A Page From Our Handbook: Best Practices for Your Artist Website

Internet for Artists Workshop

Artist Leader Brad Stephenson giving website advice to a participant at an Internet for Artists Workshop in New York City.

The following post comes from the Professional Development Program’s (PDP) Artist’s Tools and Internet For Artists handbooks, which are used in our workshops. If this piece leaves you wanting more, you’re in luck! On Monday December 15, PDP leader and artist Sue Schaffner hosts a webinar on Web, Blog & Email Essentials. For more information on Creative Capital’s workshops and webinars, see our online calendar.

Websites allow you to exponentially broaden visibility for you and your work. Your artist website can help create a conversation around what you do, and allow you to control the way your work is received and appropriated. Continue reading

Authentic Branding: An Exercise in Landing Your Brand

Authentic Branding

Participants in a recent PDP workshop in Miami, led by Maxine Lapiduss.

According to PDP leader, strategist and entertainment industry veteran Maxine Lapiduss, “If you have the intention of making a living from doing what you love, it is crucial that you ‘Land Your Brand’ and clearly communicate what makes you unique, special and different.” On Thursday, November 20th at 7pm EST, Maxine will lead a Creative Capital webinar on Authentic Branding. In this session, you’ll learn to use your unique story, essence, and experience to sculpt your message  and presentation, making it easier for your audience, or gallery owners, or patrons to find you.

To give you a taste of what to expect from the webinar, here is an exercise drawn from Maxine’s latest endeavor, Worship The Brand, an online community that supports and encourages artists (and crafters!) to showcase brand-inspired art, offering cash prizes as well as a wealth of tips and resources for all artists.
Continue reading

Tips & Tools for Artists: What Are Award Panelists Looking For?

VIDEO: More application tips from Ruby Lerner

Here at Creative Capital, our staff and consultants from across the country are preparing to enter the panel stage of our award application process for the visual artists and filmmakers who submitted Letters of Inquiry in February. (Yes, it really does take us nearly a year to select our Awardees!) As they convene, what will our panelists be looking for in an application? What are some common mistakes they see? Keep reading to get the answers from four former panelists: Erin Cosgrove, Los Angeles-based artist and 2008 Film/Video Awardee; Annie Han, Seattle-based artist, 2005 Visual Arts Awardee and Creative Capital Board Member; David Filipi, Curator & Director of Film/Video at Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, OH; and Irene Hofmann, Phillips Director and Chief Curator at SITE Santa Fe.

Maura Guyote: What qualities are you looking for when you read an application for the first time? What kinds of writing or ideas jump out at you while you’re reviewing an application?

Irene Hofmann: Clarity and directness stand out in applications. A concise summary of your project described up front sets up the entire application with strength. Think of it as your “elevator pitch” right in the first lines of your application. Use those first sentences to grab your reader. Continue reading

Kickstarter School: Learning to Connect

Kickstarter: "Bring Creative Projects to Life"On Monday, October 20th at 7pm EST, Kickstarter Art Program Director Stephanie Pereira presents her “Kickstarter School” webinar, an invaluable primer on how to bring a Kickstarter project to life. Deep dive into a case study of a successful project and learn how to structure a campaign, what kinds of rewards work best, how to spread the word, and other helpful tips. Below, Stephanie shares a few of her notes on what makes a strong Kickstarter campaign, as well as examples of some successfully funded projects.

Kickstarter can be a powerful tool for artists and arts organizations. If used well, your Kickstarter project is not only an opportunity to raise money for an important project, but also a way to introduce a project to a new audience. Continue reading

Reaching Constituencies: Brainstorming a Targeted Marketing Strategy

Artists in Conversation

Marketing yourself and your artistic work can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, marketing may be closer to your creative process than you think. 

The following exercise, developed by Ruby Lerner, Creative Capital President and Executive Director, is a step-by-step method for using brainstorming (and other people!) to help define and expand your audience. 

Continue reading

Putting Your Best Face Forward: Smartphone Photos for Your Artist Website

Sue SchaffnerOn Monday, December 15th at 7pm EST, artist Sue Schaffner presents her “Web, Blog & Email Essentials” webinar, an overview of best practices for your website, blog, and email marketing and communications. Below, Sue offers some tips on how to create a professional-level bio photo with your smartphone, a big step in creating a great first impression online.

Being an artist doesn’t mean taking your personality out of your work. People love to know about your process. How did you do that? Why did you do that? What’s it like to be you? Without answers to some of those basic questions, it’s difficult to become connected to your work. Continue reading

Artists Raising Kids: Thoughts On How to Have it All

Andrew Simonet & Family

Choreographer Andrew Simonet, his wife Elizabeth, and their sons Nico Wolf & Jesse Tiger. (Photo courtesy of Andrew Simonet)

On September 29th, choreographer (and parent) Andrew Simonet will present “Artists Raising Kids,” a webinar dedicated to helping current and future parents navigate this exciting journey. 

This summer, Creative Capital conducted a survey entitled “Artists-As-Parents” to find out more about how working artists sustain their practice while also being busy parents (or prepare themselves to do so as parents-to-be). We received nearly 600 responses, giving us a good idea of the profile of artist-parents in our network, the challenges they face, and the strategies they use to maximize their time and productivity. Some responses that stood out:

“I was repeatedly told by curators and other artists as I raised my kids that ‘we don’t have time for people who aren’t serious’ and ‘well, obviously you chose a family over a career’… Artists like to think of themselves as politically sensitive and aware. In reality, when it comes to age, kids, or class they reveal significant prejudices.” (Anonymous)

Continue reading

Social Media: Small Tips for Big Impact

Eve Mosher, HighWaterLine

Eve Mosher at work on her “HighWaterLine” project in New York City. To raise awareness about climate change, Mosher painted chalk lines showing where sea levels are predicted to rise to in neighborhoods throughout New York.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Monday, December 8th at 7:00 pm EST, Eve Mosher will present her Creative Capital webinar Social Media—How to Be Everywhere All the Time.

Many people have mixed feelings about social media, but the bottom line is that it can be a useful tool for artists. Like any other tool we use to share, show or promote our work, social media has the ability to connect more people to the work we are creating as well as to provide greater support for our work. I myself reluctantly came to social media about 7 or 8 years ago. I quickly learned that it was, in fact, a pretty interesting and amazing tool, and since then I’ve learned a few things from trial and error and I’ve learned from others as I share my experience through Professional Development workshops and webinars. Here are a few tips for thinking about social media:

Do’s:

Be yourself. Let your personality come through in your posts, images and comments. Our culture has changed and the lines between professional and personal are blurred. People want to know more about the person behind the creative work produced. Let your life seep in. Continue reading

Grants & Residencies for Writers: Giving Your Work Some Space

Participants in a Creative Capital workshop in IowaOn Monday, December 1st at 7:00 pm EST, Ethan Nosowsky will present his Creative Capital webinar, Applying for Grants & Residencies: Strategies for Writers.

I’ve been editing books for almost twenty years, and I can’t count the number of writers I’ve worked with who simply would not have gotten published without a well-timed grant or a much-needed residency at an artist’s colony. Being able to teach one less class, or having the time to clear your head and get down to work among other artists can provide the opportunity for a breakthrough that will allow you to finish a manuscript.

I’ve served as a judge on panels for many awards and residencies over the years, and I’ve often seen bad applications sink the chances of otherwise qualified writers. It’s important to realize that writing a strong application is a learned skill, and in my Creative Capital webinar, Applying for Grants & Residencies: Strategies for Writers, I try to explain what it is that prize committees and residency panels are looking for, and I offer tips that will help you put your best foot forward. Continue reading

Real-Life Budgeting: Building a Sustainable Life as an Artist

Andrew Simonet in Headlong Dance Theater's performance work, "Hotel Pool"
Andrew Simonet in Headlong Dance Theater’s performance work, “Hotel Pool”

On Monday, September 15th at 7:00pm EST, Andrew Simonet presents the Creative Capital webinar “Real-Life Budgeting.”

Stereotypes about artists not knowing how to manage money are common. Some are even rooted in a grain of truth. But most of the time it’s not that artists are actually bad with their money, it’s that artists practice a profession in which making art and making a living are not emphasized as parallel endeavors. But they should be, and Simonet’s webinar is an introductory course that unites these two important pursuits for practicing artists.

From 1993 until 2012, Simonet was the co-founder and choreographer of the Philadelphia’s Headlong Dance Theater company (2002 Performing Arts grantees), which is known for producing works that comment on contemporary culture. During that span of time as co-founder and choreographer, Simonet had the distinct honor of making a living as an artist who created experimental dance theater. Continue reading