to compete effectively for public art projects. I see them as tools in my toolbox; acquired beforehand so they’re there when needed. But it’s not the degree or award that makes you an artist, it’s the art you make that makes you an artist.

David Mamet said that many of the actors who audition for him don’t have the emotional makeup to withstand the level of competition and rejection that that must continually face. They are “too fine an instrument” and “don’t hit the marks when the pressure is on … but it only counts when the pressure is on”. I’m not an actor but I’ve had a deep personal struggle with this for many years. Being self-employed is like stepping, naked, under a brilliant light. Any weakness in your emotional makeup will be evident; if not to you, then to everyone else who is looking. It’s hard to change who you are. But I’ve learned that with time any skill can be improved and the things that used to floor me now just make me wince.

My income from fine art accounts for 20% to 100% of my annual income depending on what year it is. I got whipped in 2008 but 2009 is lining up nicely. There’s no explanation for it. You don’t have to be a writer to appreciate the words of Leonard Cohen, who said “as a writer, you have to show up and go to work every day. But you do so knowing that today it may not come; that you are not in control of this enterprise.”

I’ve always been suspicious of advice; unsolicited advice offered by people who mean well but have not tested themselves on the free-market battlefield that they so easily send their students onto.

Early in my career, I identified the people who appeared to be successful doing what I wanted to do. Then, after I assembled my first portfolio, I carefully reached out for their advice. Also, I’m not making the type of art that academia would instruct me to make. That may be working in my favor, nowadays.

During the last few years of this “postmodern” age, we have seen a renewed interest in classical training, the portrait and the figure. There is a slow but encouraging change in perspective on the importance of discipline and skill. Donald Kuspit said “Art is again a means of aesthetic transcendence with no loss of critical consciousness of the world.” As an artist, I have no special insight into history or the hearts of men but I offer this belief: When the culture is accepting of it, artists will respond with their best work.

William H. Gass said, they will “add to the worlds objects and ideas those delineations, carvings … and symphonic spells which ought to be there, To make things whose end is contemplation and appreciation.”

As the nation races into an uncertain future; as we question the recent past; many of us will return to art to reflect, to heal and (in words of Harlan Ellison) “to be humbled and to be renewed”.

Brian Owens
www.brianowensart.com

The story of Righteous Babe

In Art, Author: Lisa Canning, Customer Service, Emotional Intelligence, Employees, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Fashion, Interesting Articles, Leadership, Marketing, Money, Music, Risk, The Idea on October 31, 2008 at 7:04 pm

The story of Ani DiFranco and how she and her partner Scot Fisher built Righteous Babe is a wonderful story about building artistry through a sense of community, the creativity to do so, falling in love, breaking up and the re-birth of relationships and the company. This story appeared in INC magazine and was written by Bo Burlingham, editor at large for Inc Magazine, who also wrote a book about companies that choose to be great instead of big called Small Giants. Righteous Babe fits right into this category!

Ani DiFranco is sitting in her dressing room at the Chicago Theater, six hours before a performance, and she wants to set the record straight. Money, she says, had nothing to do with her decision to reject all those offers from major record labels and start her own business. Nor did she turn down the offers out of fear of losing her artistic freedom. So what was it, then? “I didn’t want to participate in what big corporations are doing to society,” she says. “My decision not to work with a major label was not about me. It was about something bigger than me.”

There are, in fact, quite a few things bigger than Ani (pronounced ah-nee) DiFranco. She is, well, diminutive, although she hardly seems that way when she comes charging onto the stage at the start of a performance, her brown dreadlocks flying, her guitar blazing, her body twisting and turning in a blast of energy. Legions of fans can’t get enough of that energy and the music that goes with it. And yet, for all her artistic success, it’s often her commercial ventures that get attention — much to her chagrin. When Ms. focused on her business prowess in citing her as one of “21 feminists for the 21st century,” she fired off a letter of protest to the magazine’s editor: “Imagine how strange it must be for a girl who has spent 10 years fighting as hard as she could against the lure of the corporate carrot and the almighty forces of capital, only to be recognized by the power structure as a business pioneer.”

It is, however, a designation she can’t escape. Her record company, Righteous Babe Records, is one of the few successful artist-created labels around, having sold more than 4 million of DiFranco’s records and put out CDs by more than a dozen other performers. And it’s no ordinary company. In an industry dominated by giant corporations, Righteous Babe has the look, feel, and smell of a small hometown business. Staff members, for example, respond with handwritten notes to the thousands of letters the company gets from its customers, DiFranco’s fans. In return, the company elicits a level of devotion seldom seen in business. Customers go out of their way to protect it, patrolling the Internet and reporting on websites that try to sell unauthorized recordings of DiFranco’s music. Some fans are so passionate about the business that they come from as far away as Australia and Switzerland, not to see DiFranco perform, but to visit the company headquarters in Buffalo. “I’m standing here in total awe,” wrote one visitor from Los Angeles in the guest book.

And it’s not just the fans. Talk to the company’s record distributors, its printers, the manufacturers of its CDs, the concert promoters, not to mention its employees, and you realize that DiFranco and partner Scot Fisher have tapped into one of the most underappreciated forces in business, namely, the power of community. To do that while maintaining great margins is quite an accomplishment — especially for a company whose CEO believes, as DiFranco sang on a recent album, that “capitalism is the devil’s wet dream.”

Scot Fisher is a tall, quiet, somewhat diffident man who works out of a cluttered office at Righteous Babe’s headquarters. At 43, he still dresses like the construction guy he was when he first met DiFranco. Although he is usually referred to as her manager, the term does not do justice to the role he plays in her business life. Besides looking out for her career, he is the chief architect, co-owner, and operating head of Righteous Babe and its six component businesses, including a touring company, a retail operation, a music publisher, a real estate developer, and a foundation, as well as the record label. Together they do about $5 million in sales, mostly from DiFranco’s CDs and her touring. (Profits are harder to figure but probably run a bit less than $1 million a year.) Yet another venture, a concert venue, will open next spring in a restored church down the block, which will also house a jazz club, an art gallery, and the headquarters of Righteous Babe. In addition to complementing the other businesses, the concert hall represents a hedge against the uncertain future that Righteous Babe and all record companies face these days. “I’m in the buggy business, and it’s 1905,” says Fisher. “It would be insane to count on CDs being here in 10 years.”

“I’m in the buggy business and it’s 1905. It would be insane to count on CDs being here in 10 years.”
He wound up in the business almost by accident. Back in 1988, he was the co-owner of a small construction and housepainting company, and he’d recently moved into an apartment that the girlfriend of one of his partners was sharing with a woman she’d gone to art school with, an 18-year-old folksinger. One evening, he went to see his new housemate perform at a local bar. “It was sort of obligatory,” he says. “Then she started to play.” Nine years her senior, Fisher soon became DiFranco’s confidant and mentor. Along the way, they fell in love. At some point, Righteous Babe entered the picture. “In the beginning, it was more of a joke than a real business,” DiFranco says. “You know, ‘Yeah, uh-huh, I got a record company. You’re looking at it.'”

In retrospect, it’s not surprising that she would gravitate toward entrepreneurship. She’d been figuring out how to make her own way in the world from an early age. At nine, she was spending Saturdays busking at the local farmers’ market. At 12, she was making and selling cards of pressed flowers to earn money for horse camp. At 15, when her parents divorced, she moved out and lived on her own, largely supporting herself. Only once, in 1991, did she come close to signing with an established label, backing out as soon as she read the terms of the contract.

And yet, even without a contract, her fame spread. By the end of 1993, she had released five albums under the Righteous Babe label, and they were setting sales records at the folk festivals where she performed. Thanks to her constant touring, she was developing a loyal following, especially among young women, many of them lesbians who identified with her feminist lyrics and considered her one of their own. But Righteous Babe existed pretty much in name only. It had no structure, no organization, no full-time employees, and no office. DiFranco’s albums were getting very little radio airplay and couldn’t be found in most record stores. On top of that, she’d had a major falling-out with her business manager.

Into the breach stepped Fisher, who had been studying law while DiFranco was working on her music career. “I figured I could always be a lawyer,” he says. “When would I get another chance to manage Ani DiFranco?” DiFranco, for her part, had doubts about having her lover take charge of her business affairs. “In the end,” she says, “he just sort of declared himself my business manager.” Fisher says they had an understanding that he’d step aside if it turned out he was wrong for the job.

There was, in fact, little reason to believe he was right for the job. He lacked experience, credentials, and credibility in the music business. “It took [Ani’s agent] Jim Fleming a couple of years to tell me that the first time I called, he thought, ‘Omigod, it’s the boyfriend.'” Fisher says. “But I knew where I stood. I knew people didn’t respect me. I’m from Buffalo. I’m used to it.”

To read the rest of the article click here

Artistry + The River = An Economic Catalyst

In Art, Cooking & Food, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Fashion, Health & Wellness, Leadership, Marketing, Money, Music, Networking, Risk, The Idea, Theater/Film, WEBSITES & BLOGS, Writing on October 28, 2008 at 5:04 pm

What do artists have in common with supporting economic development along our most important and prominent rivers in the United States?

Believe it or not, more than you might think.

Today John Cimino, Creative Leaps Intl, myself and members of the American Heritage River Alliance have a meeting in Mayor Daley’s Office to discuss Chicago’s expressed interest in applying for federal funding for the Chicago River in 2009 through the American Heritage River Alliance.

The AHRA, established by President Clinton’s Executive Order #13061 in 1997, is a network of locally-driven partnerships working to restore rivers, promote sustainable development, and improve quality of life. When President Clinton issued this Executive Order, federal funding was given for ten years to fourteen different rivers. Chicago applied ten years ago and was not selected. In 2009 federal funding will become available to six more rivers, for ten years, through an application process.

The first 14 rivers that were originally funded are now being converted into 501c3’s. Each river, through this White House initiative, was originally assigned an Interagency River Navigator– a key person who helps match local needs with their ability to fast track available federal resources for environmental, economic, and cultural/historic preservation efforts.

With the original river navigators still in their original roles, and in need of a new source of funding, the reason the AHRA and several of the key river navigators are in town this week is to promote the marketing potential of supporting this organization at the Chief Responsibility Officer Conference– the newest emerging corporate executive role created in the last few years- this coming Wednesday here in Chicago. Both John and I will be attending the conference to help the AHRA network to advance fundraising initiatives. Did you know that the original 14 rivers, the AHRA is looking for these corporations to financial support, has a marketing reach of over 1/2 of the population in the United States?

So why, you might be thinking, are John Cimino and I involved in this project?

Well, Creative Leaps is currently working on a project in the Hudson River, one of the originally funded 14 rivers through the AHRA, for their Quadricentennial celebration. John is serving as the educational director for a project that the AHRA and Creative Leaps conceived called the Arts-Science Challenge. From this project, which will last through 2009, the AHRA is committing a portion of the 400 million dollar funding it hopes to raise, to development John Cimino’s idea for The Renaissance Center, which the AHRA believes on its own provides an economic engine for the region it is built in.

The Renaissance Center is a center devoted to for Leadership, Innovation and Learning. It will serve as an interdisciplinary center using the arts as a catalyst, to convene business, government, education and sustainable technology sectors together to solve their problems and develop teaching artist consultants to do some of this work in each area it serves.

My interest in the project is to help John place one of these centers in Chicago and to be responsible for its development and involved as a teaching artist in its work- thus a new viable twist on my idea of a Chicago Arts Incubator.

So what do a couple of artists have in common with ecomonic development along the Hudson River and The Chicago River? It appears a lot!

What kind of interesting lense can you bring into binocular view- something paired to your artistry- to make your work more fully integrated into the community in a significant and financially meaningful way?

Delivery Driver By Day, Paper Sculpture Entrepreneur by Night

In Art, Author: Lisa Canning, Creative Support, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Marketing, WEBSITES & BLOGS on October 20, 2008 at 8:32 pm

Like most of us, Eric Simmon’s love of art began when he was a kid. Eric would spend hours copying drawings of his favorite superheroes out of comic books. With his love of art growing through childhood, it only seemed natural to pursue an artistic career path; which lead Eric to get a degree in graphic arts, graduating for Macomb Community College in Warren, Michigan in 1989.

But Eric found that technology was constantly changing. He found himself frequently going back to college, just trying to keep his skills current, to be able to do his creative work in this medium. It just became too much to do. (Maybe even too much of a financial stretch to do too..)

And so for about fifteen years Eric worked for a major photo lab in the Detroit area where he helped produce large scale displays for trade shows and museums. Currently, Eric is a delivery driver for a Detroit based printing company.

“As much as I would love to make a living from my artwork, I have to say that realistically, that will probably never happen. I do keep trying to get my work out there in the public, and I have had a lot of positive responses, but not enough to quit my day job”, says Eric.

Sound familiar?

But Eric’s past does not predict his future. Eric’s paper sculptures and cards are simply incredible. And Eric’s passion shows through in his commitment to blog.

“My paper sculptures started as just a cheap way to decorate, and have now grown into an obsession. Mythology, legends and the natural world are the inspiration for my work. I originally intended to depict mythical characters from various legends from around the world, but I sometimes find myself exploring my own personifications of nature instead”.

Ancient Chinese and Japanese images have strongly influenced Eric’s style. Also the female figure plays a prominent role in his work.

“I started to actually sell my sculptures about 10 years ago at art fairs and galleries. My work has been exhibited at several galleries in the Detroit area, as well as Georgia, Wyoming, Oklahoma, California, Nebraska, Cooperstown, New York; and Boston, Massachusetts. I am always looking for new opportunities to exhibit my work, whether it’s an art fair, gallery or online. I’ve also taught a couple of classes on paper sculpture”.

But with the economy being what it is right now Eric thought it would be wise to come up with some more affordable alternatives to his paper sculptures which resulted in his creating cards. “Most people who buy the cards have no intention of actually sending them off to anyone, instead most tell me they plan on framing them and decorate a small area in their house with them”.

Maybe Eric should consider framing them himself and selling them as original finished artwork for hundreds of dollars since his customers seem to be showing him how important they are to them? Just completing this step for future clients might increase the value of his work alone. What do you think Eric should do to improve his growing paper artistry business? Can you offer a suggestion to help him?

Check out more of Eric’s artwork at http://www.flickr.com/photos/simmons3d/

The Human Trafficking Project

In Art, Current Events, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Health & Wellness, Music, The Idea, Theater/Film, WEBSITES & BLOGS, Writing on October 14, 2008 at 6:09 am

If you live in the United States right now and are feeling squeezed as a result of our economic financial melt down, remember your life could be worse. MUCH WORSE. Imagine losing your freedom and being subjected to modern day slavery known as human trafficking.

Focused on this important social cause, The Human Trafficking Project (HTP), a New York-based non-profit organization, utilizes art, innovation and technology to raise awareness to this form of modern day slavery. Their mission is to connect those working to combat human trafficking, as well as providing support to trafficking survivors.

2009 upcoming projects include a hip-hop album, a documentary and a photography project. The goal is to provide a multimedia body of work that will convey the facts, emotions and complexity of human trafficking to bring the issue into mainstream consciousness. The HTP website is in the process of developing featured trafficking facts, downloadable songs, streamable video, photographs, links to relevant news stories, and original articles and insights on the problem.

So what exactly is human trafficking?

Trafficking is defined as the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of subjecting that person to involuntary servitude, sexual exploitation, peonage, debt bondage, slavery, or other forms of exploitation. Human trafficking is the third most profitable organized crime/business, just after drug and arms trafficking. According to the United Nations, it generates an estimated 32 billion dollars annually in revenue.

And if you think that human trafficking does not occur in the United States- think again- an estimated 17,000 victims are trafficked into the United States each year. According to the U.S. State Department up to 800,000 people are trafficked around the world annually. Free the Slaves, a Washington D.C.- based nonprofit, estimates there to be up to 27 million active slaves in the world today.

This project is a pretty fantastic example of what artist can do as social entrepreneurs.

About the Artists Involved in The Human Trafficking Project

Merissa Nathan Gerson-Writer (Boulder, USA)
In May 2008, Merissa graduated with an MFA in Writing and Poetics from Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. Her writing can be seen in the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, Apothecary, and local Colorado journals. For the past four years she has worked as a farmer, a waitress, a sixth grade teacher, a bilingual tutor, a lamp-maker, an intern for the Native American Rights Fund, and a creative writing teacher at a juvenile detention facility. In May of 2004 she received a BA with a dual focus in American Culture Studies and Women and Gender Studies from Washington University in St. Louis where she headed their rape prevention initiative.

Ligaya Domingo- Filmmaker (Philippines)
Ligaya is a visual artist based in Manila. A filmmaker and advocate of women’s and children’s rights, Domingo studied Fine Arts and is currently completing her Master’s degree in Art History at the University of the Philippines. Ligaya has worked as an assistant director, production designer, art director and actress in various independent film productions. She is an active member of Sinekalye, a group of independent filmmakers and video artists from the Mowelfund Film Institute. Besides the HTP film Gimikera, Ligaya recently completed Perya, a documentary about a community of carnival workers.

Kat C. Palasi- Photographer (Philippines)
Kat is a freelance photographer who has documented women’s issues and the changing traditions of her Igorot clan, the Ibaloys of Benguet. A graduate of Communication from the University of the Philippines, she has received the Asian Cultural Council grant twice from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, which enabled her to study at the International Center of Photography in New York City. She is currently preparing to shoot a documentary on Filipino youth culture. See more of Kat’s work here.

Veejay Villafranca- Photographer (Philippines)
Raised by a photojournalist father, Veejay was attracted to the camera at an early age. In college, Villafranca worked as a staff photojournalist for the Philippine Graphic covering events such as the conflicts in the Southern provinces of Zamboanga & Sulu and the insurgencies in the Cordillera mountain range. Villafranca also covered the official visit of U.S. President George W. Bush to the Philippines in 2004. Most recently he has worked for wire agencies such as Agence France-Presse, Associated Press and Reuters news agency. Veejay was also part of the recently concluded Angkor Photo festival held in Siem Reap in Cambodia.

Meryl David- Singer (Philippines)
Meryl started singing in 2003 with an acoustic group called Soulground that regularly performed throughout Metro Manila. Wanting to explore different forms of music, she decided to form a band that would play neo-soul for the underground Filipino hip-hop scene. Meryl is currently collaborating with indie artists alongside her career as a registered nurse. “What brought me here isn’t just because of the mere fact that I sing. If it’s the truth, I’m in; if it’s not the truth, I’m out. Awareness leads to nothing without action. It’s more than cool to know what to sing for and what to sing against.”

Mike Hortaleza aka DJ Grimrock- Musician (Washington, USA)
Mike is a Filipino musician born and raised in Portland, Oregon. Influenced by hip-hop culture at a young age, Hortaleza found his talent on turntables in high school and became a DJ entering DJing competitions and practicing the art of Turntablism. He has performed with or opened for various musicians including Live Human, DJ Craze, One Be Lo, Eternia, Scratch of the Roots, Native Gunz, Sadat X and Sleep. Mikey was also the main DJ on the War of the Words tour in 2006. Mike is currently building an Oregon Chapter of the Universal Zulu Nation to promote community service through hip-hop.

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 »

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!

ENJOY CREATING!

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

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 »

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!
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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 »

Artist Finds an Entrepreneurial Connection in the Political Process

In Art, Emotional Intelligence, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, The Idea on August 11, 2008 at 9:59 am

In a year where a historic election is before us, the idea for a poster campaign came to Ray Noland in the summer of 2006, when he was home recuperating from a serious bicycle accident.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Ray had been “pedaling through an intersection when a turning car broadsided him. Noland woke the next day in the hospital with tubes in his arms, a broken cheek bone, two missing teeth and a dislocated shoulder. Recovering in bed for six weeks, he started thinking about what he wanted to do with his life. “I wanted to do something to make an impact. After the accident, I felt like, ‘Man, this is another chance at life. You better make it good.” Read the rest of this entry »

Michael Howard Studios

In Art, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS on April 2, 2008 at 4:03 am

flight_to_serenity by Michael Howard.jpg

This painting, by Michael Howard, is titled Flight to Serenity. What I love most about Michael Howard’s work is that as a non musician he is fascinated with and devoted to music.

I met Michael at the IJE (International Jazz Educators) Conference back in the 90’s. Michael impressed me with his salesmanship, approach to marketing his work and of course, with his artwork.

I worked with Michael for a number of years, commissioning his artwork for covers for my mail-order musical instrument catalogs and offering limited edition prints from originals he designed for sale to customers. The years we worked together were some of the best years I had in business.

For more about Michael Howard Studios click here.