If you haven’t noticed yet, this first month of content is about building the foundation of aftrART. I'm all about clarity, and I want to make sure you have a good understanding of what we’re getting into here.
However, I’ve failed to mention the most important part.
Sure I’ve hinted at it here and there, but I know you must be wondering…
What exactly do I plan on doing here?
What subject matter am I covering? What topics can you expect to learn about on aftrART?
Well, to give you an idea of what to expect, I’ve gone through my long list of video/blog topics loosely categorized them below.
Here are the 9 main categories of information I’ll be writing and vlogging about in the upcoming months. Keep in mind, this is in no particular order (yet). But if there’s something you’d like me to cover sooner rather than later (even if you don’t see it on this list), you’re more than welcome to let me know in the comments.
1. Writing In The Arts
Writing is an art in itself.
But even if you’re not a writer, having some written communication skills is practically required to become successful in the arts, regardless of your discipline (unless, of course, you have a fabulous writer friend that is willing to help you out and proofread or write for you).
Think about it. You have to write artist statements, artist bios, cover letters, essays for award or grant submissions, exhibition proposals, CV’s/Resumes…and that’s just the bare minimum.
And if you’re thinking about trying to build any kind of blog or social media presence, you’re gonna have to add a whole other layer on top of that.
Trust me. If there’s one thing you don’t want to neglect, it’s the words that are going to support your art. And even if you’re already a great writer, there’s always room for growth.
Well, it just so happens that I write for a living, and that’s what I’ll be talking about quite a lot in the upcoming months.
Aren’t you excited to talk about taxes?!
I know I am!
Yeah…there’s a touch of sarcasm there.
But I don’t want to get audited, and I’m sure you don’t either. Plus, that’s been the leading requested topic from the survey results.
Over the years, I’ve done freelance work, sold my art, worked on contract, had more than 2 jobs in a single year, been awarded sums of money from organizations, and claimed art supplies.
And guess what… all of that stuff has to go on your taxes.
That’s why that’ll be a BIG topic of discussion here on aftrART in January.
When I decided to leave photography (as a job, not an art), I knew that I wanted to enter marketing.
Because I had a hunch that marketers and businesspeople had some valuable knowledge that could help artists grow their audience and extend their reach.
And after working at a digital marketing agency for the last 6 months, I’m happy to report that I was right.
I’m excited to start reframing some of the knowledge and concepts I’ve learned in my new career so that they apply to what I’m most passionate about — the arts.
I’ve always been interested in ways artists can make money (I mean, what artist isn’t).
But there’s a lot more to it than just art. Fortunately, I find all of the business stuff really fascinating.
I’ll share what I know about business forms, business plans, budgeting, plus I’m searching for experienced arts entrepreneurs to share their experiences with you.
5. Social Media, Websites and SEO
In reality, there’s more than enough content for each of these to be considered their own category, but in the interest of simplicity, I’ve lumped them all together.
Sure, I ended up leaving the Digital Culture program to be a photography major…but I absolutely love this stuff.
Again, this ties into my day-job as a digital marketer. And I know this topic seems pretty straightforward to us millennials that have grown up with the internet, but there’s a lot more strategy to it that meets the eye.
6. Planning & Goal Setting
Even though things rarely turn out the way I expect them to, anyone who knows me personally knows that I am an obsessive planner.
I’m also a strong believer in goals (and you should be too).
We’ll get into this topic more in the near future, so I’ll just leave it here for now.
7. Art & Accessibility
I grew up in Yuma, Arizona. We had a surprisingly decent art center, but the art scene there was typically geared towards appealing to the winter visitors (think cheesy craft fair).
I consider myself lucky to have had the exposure to art that I had growing up, because Yuma wasn’t the kind of place that made me think I could pursue my dreams of becoming an artist. And that had a lot to do with fact that the largely working-class population didn’t really “get” art.
That’s why I’ve always perceived the art world a little differently. While I definitely “get it,” I know that sometimes art is presented in alienating ways.
But it doesn’t have to be.
Even when I was working on Young Mothers, I was constantly searching for ways to get my work in front of (and appreciated by) people that don’t frequently engage in conversations about art.
And as my own ideas have developed about aftrART, I’ve remained committed to discovering ways to make art more accessible.
8. Art & Education
I am a student at heart.
I loved art school, and sometimes I find myself dreaming about going back to get my masters.
But I’m also aware that pursuing an education in the arts isn’t for everyone, either because they don’t feel it’s for them or they face obstacles that prevent them from going.
So how do we provide comprehensive resources to artists that haven’t gone to school, but want to learn?
This gets back to the whole concern of accessibility. For example, I know lots of people in my hometown that are brilliantly creative, but with a community college that can only offer so much, no concrete art community to work with, and a lack of financial resources to move away and go to art school, they end up feeling stuck.
Art has the power to move people and change lives, so the more opportunities we can create to help artists grow creatively, the better.
9. Connecting Creativity to Opportunity
There’s so much you can do with your creativity, some of which are in the arts, and others are outside.
Take me for example: I got a BFA in Photography, and now I work in marketing.
But of course, lots of artists want to make money off of their art, and I think that’s awesome too!
Either way, I want to help artists achieve their goals, whatever they may be. And that begins with exposing early-career artists to the various paths art can take them.
So here’s where interviews with working artists and creative professionals comes in, along with some of my own advice based off of my personal experiences.
THERE ARE SO MANY IDEAS FLOATING IN MY HEAD, THAT THIS BARELY SCRATCHES THE SURFACE.
But I hope it’s enough to get you excited about what’s to come!
If you have any topics you’d like to see covered on aftrART, please let me know in the comments. And if you happen to specialize in any of the categories above, I’d love to collaborate with you on a post or video — just reach out to me via email!