Artistry in Action 2017- Summary, Homework & Notes- Class #6- 4/19/17

Hello all,

Thanks for an excellent class on Wednesday.  We are still looking at issues of how to research your field and  how to enter the profession, as well as our potential role as artists. This are all tricky subjects as the are central some of our goals and dreams with our art.  As you do the homework this week pay particular attention to fixed mindset thoughts and try to expand your growth mindset. Small steps are important.


  • We started off with elevator speeches.  Thanks to Lesley, Hector, Jen & Eric for sharing theirs, and to the group for some astute observations.  Some of the takeaways

-Use I statements- talk about yourself not the art.

-Find a universal connections.

-Say what you do

-Don’t be afraid to be bold or provocative

-The elevator speech should naturally lead into more questions

  • We spent a lot of time looking at the idea of Economic Chains. We looked at a particular industry (photography) and chose one of the places money flows.  We thought of some “upstream” links- places where money flows in to photographers (who pay’s them), and some of the intermediaries. Then we looked at some of the “downstream” points- those people that photographers pay.  (See Board Photo)  We talked about how it is often easier to see places to participate downstream, ie; if photographers need to rent photo studios then you can figure out a way to be the person who provides them space.  The bigger challenge is to understand and figure out the chain upstream.  That is where the a higher percentage of the money is.  I also mentioned people like union organizers whose role is to advocate for the photographers, or for the industry. They participate all throughout the chain.


  •       I presented my idea of the 3-legged stool which is the idea that to sustain themselves as artists you will need 3 things:

A) An ecosystem around your Art–I put out the proposition that the art leg — the tools, environment, resources to do your art — be something that you commit to doing without the expectation that you will earn money from it.

B) To sustain their artistic practice over a lifetime artists need a means to meet cash flow. You can call this a “day job” if you want, but it doesn’t have to take place during the day.   Artists need a connection to a node of activities toward which our society has decided to direct resources. These include feeding people, healing people, educating people, governing people, entertaining people, selling goods to people.  This cash flow activity  may or may not use the same skills you use in making your art.  It may or may not involve doing many of the same actual activities you do in making your art.  It may be related to your art, a spinoff from your art, or the polar opposite of your art, but I propose you not think of it as your art.

C) Some type of investment/passive income. This can come from investing (both financial investing and investments in relationships (including marriage & family) , or investments in education) entrepreneurship, intellectual & real property, or building community and support networks.

  • I talked some more about Bureau of Labor Statistics & O-Net  (These are resources for the 2nd leg of the stool) We looked at“Data Resources on Arts Employment” page on blogBureau of Labor Statistics is the official govt. source of data on occupations and jobs. in the US. This is the place to go to research employment, salary and other info on almost any field you can imagine.  Want to know how many sculptors are working in Vermont vs. Iowa. This is the place you can find out.  Want to find out the avg annual salary for Art Directors in L.A. vs. Atlanta.  You can get all that here.

This link is the main page for Occupational Employment Statistics that has national research on any jobs Include the best cities & states to find them, employment trends (is this a growing or shrinking field?) average salary, and lots of other info. From here you are a couple clicks from whatever you want to find out. 

This links are to the Occupational Outlook Handbook page that is specific to Arts-related fields.  Clicking here will get you descriptions of jobs in the arts & design fields (1st link) and the entertainment field (actors, dancers, musicians, directors, etc), what the work entails, skills and education required, how to get into the field, From here you can drill down to specific info about the field. ThiThi

O-Net Online is a resource for specific annual occupation data on every field in which statistics are kept. This link is to the O-NET Online Cluster listing for Arts, Audio-visiual & Communications-

HOMEWORK  (Be sure to refer to Master homework list for the homework that is due next class, including:

There was no new homework today,  but lots of things are due in the next week or so. Please contact me if any of this is not clear

  1. I updated the link below to the  two blog posts I asked you to comment on.  Let me know if it works Write a comment to one of them in the comments section

2. Survey the Field Assignment-

Assignment: Look up 6-8 individuals who do what you aspire to do.  Start a list that includes their names, brief description of their work and the professional affiliations.  Be as specific as you can to your particular goals- for ex: not just any 6 jazz piano players, but piano players who play jazz & other styles, who also receive grants for composition, who live in New York Area.
Submit assignment by email by Friday, April 21st,  Bring print out to class for discussion on Monday, April 24th

3. “Economic Chain” Homework

Assignment: Make a diagram of the economic chain of your industry. What and who are the places where money flows from & to.  Remember there are many different revenue streams in every industry. For the purposes of this assignment, focus on a few. The goal is to begin to understand the flow of money in different areas around your art.  The more places in the chain that you can participate, the greater the possibilities for you to increase that revenue.

Bring the diagram  to class for discussion on Monday, April 24th

4. Research Your Field Assignments

On O-Net Online go to this link to the Arts, Audio/Video Technology & Communications on O-Net

or this link to Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations on BLS

Assignment: Choose one of the job fields at these links and 

A. Look for a cash-flow work area.  It can be your art form, a related field, or something different. Look at BLS for a list of work area.  Look at O-Net for a summary of skills, knowledge, education, training & other info related to the specific job.
B. Look for cities that might be good for what you want to do  Look not just at your field, but look for cities that have related communities in common & networks that might be useful.  Check out prospects in two US cities that you think you might be interested in living in.
C. Research what do jobs pay in different area of the country. Find out what the going rate is for 3 jobs in your industry.
All 3 of these assignments are Due Monday, May 1

5. Cash Flow Assignment

Assignment-  Figure out your cash flow.  Use one of the following online calculators to come up with your current monthly cash flow.  Do a second iteration that reflects your estimate for immediately after you graduate.  Print out a copy and be prepared to discuss in class- Due Wednesday, May 3





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s