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A Love Letter to the ARTS from humankind on Valentine’s Day

14 February, 2017  | St. Valentine’s Day

My Beloved,

Today, I am filled with doubt and fear.  The world is filled with so many distractions, and I feel I just can’t bear this sense of hopelessness and confusion.  There are so many of us working hard just to survive.  So many in search of purpose and meaning. The doubts of change are overwhelming.

I mention my hopelessness as though I have already given up. But, because of you, I refuse to give in to the darkness. Because of you, I still believe. You inspire me. 

The sweet sound of your music soothes my soul, lifts me up, and moves my body to dance.  With you I feel joy, and I feel free!  

The colors you paint for me go deep inside of me, and I am able to reflect on intimate parts of myself that no one else but you can see or touch. I need you.

And you are so brave.  When you stand on stage in front of so many people without shame or ego, under those big bright lights, I know you have done it all just for me. Your beautiful creations bring me to tears and your vulnerability gives me the freedom to laugh out loud.  You understand me.

And your words. Oh, how you speak to me! I want to listen. Your words take me on journeys I could not have imagined without you. Your stories tuck me in at night, and your poems wake me in the morning with the motivation to face the day head on and without fear.

Yes, all that you are gives me hope.  Because of you I see light and beauty. When I am with you I am swept away from unwanted distractions, and even the ugliness of the world makes sense to me then.

With you I feel again.  I feel connected to myself and to others.  I feel like me…human.  I am alive!  

Surely, you must already know of my love and devotion.

On Valentine’s Day it is customary to shower the ones we love with chocolates and flowers.  I know you need more than these simple luxuries. So, dear one, my gift to you is all of me.

Take all of me, and use my heart, its pain and its joy, for your inspiration.  And I beg you, never leave me.

Yours always

 

Copyright 2017 Arts Meet Bizness
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Do you know what’s happening in your creative industry?

 Written by Holly Blondin, Founder of Arts Meet Bizness

If not, then it’s time to take a look.

An important part of being a professional artist is staying up-to-date on the trends, innovations, and the “who’s who” in your creative industry. Knowing more about your industry will give you a competitive advantage in your business.

If you are an artist who cares deeply about using your art and creativity to make a social impact, also being informed about what is happening around the world is crucial to your success.  Understanding world issues and how people all over the globe are being effected increases your capacity to empathize, connect, and communicate with the people you are trying to reach.

Today, technology is making a powerful impact on the arts. Are you familiar with the new tools being used in your industry? How are these tools being applied? How are they shifting and shaping ideas? Are they changing how work is being made and also how it is being received? What are the opportunities, advantages, and challenges being faced by the community in your creative industry as a result of technology? What role do you play in the evolution of your industry?

Each creative industry is unique and has its own set of vocabulary, resources, and systems for playing in the marketplace. In order to gain a large understanding of what is happening around you,  it is not enough to only follow your own Facebook or Twitter feeds to receive information. It takes a deeper dive into the heart of your creative industry, both locally and globally, to see the big picture.

There are plenty of resources available to you, but knowing which ones to use can be overwhelming. Start here:
– Trade magazines (online and print)
– Industry blogs and newsletters
– Universities with arts programs. You don’t always have to be a student or alumni to participate in expert talks and interactive workshops, or read department newsletters and university blogs.
– Union newsletters and websites. You don’t always have to be a member to access important information.
– Networking events, meet-ups, conferences, expert talks, master classes…and Creative MorningsTED talks for innovation!
– Non-profit arts organizations dedicated to empowering artists in your industry with up-to-date resources and information
– Attend shows, presentations, exhibitions, readings, etc. of other artists, arts organizations, and institutions

The most obvious, but often the least used resource, is the person standing right next to you. Don’t be afraid to ask other professionals questions, and don’t be stingy with your own knowledge and experience. Sharing knowledge and experience with one another makes a stronger community, and offers a richer artistic experience for everyone.

Here are a few questions to get your creative industry investigation started:

Are you familiar with the history of your industry?

What are the latest trends?

“Who’s Who” – Who are the big players in your industry – present, past, and future?

What is the ‘market value’ of your work? What is a fair price in your industry? How much can you charge clients, expect from a contract, or ask for when negotiating?

What are some of the most recent innovations in your creative industry? Who is creating, designing, and publicizing them? What resources, tools, and inspiration did they apply to their ideas?

What outside influences are effecting your industry? (technology, world issues, societal behavior)

Your investigation is an ongoing process with no end. As time progresses so do we. Our creative industries are constantly evolving. Knowing what you want to do with the information you collect can help you move your career and your business forward, or it can help you to change the world. The decision is up to you!

Investigating your industry is a part of Exercise 1 in our 3-part exercise to build your ‘Artist Business Plan’ – check it out!

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An Artist Business Plan is about committing to the ‘Do’

Written by Holly Blondin, Founder of Arts Meet Bizness


Making a living as an artist is a lot of hard work
, and we often take for granted that being a creative professional also means being an entrepreneur. Managing your career decisions, in addition to making creative decisions, means being the CEO of your own small business. Or, think of it as being the Artistic Director of your own creative destiny.

Big or small, every successful business develops a business plan at some point. You don’t have to be a business professional to do this effectively. In fact, developing a plan is really just about making the commitment to do the work that will move your artistic career forward. Business plans include setting goals, taking actionable steps to meet business objectives, and creating milestones as a way to measure your success along the way.

A part of your Artist’s Business Plan is creating a Unique Artist Description, which involves understanding yourself, your business, and, most importantly, understanding how what you do “fits” into the world around you. What is happening in your creative industry? Are you using obsolete practices to go after your dreams? Are you following the crowd when you should be blazing a trail?

There are no rules on the road less travelled, and sometimes you don’t “fit” because you are the one responsible for leading and creating the future.

Of course, writing a plan cannot predict the future or ensure your success. And truthfully, there isn’t any one thing, no ‘silver bullet’, or piece of advice out there that delivers your success on a silver platter.

What creating a Unique Artist Description and Artist Business Plan does say is, “ I believe in my work as an artist, my dreams have value, and I can make them a reality. I commit to doing the work.”

Follow these helpful exercises to build your own Artist Business Plan, and start committing to the ‘do’.

1. Unique Artist Description – Knowing your business and what you want from your career  Begin Now
2. Time & Money – Understanding your most valuable resources Begin Now
3. Road Map to Success – Setting a framework of actionable steps Begin Now

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7 Reasons Why Your Work As An Artist Matters

Written by Holly Blondin, Founder of Arts Meet Bizness

 

1.  You Are Worth $2.25 trillion 

Your work is significant to the world economy, and it has been proven. If you work in Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI), you are a part of the Creative Economy.  In 2013 the creative economy employed nearly 30 million people worldwide and generated $2.25 trillion in revenue. That is 3 percent of the world’s GDP. More, the work of CCI has an impact on other industries, like tourism and manufacturing, which also make important contributions to the world economy.

2.  Your Talents and Expertise Are Helping Shape Human Development

Studies have shown that arts learning and engagement improve behavioral and academic outcomes as well providing health benefits. Yet the arts have been cut from educational programs for over two decades. Thanks to the continuous work of arts advocates, arts educators, and researchers to prove the importance the arts have in human development, the arts are finally making a comeback in education. Education is evolving, and putting creativity and arts in the forefront. The development of programs like STEAM, which adds ‘ART’ to the STEM program (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), and the implementation of Design Thinking in K-12 programs, are making great progress in education to engage students in the benefits of arts learning. These new educational systems need innovative minds to design them, and qualified teachers to educate the students of future generations.

3.  There’s No Business Like Your Business

In the new global marketplace big businesses have become dependent on innovation in order to sustain their competitive advantage. They rely heavily on creative teams for innovation. The field of design has especially taken a leading role in this transformation. In recent years there has been a race by Fortune 500 companies to acquire design firms and leading creative talent, and build their own in-house design teams. Bottom line: Big Businesses need creative minds. And that means more employment opportunities for artists.

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