Make Your Art, Then Make it Work!

That was the title of a maker’s forum for sharpening business skills organized by Tennessee Craft (formerly TACA) March 19 – 20, 2016, with the sponsorship of  Watkins School of Art, Design and Film; Metro Arts; Tennessee Arts Commission; Proper Bagel; City House; and Wilder.  Volunteer efforts played an essential role in the development of the programing so that all ticket sales would support educational scholarships made available through the organization.

I had the honor of moderating and participating on Sell ART:  Diversify your income streams.  The panel was amazing!  Anderson Bailey, Kim Winkle, and Melodie Grace and I each presented our personal journey to illustrate a variety of way to succeed by creating income off the work and activities we love.  Each of us come from different backgrounds, work in different media, and are having success in different aspects of creative opportunities.

Kim Winkle talking about her hybrid practice of revenue_B

Kim Winkle sharing her ‘hybrid practice’ of creating revenue.

Additional panels throughout the day addressed Speak ART: How do you reach your audience (through marketing), Share ART:  Make your art public, Show ART: Creating a successful art event, and on Sunday, Study Art: Critiques.

Panels were full of information provided by professionals from local art agencies, marketing firms and businesses owned by an assortment of creatives, and entrepreneurial artists.

Craig Nutt leads panel discussion on public art.

Craig Nutt leading the panel discussion on public art with Isaac Duncan III, and Caroline Vincent, from Nashville Metro Arts.

If you missed this one, make sure you ‘like’ Tennessee Craft on FaceBook so you’re sure to get information on the next professional development workshop.  Better yet, become a member of Tennessee Craft so you are one of the first to learn about upcoming programs.

I joined Tennessee Crafts (then it was known as TACA, a not for profit, independent state- wide organization) very shortly after moving to the Nashville area.  It was one of the best move I made in my developing art career.  I was able to get connected with a creative community and received information on professional opportunities including shows and exhibitions. I also took the plunge to become an active member, participating in volunteer leadership opportunities within the local Chapter and the governing Board.

If you don’t live in Tennessee but are interested in the supportive guidance an organization can provide, you should look for organizations in your State, or that exist Nationally or Internationally.  Some of my favorites that I also belong to are:  The Society of American Mosaic Artists (SAMA), the Community Built Association (CBS), Mid-South Sculpture Alliance , and the British Association for Modern Mosaics (BAMM).

Look around, find a good fit with an organization that compliments your goals.  Then join, and most importantly, get involved!

And who knows, maybe I’ll see you at the next conference or meeting!

 

 

 

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