This is cross-posted at Blogher
When I started posting this morning my intent was to feature the blog of Alisha Vincent. Vincent is a newbie to Blogher. If you go to the Business & Career blogroll you'll find her as a new member. Two hours later I'm feeling a bit conflicted.
My conflict began when I started searching for some photos of Alisha's artwork. See, Alisha's blog is about the business side of being an artist.
I was genuinely excited to share her blog. It has great advice.
You can work in an office or tell yourself that parenting is your true path in life but if creativity is something you've been hit over the head with, there is no greater or lesser priority. It's simply something you have to do. So make time for it.
...Don't avoid what's in front of you. Take what was thrust into your hand and do something with it. Make art with meaning. Make art with intention and purpose. Be creative and don't look back. And, above all, stop asking why or what you're supposed to do with this passion... and just do it, already!
And Practical Tips
So, you want to be a successful, self-supporting artist or craftsperson? And, you know a million and one things you need to work on, learn, or develop to get you to that goal?
What you need now is to SET YOUR GOALS IN STONE by BUILDING IN CONSEQUENCES.
Your graceful walk towards the goal will turn into a gallop (or in my case, a procrastination frenzy) when you take time NOW to...
... mark your calendar with the date you expect to accomplish a task;
... plan a studio open house, release party, unveiling, or opening night;
... print postcards or invitations for your open house or new work unveiling;
... invite your peers, people from your network, and those you admire to attend your event;
... post your event date and some rough details of what you hope to accomplish on your own blog.
Imagine having a party at your home or studio to announce your business name, reveal your logo, unveil your latest work, or have a group critique session.
Would it really be so difficult to just put a simple consequence on the horizon that pushes?
Mark your calendar today.
But when I went surfing to find a sample of Alisha's art to include in this post, I discovered something else out about her that made me let go of the fact that I had spent several hours reading her blog.
When you read Alisha's blog you get the distinct impression she is a working artist.
But, artists… we don’t always see it. We wrap our heart into things. We tell ourselves the minutiae IS important and that even if people don’t notice it – it’s the intent that matters. For a maintenance man, going through unrecognized motions is draining and absurd. For an artist, going through the motions with inconsequential details is still draining and absurd… we just tell ourselves it’s not because it helps justify our wasted energy or it demonstrates how dedicated we truly are.
Her About me section on her blog says a lot...
fine art, contemporary craft, creative careers, arts administration, business education, obtainable goals, realistic expectations, art education, networking, success
But its what she doesn't say that has my undies in a bundle.
Alisha is the Public Affairs Director of the The Rosen Group.
The Rosen Group, an arts marketing, publishing and advocacy agency located in Baltimore, Maryland, was founded in 1981 by Wendy Rosen. The Rosen Group was created to function similar to a trade association for American crafts. "What craftspeople needed," Rosen says, "was support from the kind of infrastructure other industries have developed — trade shows, publications, and associations – but adjusted to the needs and values of crafts artists."
Now does that negate the quality of the information in her blog? No. The blog does answer the key question she poses
Where do ART, CRAFT, and ENTREPRENEURSHIP merge? Is it possible to make artwork, sell it, and not drive yourself into premature insanity? Is an artful life more fullfilling?
The conflict is that she never tells you she is an employee of an organization that serves as a trade organization for craft arts. This is her job.
The first time I heard the expression "High Art" was in the 1970s.I was living in the Fan District of Richmond Virginia. My neighbors were art students and art professors. They were all struggling artists.
"High Art" was part of their never ending conversation because my artist neighbors were continually struggling between the desire to create "high art" and their very real desire to earn a living.
Every profession has it's own "high art'-- To me, High Art in blogging means transparency, disclosure and ethical behavior. It means taking the high road.
I just hope that the Rosen Group will see the benefit of "High Art" and start acknowledging that Alisha's Blog is a business strategy.