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)


  • 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



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