It’s difficult for many artists to think rigidly about time management, goal setting, branding, marketing, social media strategy and other decidedly business-like actions, but that’s exactly what a new, free artist’s education series from Creative Exchange proposes artists do.
Work of Art, as the video and workbook series is called, was produced from a professional development and entrepreneurship curriculum that has been taught to artists at colleges and cultural institutions for the past five years. Based on input from working artists, the curriculum aims to give both current and would-be artists the tools to run a successful creative business.
Creative Exchange, the organization that developed the Work of Art curriculum, is a national organization that connects and educates artists and community leaders in an effort to strengthen communities at a local level.
Topics covered in the workbook and video series include career planning, time management, portfolios, marketing, social media, pricing, recordkeeping, legal considerations, funding and business plan writing. In each topic category, the workbook suggests written exercises that will help an artist do things like define their brand, set goals and make personal assessments. One of the workbook tasks, for example, is to create an “Accountability Mailer.” The artist is encouraged to define goals for a six-month period, and to mail or give a copy of those goals to a person who will hold them accountable.
It may be difficult for the creative-minded to see their life and work structured like a Six Sigma certification course. However, with a focus on clear thought, organization and goal-driven work, the Work of Art toolkit has the potential to give artists more of what they really want and need: time in the day to focus on their creative work.
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