Avoid “Artspeak”: Kirby Tepper On Talking Straight

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Kirby Tepper leading a workshop for Creative Capital’s Professional Development Program.

Kirby Tepper is a man of many talents: actor and educator are just a few of the hats he wears beyond the confines of his day job as a licensed psychotherapist. The same interpersonal expertise that makes him valuable to the clients in his practice also serves to empower his artist peers. Though he particularly enjoys working with artists, Kirby has helped people from many backgrounds, including doctors, writers and lawyers, find a more confident, direct communications style. On February 27, Kirby will be giving a webinar on Effective Negotiation For Artists, where participants will learn how to ask for what they deserve with confidence. We asked him about his theatrical inspirations and the do’s and don’ts of artist communication. 

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Who are you?: The Three Kinds of Negotiator

Are you passive, aggressive or assertive in your negotiations?

Our ability to negotiate touches every aspect of our lives, from setting boundaries in our personal relationships, to accepting a pay rate for a commission. The way we approach interpersonal exchanges can have a profound impact on our success and wellbeing.

In our upcoming webinar, Effective Negotiation for Artists, performer, writer and psychotherapist Kirby Tepper breaks down the flawed beliefs and thought patterns that can hinder negotiation and shares the cognitive approaches that hold the key to unlocking the negotiation skills in everybody. Register Here

Below is a break down of the styles and assumptions of three different types of negotiators. Which one sounds most like yourself? Continue reading

Meet Kirby Tepper: Communications Coach for Artists

Kirby Tepper leading a workshop at Artists Summer Institute 2013

Kirby Tepper leading a workshop at Artists Summer Institute 2013

Kirby Tepper is a Renaissance man: performer, songwriter and actor are just a few of the hats he wears beyond the confines of his day job as a licensed psychotherapist. The same interpersonal expertise that makes him valuable to the clients in his practice also serves to empower his artist peers.

Perhaps you’ve caught Kirby on television shows like Cheers or Wings or maybe you’ve found yourself humming along to one his songs, like “Merry Men” in Shrek. One of the hallmarks of our professional development leaders is that they are artists themselves. Kirby and our other leaders can relate to the joys and challenges of being a working artist. His own personal and professional experience serves as a resource for the artists he coaches.

Though he particularly enjoys working with artists, Kirby has helped people from many backgrounds, including doctors, writers and lawyers, find a more confident, direct communications style. On his verbal communications training, he says, “In this work I continually rediscover the need everyone has—artist or not—to acquire skills that help in developing friends and business relationships. I love working on those issues—even being specific about how to make small talk at parties or how to overcome fear in public speaking.”

Kirby Tepper

Interested in consulting with Kirby on an upcoming presentation, speaking engagement, meeting or negotiation? Click the button below for more details on Creative Capital’s Career Coaching for Artists series.

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Valuing Artists’ Work: How and When Should Artists Get Paid?

Earlier this month, I was in Minneapolis / St. Paul for Hand-in-Glove 2015, a national convening for the field of alternative art spaces, artist-led projects and artists’ organizations. My session, entitled “Art Works?,” questioned when and how artists should be compensated for their work. Each of the panelists—session host Alison Gerber (artist/sociologist), Wing Young Huie (artist), Lise Soskolne (W.A.G.E.) and myself—began the session with a positioning statement about this question. My statement follows, and a video of the full session is available above. Artists and art workers, let us know what you think about this question by leaving comments below. 

As part of my work for Creative Capital and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, I oversee both award programs, each of which provides funding and services for artists in a variety of disciplines. I am also considering this question from my perspective after 25 years of working in the cultural arena, including the curatorial departments of various museums, the ten years that I worked as a freelance theater, TV and film designer and producer and the four and a half years I owned my own gallery. Continue reading

5 Quick Tips: Negotiating for Artists

Don’t buy into the myth that getting to make your work is payment enough. Artists have the right to fair compensation for their time. Determine how much you realistically should be paid to successfully execute your idea and negotiate the terms that make it possible. On May 2, Creative Capital will launch Effective Negotiation for Artists, a webinar to help you get to “yes.”

No one is a better advocate for you than yourself. If you don’t ask for what you deserve, no one is going to hand it to you. Creative Capital consultant and PDP leader, Andrew Simonet put together 5 quick tips to help you prepare the negotiation process for your next project.

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Artist Labor & Compensation: Standards & Negotiating Tips

Artist labor rights and compensation are hot-button topics these days. In light of this conversation, we wanted to share some basic negotiating tips from our Professional Development Program curriculum, adapted from Roger Fisher’s book Getting to Yes:

  1. You must be able to walk to win.
  2. Understand the other person’s position.
  3. Do your homework to gather as much information as you can about the situation and others like it. Read other contracts and research standards and going rates for work in your area.
  4. Brainstorm different options. You may come up with novel solutions that meet both parties’ needs and interests.
  5. Rehearse your presentation/request.
  6. Remain factual, respectful and not emotional.
  7. Reason, and be open to reason.
  8. Never yield to pressure if you do not feel good about the terms of the agreement.

Do you have other negotiating tips for artists or advice about compensation/labor standards? Please share your thoughts by commenting below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.