84 episodes

The THRIVING ARTIST PODCAST is a feature of the Clark Hulings Fund for visual artists, which exists to provide training, professional introductions, and funding for working artists, to turn working artists into THRIVING artists. Tune in for insights from other artists, art industry experts, art collectors, and business specialists. Don't be a starving artist, be a thriving artist!

The Thriving Artist The Clark Hulings Fund

    • Visual Arts

The THRIVING ARTIST PODCAST is a feature of the Clark Hulings Fund for visual artists, which exists to provide training, professional introductions, and funding for working artists, to turn working artists into THRIVING artists. Tune in for insights from other artists, art industry experts, art collectors, and business specialists. Don't be a starving artist, be a thriving artist!

    Selling Art in The New Normal: Marketplace, Native Communities, and Virtual Reality

    Selling Art in The New Normal: Marketplace, Native Communities, and Virtual Reality

    

    The Virtual Edition of The Santa Fe Indian Market offers an amazing atmosphere of delight and awe at a time when most of us are cooped up in our own worlds of social distance. SWAIA Executive Director Kim Peone joins The Clark Hulings Fund’s Executive Director Elizabeth Hulings, Artpsan Founder & Director Eric Sparre, and leader of the Vircadia Implementation Project & CHF Board Member, Steve Pruneau. Tune in for a wide-ranging discussion lead by host Daniel DiGriz about how all four organization are actualizing possibilities for collaboration and community in the digital world, how Native Artists are poised to flourish in this year’s market and beyond, a profile of the events and gallery spaces in NDN World, and how all of these partner organizations are championing artists as they emerge as leaders and innovators in our changing economy.

    To purchase the artists’ work, visit swaia.artspan.com.

    Beginnings: How Virtual Edition of SWAIA’s Indian Market Started



    * Kim: “This was a scenario where SWAIA needed to pivot after cancelling their Indian Market due to the pandemic. I came on board after the organization had spoken with Clark Hulings Fund on that possibility. Once I became the Executive Director of the organization and vetted that quickly with my board and staff and Clark Hulings’ team as well, it seemed like it was a great partnership for us to collaborate together and move this vision forward. It was a concept at the time, and now we’re really in a place of vision. And so it’s been a great partnership. And I’m really excited to be part of this collaboration.”

    * Elizabeth: “SWAIA has been a champion for Native arts for almost 100 years. CHF is interested in promoting artists’ ability to earn a living, and therefore get their art to market, so that the market can decide what it likes and what it wants to buy. We want to level the playing field, get as much out there as possible, and let everybody have a fair shot. It’s a beautiful combination: we have an organization whose goal is to do that for Native arts, and an organization that is coming from the artists’ perspective to drive that forward. Instead of a top-down, it’s really a bottom-up proposition.”



    Working with Native American Artists



    * Kim: “This is really a ceremonial moment—where, just like when we go to our traditional powwows, we go there not only to dance, but we go there to be in a place where there is community, ceremony, and camaraderie. So I think that is no different than Indian Market.”

    * Kim: “Working with Native American communities, you’re definitely working with a population that’s underserved. We have recognized, especially in my past experience in working with tribal governments, that it’s very challenging to do economic development within those organizational structures. This is the first time that I’ve been able to work for an organization which represents Native American tribes where we’re truly in that place of free commerce—and so it allows us to be creative.”

    * Kim: “The resilience part of this is something that we’ve been dealing with for generations. So how do we come out of that miry clay and become something? I really appreciate being with an organization where we can empower individuals in doing that, and then as an organization come alongside them to support them. I also feel like it’s a scenario where if you’re helping one artist, you’re not just helping them, you’re helping a family—and that family is helping a community. It really is a ripple effect, as opposed to other artists organizations where it’s very individualized. When we look at an artist,

    • 1 hr 19 min
    Build Your Own Future With Or Without The Establishment

    Build Your Own Future With Or Without The Establishment

    Artist Ashley Longshore has never waited for industry gatekeepers to open doors for her: she’s a wildly successful, self-made entrepreneur. Owner of The Longshore Studio Gallery in New Orleans and two high-traffic Instagram profiles, her partners, collaborators, and collectors are a who’s-who of upscale brands and celebrities: Dianne Von Furstenburg, Bergdorf Goodman, Gucci, Rolex, Miley Cyrus, Blake Lively, Penelope Cruz, Salma Hayek, and Eli Manning. Ashley’s been described as a “modern Andy Warhol” for her pop art sensibilities. Rizzoli New York has recently published her second book I Do Not Cook, I Do Not Clean, I Do Not Fly Commercial. In this episode, Ashley weighs-in on instinct, strategy, and other lessons learned in the art business—and discusses being a working artist during the pandemic. Keep your ears open for some very funny, candid, and insightful one-liners.

    Artists Are Entrepreneurs



    * “Artists are entrepreneurs. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be financially successful. The idea is that you get to a point where your profits are coming in, people are engaging with your artwork, you have that intimacy within your collector base, and you’ve got enough money in your bank account to make any idea that you have in your brain come to fruition. To me that’s the ultimate goal.”

    * “I think in America you have an opportunity to make your own past. When I was told I wasn’t marketable, I decided to build this on my own. Although it wasn’t the easy way, it was the better way, because I understand my audience, I understand my engagement, and I’ve been able to build friendships that led me to great opportunities. Those opportunities have led me to extremely successful creative people.”

    * “I have created what I have created on instinct alone. And you know, artists know how to use tools, they know process. Very early, I realized: I’m not going to work with galleries, I’m going to create my own system; I’m not going to give up 50%, I’m going to keep 100% of my profit margins. I’m going to build a business.”

    * “I needed to hire people based on the demand for my work—more graphic designers, more photographers, more salespeople. There’s a lot of power in that. I knew I was going to do this my own way, no matter what. That’s the thing: you find your own path and you go for it.”



    What It Takes To Be Successful



    * “In the beginning, honestly, [it’s about] being as prolific as you can be, understanding your voice, being able to figure out how to be kind to yourself when you’re not completely inspired and on fire. You have to have that strong inner voice of, ‘I can do this, I’m going to be okay. It’s alright that I’m not inspired right now.’ It’s all these little inner thoughts of positivity and optimism. You’ve got to start building that wall inside of you. Because the more you put yourself out there, the more open you are to criticism and the bull**** from the world.”

    * “F*** the establishment. F*** what anybody else thinks! You go after it, you cut your own path, you do what you have to do. You know, I’ve been turned down more than a bed in a cheap motel. Rejection is part of what’s going to happen no matter what you do as a creative person, as an entrepreneur, as an ‘artrepreneur’.”

    * “The things that I do, I do them with enthusiasm, I do them with gratitude. And I think that energy is really infectious. I also work my ass off, I work quickly, I work my team. And when I’m given a huge opportunity from a billion-dollar global corporation, I work myself to DEATH to make sure that I not only produce, but I over-produce, and I blow their doors off. I mean I live for that moment when they go, ‘You did what?!’ ”

    * “Start off with a goal like: I want to make $200 this week. I want to make $200,

    • 30 min
    Lockdown: Artists Double Down on Building Robust Businesses and Self-Help Networks

    Lockdown: Artists Double Down on Building Robust Businesses and Self-Help Networks

    It’s a timely moment to be interviewing the team from CERF+, a leading nonprofit focused on safeguarding artists’ livelihoods nationwide. Founded in 1985—by and for materials-based artists and craftspeople—their core services are education programs, advocacy, network- building, and emergency relief. Key players in the recovery of creative industries after Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, CERF+ also responded to artists impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, assisted after the California wildfires, and are actively engaged in a Covid-19 response. Their advocacy for artists is ongoing—both in times where planning and prevention are the emphasis—and in providing support in recovery from a crisis. Cornelia Carey is CERF+’s Executive Director and the founder of the National Coalition for Arts Preparedness & Emergency Response. Carrie Cleveland is their Education and Outreach Manager.

    Thanks to Jerry’s Artarama for their support of CHF and The Thriving Artist podcast.



    About CERF+



    * “CERF was originally called ‘Craft Emergency Relief Fund.’ But after Hurricane Katrina, CERF committed to doing a lot more work in the preparedness and mitigation realm. We realized that no amount of money that we could ever raise was going to right somebody’s life when it had been reduced to a slab, a studio, or a home. We needed to invest in helping artists be more prepared and build more resilient careers. So that’s how we became CERF+. The ‘plus’ being all of that preparedness.”

    * “We are actively aggregating, creating, combining, curating resources and information that help artists look at this current crisis. At last count there were 130 emergency relief funds that have been created for artists around the country and in the territories; there have been 3 federal aid packages that artists can access—so we want to make sure our artists are aware of these opportunities and how to navigate them.”



    Advocacy for Artists



    * “We’ve been working with cultural advocacy groups and Americans For The Arts, and making sure that the needs of artists and other self-employed workers are embedded in federal relief packages. Traditionally, self-employed workers, gig workers, and artists have not been a part of federal relief packages.”

    * “Advocacy is educating decision-makers about the issues and the needs of a very important population in this country that might not be represented—in disaster response, for example.”

    * “The arts serve everyone in this country. Not just left-leaning or right-leaning.”

    * “Artists, like many other self-employed workers, don’t have access to a safety net of benefits that often comes with employment, such as health insurance, paid time off, and other supports and security.”

    * “We’ve been making the case that artists’ careers are small businesses, and like any other small business, they employ people, they purchase equipment and supplies and materials, they buy real estate, they rent real estate. They are definitely part of economies.”

    * “We did research in 2013 about the status of artists in the craft field. We found that 75% of them have 3 months of savings or less. So if you look at this current crisis with things shutting down in March—you know by May, it’s a pretty desperate situation. So we’re in there with the other advocates for small business.”

    * “Maybe people think artists live in a separate bucket than the economy. There’s hard data that says just how wrong that is. Just last month the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that the Arts & Culture workforce contributed 877.

    • 50 min
    These Artists Graduated Training But are Entrepreneurs for Life

    These Artists Graduated Training But are Entrepreneurs for Life

    Find out how working artists become thriving artists. This is the biggest podcast we’ve ever recorded, featuring 18 voices: the graduating class of our most recent Art-Business Accelerator cohort, their Advisors, and CHF team members Daniel DiGriz and Elizabeth Hulings. 1:25-3:00 is a “walk across the graduation stage” celebration moment for each Fellow. The episode is packed with the artists’ insightful observations about the triumphs, challenges, community, and skill-building involved in developing a successful creative career, and the role CHF has played in the process. Elizabeth Hulings says: “We’re seeing some major projects here that have legs and are going to be important. I really do believe that these artists are going to continue to build on the momentum that they have, and achieve some of these big goals. And that’s really exciting.”

    The Value of Artist-Peers & Teams



    * “The team has been a huge support to me. There was an opportunity that came my way that I was thrilled about, but terrified. I didn’t see how it could benefit me financially, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to participate in it. And just talking it through with my team, they all were encouraging me and helping me to see my blind spot, really. Discussion with my peers helped me so much—these are people I respect, and that encouragement meant so much to me, that it ultimately wound up being my pivotal project. I’m very thankful, I wouldn’t have had that without that particular conversation on the phone with my team.” – Steven

    * “The fellowship program offers some really comprehensive, very successful strategies. But working in teams, what resonated for me is that in getting to know each other we could really identify the sensitive aspects that each of us had. And we were able to walk through maybe some embarrassing moments or some real difficulties that some of us had to figure out how to personalize the strategies and protocols. So to me, that was very meaningful. That human direct connection that takes into account who you are and what your motivations and intentions are.” – Robin

    * “There’s so much in this business about personal recommendations, personal introductions. And I have found that to be one of the most valuable parts of this. Not only meeting the other artists, but any way that they can help to introduce buyers or galleries. And I hope I’ve been able to do that to a couple of my compatriots here, but I find in this business that personal recommendation is the most important for me and the one thing that I’ve gotten most out of this.” – Tim



    What Does A CHF Accelerator Fellow Artist Do After Graduation?



    * “I am going to pursue my pivotal project, which was to build an addition on my studio so I can create larger sculptures. And I’m grateful to this program for helping to solidify my thought process about that—and also spurring me into action and holding me accountable.” – April

    * “I’m definitely going after my pivotal project. This was an idea that I cooked up about 12 years ago and I kind of let it fall by the wayside. And being with CHF and getting the encouragement in the direction that I did, I am definitely doing this in the coming year. […] The thing that was so helpful to me was the creation of an action plan through the career blueprinting. Because it gave me the ideas to get organized and give me step-by-step of what I’m going to do throughout the year.” – Sharon

    * “It was a total mind-shift this year, where the brand-story was so critical. The things I wanted to paint, versus what I was selling…I was seeing what I wanted to paint as sort of a negative. And now I see it as a way to differentiate myself. And that, that is something that I should be putting all of my energies into. There is a market for what I want to do.

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Data Science in the Arts: Report on the Working Artist—Lily Dulberg

    Data Science in the Arts: Report on the Working Artist—Lily Dulberg

    Two years in the making, CHF’s Report on the Working Artist (ROWA) is a truly groundbreaking piece of research: the first of its kind demonstrating artists’ pivotal role in our changing economy. In this engaging conversation, CHF’s data analysis team Daniel DiGriz and Lily Dulberg sit down to discuss the methodology and significance of the Report, the documented demand for entrepreneurial training for artists, the gaps in existing research and traditional art education—and how we now have solid and replicable data that supports artists’ ability to make measurable contributions to our economy and the culture at large.

    FINDING A PATTERN: THE BOTTOM LINE FOR WORKING ARTISTS



    * “We’ve got a lot of information out there from many different sources, many reputable organizations, nonprofits, and our business education programs. But there’s so little information on what artists need to drive success, and what actually changes the landscape of their art business.”

    * “Most of the data out there does not measure bottom-line outcomes, which it’s kind of funny, right? Because you need to know those things in order to develop new programs and create best practices and to support artists.”

    * “Many organizations had information on their websites about the different types of programs they ran, and testimonials and quotes from artists on what they need. But there was no real evidence of what these programs were able to do for the artists. There were no business results, no income results.”

    * “With all the data that we’ve collated, and more specifically, with the data that we have done in-house at the Clark Hulings Fund through our Business Accelerator Program and our events, we really came up with a pattern that we can follow for any type of research in the future. And that is, that attitudes change behavior. Behavior produces business results. And business results lead to increased income or revenue.”

    * “One of the main things that I think that we should take away from this, that business education moves the needle for artists. It helps them make more income, it helps them develop a more robust network which allows them to increase their sales.”



    THE GAP: BUSINESS EDUCATION FOR ARTISTS



    * “The ecosystem of gallerists, artists, and peer networks contribute so heavily to business results—and the success that artists see in their lives and in their businesses. There really aren’t enough art business events out there and there really aren’t enough groups for artists that foster communication around what it’s like to be in an art business.”

    * “There’s a gap, and in that gap is business education. And it’s so mind-boggling to think that only 5% of an average sampling of fine arts curriculum involves any sort of entrepreneurial or business education.”

    * “We had to establish that there was a gap, that it exists indeed, in order to say, ‘Okay, this is how we can fill the gap, this is how we can create change and this is how artists are already creating change.’ ”

    * “…it was really amazing to be able to shed light on how that’s already happening and the research that shows that it’s replicable. Other organizations can do it, and the secret sauce is business training.”



    HOW WE COLLECT AND ANALYZE DATA



    * “So at the Clark Hulings Fund, we’ve been collecting data from our fellows, from [Art-Business Conference] participants, from artists who are involved with our work in many different ways. We have a whole process behind how we do that: we make sure that everything is categorized so that we can actually analyze the themes, and there are codes for the different themes that come up in what the artists are talking abo...

    • 37 min
    Infiltrate the Business World in the Name of Art—Noah Scalin

    Infiltrate the Business World in the Name of Art—Noah Scalin

    Noah Scalin is an artist based in Richmond, Virginia, whose sculpture, installation, and photography use everyday items reassembled in new contexts. Noah did a major installation in Times Square in the winter of 2019, and is working with The Krause Gallery in New York City. He is also a corporate consultant at Another Limited Rebellion with his sister Mica Scalin. The firm specializes in using art and creativity in leadership development, and clients include Coke, General Electric, and Intuit. Noah was the first artist-in-residence at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business, where he is now an adjunct professor.

    Discover A Market Through Creative Practice



    * “I ended up doing this project called Skull-A-Day where I got myself out of my creative rut and inspired again. And one of the really strange outcomes of that was that I started getting asked to talk to businesses about my creative practice. And so that turned into me doing a side-job initially of me going and doing these keynote talks and consulting, and all of a sudden I found myself, you know, really enjoying that work.”

    * “I like to say that not only was I the first artist in residence at the VCU School of Business, but possibly the first artist in residence at any school of business anywhere. […] A few years ago the school realized that creativity was one of the principles that they needed to be teaching their students to be successful in business—and that’s a pretty radical idea, but it’s also backed up by a lot of data.”

    * “I was like, ‘I didn’t go to business school, I don’t know anything about this.’ But I do know about how the artist’s skills set is valuable in business.”

    * “And especially the process we use, which is: do something, and then reflect on it, and share that with other people as the next step; that that process especially—making more things and putting more things in the world—gives you more opportunities. Just sheer numbers. You know, if you do want something you measure, that’s what it is. The more you put out, the more opportunities you get for something to come back.”



    Top Companies Want To Learn About Creativity



    * “Anybody in any industry right now is seeing some form of automation coming into play. And certainly, with advances in AI it’s going to be an entirely different world we live in very soon, science fiction is becoming fact very quickly.”

    * “Certainly the jobs that are going to go last are going to be the ones that require people to creative problem-solve and come up with unique new ideas.”

    * “It usually starts with a person of vision within the company, somebody who has recognized that creativity is one of the top skills that leadership needs to survive the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

    * “One of the talks I do is actually called The ROI of Creativity. And what I talk to people about is that business wants to do this measurement and wants to have these numbers and wants to be like what’s the benefit of this. And it’s really a narrow view of what we’re talking about.”

    * “What I talk to them about is sustainable innovation and the people that need that and know what that is, they’re on board.”



    Creativity in Business Begins With Education



    * “Most jobs don’t give you a chance to really develop your creativity, you’re expected to bring that to the table and have it there. And even now in the business world when they’re asking executives to be creative they’re not training them, they’re just going, ‘Start doing this, be creative, creative problem-solve!’ And they’re like, ‘I don’t know how to do that’.”

    * “Because we’re presenting such an unusual story, people pay attention and we usually can get inside their heads and plant some seeds that they’ve needed to hear for a while; maybe the opportunit...

    • 56 min

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