Artistry in Action 2017- Summary, Homework & Notes- Class #2 4/5/17

Hello all,

Thanks for a very wide-ranging class on Wednesday.  I feel like we got the term off to a good start. Below is a summary of our class discussion. The homework that was introduced in this class, and whiteboard photos from the class.  See you all next week.



We started off the class talking a bit about the role of volunteer boards in the arts.  I mentioned that boards are one of the key component of all non-profit (and many for-profit) enterprises. The role of the board is to govern, administer, fundraise and support the organization.  Boards are a great way to see the inner workings of your field.  They need a range of talents to function well. You don’t have to have prior experience.   You don’t have to have a lot of money, just an interest and willingness to be involved.  (See whiteboard photo)

I gave the class 2 questions to reflect on for the coming week. These are ideas that we will talk about in next week’s classes.  One addition to the homework found below is the following short assignment.

Take at least one of these items and post your thoughts in the comments section of this blog post

  1. What conditions/environment/attitudes do you need to set up for you to do your best work?

  2. What is an audacious choice you could make that would forward your work?

I shared a bit about my audacious choice to trek a piano into the Elliott State Forest.  If you are interested you can hear more about it on this Think Out Loud Broadcast.  I’m in the final 15 minutes.

Next class we will spend some time discussing the blog posts. I gave you to read this week. If you haven’t already read them, I encourage you to do so. I’ve started taking a look at your responses and am enjoying the different perspectives people are offering on the questions. These posts bring up central questions we grapple with.  How we approach them will affect how we perceive opportunities surrounding us to bring our art into the world.   I encourage us to examine these issues from different sides.  To try on different decisions, and talk to others in order to help us see flexibly and think non-dogmatically will help us in pursuing our path.

We divided into groups of 3 or 4 and had small group discussions on the following questions:

  • What are your expectations for your future in the arts?
  • What is the role of Art in your life?
  • What are the myths about art and artists in your field?

Some of the class responses are in the Whiteboard photo below

For the remainder of class i talked about some of the long term homework assignments.

Details and due dates for these assignments be found on the Homework Masterlist page

  • I introduced the concept of Mindsets.  Many have found these ideas around mindsets as transformative.  I think it is particularly impactful for artists, as we were often subjected to the fixed mindset growing up, and can benefit greatly from employing growth mindset thinking.

HOMEWORK- Please check the homework page on the blog for the definitive list of all homework for the term.

  1. Read the following 2 blog posts about Mindset

Basic information about mindsets

4 steps to achieve the growth mindset

A. Write a one paragraph summary of the Fixed & Growth Mindset – Due Monday, April 10

      B. Take a week and notice your thoughts.  Where do Fixed mindset thoughts come up?  Keep   a log and bring it in for group discussion in class- Due Wednesday, April 12
2. Start a log or journal- as is suggested in Steal like an Artist, Not graded. but you can share what you want to – Goal is to write in it every day
3. Make a list of tasks/skills required in your art. These can be intrinsic to the job, but also supportive. ie taking auditions for a classical musician, managing skills for a bandleader. Rate your current level of those skills 1-10. How can you apply the growth mindset to improve?  – Due Monday, April 10
4. Write your own obituary exercise.- Due by email, Friday, April 29
5. Life Goals Notebook/Life plan back to front.  Stage 1 Outline – Due Weds. April 19


Check the Reading Assignments for the term to see what upcoming readings are due.  Order “The War of Art” & Living & Sustaining A Creative Life from Amazon. Everything else can be downloaded from the blog page.

2 thoughts on “Artistry in Action 2017- Summary, Homework & Notes- Class #2 4/5/17

  1. In my art practice I need to feel comfortable in the space I am working in. I need to have a clear head, making sure I have had time to myself to think. I also need to have a support group around me to talk about ideas and be inspired by each other. One of my audacious choices would be to start and art collective and host monthly shows that showcase artists and bands.


  2. 1.What conditions/environment/attitudes do you need to set up for you to do your best work?

    -well fed
    -warm drink
    -good natural lighting
    -not cold temperature in space
    -feeling calm and focused
    -to do lists with visual to see what needs to get done
    -mentally happy is preferred
    -in the morning right after waking up
    -calming music usually pandora
    -working alone in my own space
    -taking breaks to step back, eat, think, rework, admire
    -regular checking with mentor
    -continual self-reflection work
    -engagement with other creatives

    2. What is an audacious choice you could make that would forward your work?
    -Signing up to teach a workshop within the next month with an organization in the Portland State community such as the Women’s Resource Center


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