Artistry in Action 2017- Summary, Homework & Notes- Class #11- 5/10/17

Hello all,

We are definitely in the home stretch.  In the next couple weeks, expect to hear from me with some responses to all the homework that has been turned in so far.  Also I’m looking forward to the slate of guest artists we have visiting the class.  Here is the schedule

Monday, May 15- Composer Kenji Bunch (Sorry I mis-printed his date earlier)

Wednesday, May 24- Artist Lisa Jarrett
Wednesday, May 31- Film maker John Teton
Wednesday, June 5, media artist Dave Colangelo
A couple important notes:
1) Life Goals Notebook/Life plan back to front is listed as being due on Wednesday, May 15th. Given that there is no such date. I’m am changing the due date to Wednesday May 24th to give people a bit more time to get it done. Please either bring a hard copy to class on that date, or email it to me BEFORE that day’s class
2) Please look on the homework section of this post for the description of the Final Project assignment. I will talk about it briefly in the next class, but would advise you to start the process now, and bring any questions you have to class on Monday.

IN CLASS

  • We had a discussion regarding things that came up in the readings in Art and Fear.

 

  • We started in on the “Take A Risk” exercise.  Thanks to Tess & Brendon for sharing their work.  I mentioned that I was struck by the level of analysis and research that goes into the work that Tess does in architectural design.  I offered the idea that we in other art fields might consider how this aspect of the work might affect our processes in our own disciplines.  Also the idea that in architectural design, art is applied to solving problems, but also to changing the nature of the conversation, because by making something beautiful, you are declaring the value of individuals or groups who may not usually be seen as valuable. By asserting that they deserve art, you then have the opportunity to have a different conversation about human values. With Brendon’s film we talked about the idea that just because something is created for a niche market, does not mean it cannot have universal impact.  The values expressed by his artistic choices are in fact universals that many people who may not be knowledgeable about the subject matter may nonetheless find meaningful and inspiring.

Here is the schedule for the remaining “Take A Risk” Presentations

Mon May 15th
Leslie G
Weds May 17th
Robert B
Maeve D
Jennifer H
Dylan N
Chris T
Weds May 24
Eric M
Kelsey P
Jennifer Le
Paris B
Zoe H
Weds May 31
Lauren G
Breanne N
Hector Z
Jenna M
“Take a Risk”-Exercise –  Bring a piece of your art and share it with class  Reflect and be prepared to talk in class about the following questions about your work in relation to community:

1.Can this work provide a model for what your fellow classmates (even those who practice other disciplines or art forms) do?
2. Is there a way this work can initiate dialogue and healing?
3. What are “the Universals” in your art form.  The Universals are the core principles of your art that relate the humans beyond the work.  In jazz music, for example one universal might be called  “navigating difference.”  Another is “improvisation” This is a key part of the process of s “discovering the Universals”  The Universals provide  larger answers to the question “why do we do what we do?”  When we discover them, then we see what our art has in common with and what it has to offer to the lives of people very different from ourselves.=

 


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

1. Community Gathering Assignment- Date for Pt 1 changed to May 15th
Pt. 1. – Research places to find community in your artistic field and start a list. Bring to class for discussion.   Now Due Wednesday, May 15
Pt. 2-  Go to a gathering or event of one of these communities. (Note- this doesn’t have to be a community of people who all look like you, or do what you do.  You can be the  only person in your discipline who is there, as long as it feels like a place that might provide community for your artistic endeavors and aspirations. Report back to the class on what happened – Due Wednesday, May 31st

2. Life Goals Notebook/Life plan back to front.

Completed Project due date changed to Wednesday, May 24th

3. Find a Mentor” Project Journal Due
Choose an artist that you feel would assist you on your artistic path and make a connection with them. You want to put yourself more in an apprenticeship role, and establish an ongoing relationship.  Keep a weekly log on the process to be assessed in Week 5 and turned in at the end of the term.  Due by email or hard copy on Wednesday, June 7
4. Final Project- Artist’s Statement: Here is a revised version of the guide to creating an artist statement.  Use this guide to direct yourself through the process.

Artistry in Action –How to write an artist statement

The assignment is using this guide to direct yourself through the process, write and turn in a draft of your own Artist Statement.  It should contain the following components as referred to in the guide:

* Introduction of Self
* Title
* General Concepts
* In-depth points
* Conclusion

Turn in by email by 5:00 PM Monday June 12th.  I will be available during the final exam period for this class on Tuesday, June 13th  between 12:30 & 2:20 to discuss the artists statements with anyone who would like in-person feedback.


BOARD PHOTOS

 

Advertisements

Artistry in Action 2017- Summary, Homework & Notes- Class #9 & 10- 5/1/17 & 5/3/17

Hello all,

Sorry I missed sending the mid-week class summary this week.  Thanks for all the good work and discussion that you all offered up in class this week.  I’m glad people are using the opportunity to get caught up on assignments.  My apologies for not checking in on the homework in Wednesday’s class, but since the visit with Marcus Shelby was so interesting, I decided to keep going with that. IMPORTANT- CLASS WILL NOT MEET ON MONDAY MAY 8TH.  IN LIEU OF CLASS I AM GIVING YOU A READING ASSIGNMENT- ART & FEAR CHAPTER 4 (10 PGS) & CHAPTER 6 (10 PGS). A link to the PDF is in the homework section below, as well as on the class readings page.

Please look at the homework page for other upcoming and current assignments.  (Also just a note of reminder the Life Goals Notebook/Life plan back to front completed project is due Wednesday, May 17th)

IN CLASS

  • On Monday we started off class with the obituary assignment. Thanks to Lesley, Hector & Jennifer H. for sharing theirs.  It seems a valuable exercise to imagine the best possible life for yourself.  I encouraged people to aim high, and be willing to risk thinking of themselves as significant

 

  • We had a long discussion about how the market affects setting prices for our art and our.  We talked about how to find information about what prices the market will bear in your field.  In some fields information is published- like pay scales for musicians unions. In some fields like theater you can contact the employers and ask them about how and how much compensate artists.

 

  • I gave a mini-assignment to set a price for a work of art or an artistically-related service that you might provide, based on the discussions we have had around setting prices.

 

  •   In the last few minutes of class I briefly discussed the future assignments for the next week or so I also talked about the street was professor reading. I asked people to do selling price assignment for next class. Come in with a price that you would charge for some unit of work that you were due for service you would provide.
  • On Wednesday we did some updates on the “find a mentor” exercise.  People talked about about how they are progressing or where they are stuck. I said that it is important to be honest about where you are, even if you have made what seems like no progress.  Honestly stating where you are is progress.  We talked about taking small steps if you are stuck.  Asking your self the question: “What is the next thing I can do” is an antidote to the feeling like the task is impossible.  Also telling someone of your intentions can be helpful.  This not only makes it more real for you, but you may find yourself supported in your efforts.

 

  • Wednesday – bassist, composer & bandleader Marcus Shelby was our visiting artist.  He is someone who really exemplifies the growth mindset.  One takeaway for me was the way that  he sets very clear artistic goals and is willing to pursue them over long time frames.  He also chooses his artistic goals based on what interests him, not on what he might currently be good at.  Because of this he is always learning and growing.  Marcus mentioned many other things in his inspiring talk:  the importance of mentors, persistence,  applying for grants. We’ll recap his visit in our next class meeting for those who weren’t there.

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

1. Who is your model Exercise” : Choose 1 person in your field that you don’t know about and find out about their career. Take some notes and be prepared to discuss in class. (You can combine this with the “Survey the Field” exercise. Make this one of the 6-8 people on your list.) -Due Wednesday, May 3

2. 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

 

3. Find a Mentor” Project
Choose an artist that you feel would assist you on your artistic path and make a connection with them. You want to put yourself more in an apprenticeship role, and establish an ongoing relationship.  Keep a weekly log on the process to be assessed in Week 5 and turned in at the end of the term. Assessment Due- May 3

4.  Read the blog post The Streetwise Professor about diversifying your “store.”
5. Set a price that you might charge for some piece of artistic work, or  artistically-related service you would provide.  Bring to next class for discussion
6.  Community Gathering Assignment
Pt. 1. – Research places to find community in your artistic field and start a list. Bring to class for discussion.   Due Wednesday, May 10th
Pt. 2-  Go to a gathering or event of one of these communities. (Note- this doesn’t have to be a community of people who all look like you, or do what you do.  You can be the  only person in your discipline who is there, as long as it feels like a place that might provide community for your artistic endeavors and aspirations. Report back to the class on what happened – Due Wednesday, May 31st

BOARD PHOTOS

Legos & You.Inc. from “Lessons from a Streetwise Professor”

These are paraphrases of two articles from a great book on Music Entrepreneurship from one of my former professors  Ramon Ricker.  They are equally applicable to entrepreneurship in any artistic field. To help communicate this I have changed out all the words music or musical for “art” or “artistic”

Legos.

You know what they are, little interlocking pieces of plastic that can be combined in an infinite number of ways.  With Legos you can make things like buildings or vehicles.  If you don’t like what you make, you can continually try to improve it by rearranging the pieces; or you can take your creation apart and construct something else.  In [art] and in life, the knowledge and skills, both [artistic] and [non-artistic], which you have acquired thus far are like Legos.  You put them together to create and build a career.  You build “you.”

Of course there are many [artists] whose Lego kit is almost a duplicate of yours.  Your job is to find some pieces that are unique and special.  And just as your first attempt at constructing something with Legos may be insipid. oddly shaped and not very creative, your first attempt with your music career may be similar.  You may find that you are missing some blocks, but through self-study or with a mentor or a teacher you will be able to find what you need.

The point is that if you have [artistic]  talent, and if you have worked hard to develop it, you have the building blocks necessary to create a career.  The first step is to be [artistically] and technically solid [at your craft].  Add to that some entrepreneurial savvy and you’re on you’re your way.

You, Inc.

Professional are, in effect , a small business, offering goods and services just as any small business would.  Imaging a newly minted clarinetist from a top music school.  She may be a fine player, but what does that clarinetist really offer the marketplace?  Who will pay for what she can do?  Importantly, for the clarinetist, will it provide enough money on which to live?

Our clarinetist’s product is playing music on the clarinet, but what style of music––orchestra, chamber, klezmer, Dixieland, jazz?  If the only product she can offer is soprano clarinet (B-flat and A) and she only plays the classical and orchestral repertoire, she better be the best in the world, or at least on the way to becoming the best in the world. This type of musician is equivalent to a boutique store––offering very high quality goods but with limited selections and sharply focused on one thing.  Over time, to remain relevant, our clarinetist must expand by continually adding to her repertoire––putting more clarinet product on the shelves.  This keeps her challenged and familiar with recently composed music.  And just as a Chevrolet comes out with a new model of the same vehicle each year, our clarinetist needs to keep her core product in top shape and continually improving as she revisits previously performed pieces, making them better and better. If she wants to diversify and offer more products, she might add the smaller E-flat clarinet or the larger bass clarinet.  This creates more possible income channels for her. But as she adds these product lines the quality must be kept at an undisputedly high level.  She has to really command these instruments and not just dabble in them.

Let’s say our clarinetist has added these other instruments to her product line and things are going well.  She’s getting some work playing chamber music and is getting some calls to sub in the local orchestra.  How does she expand her store?  That depends on her background and interests.  Maybe she plays in a woodwind trio or quintet.  If she has the talent for and interest in composing and arranging she could write for her ensemble. If the music is well received, there may be a publishing avenue for her to follow.  If she is handy and dexterous she may do some minor instrument repair work.  But whatever additional products she pursues to make herself more attractive to the buying public, it is crucial for her to maintain the high quality of project that she is becoming known for.

So you see, building a career as a professional is like stocking a store with products.  None of us wants a dingy, musty store that just sells beer and cigarettes.  We want our store to sparkle, to exude quality and to be a place where the customer can get the finest there is.  As our clarinetist stocks her store, she begins to establish a reputation.  Marketing peopled say she is creating a brand.