07 January 2008

Changes on the Horizon

First, I want you to know that I am going uptown, baby.

I just got me a typepad account, and if what they promise is true, I will be unveiling a fresh look for this blog and some not-blog pages like an online gallery in the upcoming weeks. Tres Chic!

My initial response: typepad's interface is not as easy-stupid as blogger. This might take awhile.

I am also thinking about starting another blog, one that's not all about me. Kind of like a professional advice aggregator for artists, kind of like a brainstorming hub for specific problems artists face--an artist-to-artist network.

I was talking to Lisa Mordhorst at a New Year's party, and we were lamenting the relative powerlessness of the individual artist, and thinking about things artists could do together. Invest money, create a real estate trust, work to keep artists in the city. There are obvious administrative barriers to any of these ideas, but is that any reason to stop thinking about artists helping eachother? I think not.

Let me know if you have ideas or questions, or if there are specific things you would want to read about. What's interesting to me is how much career advice is already out there, and how hard it is to follow or actualize. I am definitely interested in exploring that disconnect, or figuring out whether we are stupid or the advice is stupid.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Sharon said...

Deborah,

I've enjoyed your writing and look forward to more. Building a new blog that goes beyond your immediate concerns as an artist is a thoughtful and generous idea. I hope you have the time to follow through with it.

07 January, 2008 15:58  
Blogger prettylady said...

We're the opposite of stupid; it's just that there's no generic advice that works for everyone. Being creative, we've got to come up with creative ways to make money, keep creating, and not go completely insane.

The problem with advice is that it's usually along the lines of 'you should do [insert complex, arduous, unpaid task without guaranteed positive outcome here.]' It just adds another useless burden to our already impossibly tenuous existence.

What actually helps is things like, 'hey, how about I write a rave review of your massage practice and post it to Park Slope Parents?' And they they do, and then my phone rings off the hook. THAT helps.

So what about an artist-to-artist practical information and service review network?

07 January, 2008 16:39  
Blogger fisher6000 said...

So what about an artist-to-artist practical information and service review network?

Yeah, this is what I am thinking. Less like a self-help book and more like ways artists can figure out how to be powerful to one another.

I have been looking at personal finance blogs lately, and they aren't the same old lists of ways to be frugal or how to pay down credit cards. If they were, they'd be really boring, because personal finance is a set of absurdly easy concepts. The best ones focus instead on how these simple ideas (like pay down debt) wind up playing out. Little things that work and little things that don't, and what you learn about yourself in the process of attending to this task.

That kind of information is supportive and interesting, and everybody's got some story to tell about what little thing worked for them and why, or what gallery to avoid or how to earn a little extra cash or whatever.

Your suggestion, PL, of posting a review (or for that matter bartering services, or even just sticking to the network when choosing a proofreader, massage therapist, website designer, photographer, dogwalker, etc....) this is the kind of thing that plays forward well.

Artists tend to want to play down their day jobs, without realizing that the alternate income streams are making the art possible. Buying art from one another is one thing, but it is perhaps much easier to just say that I am going to try to hire an artist when I hire a person to do something.

?

07 January, 2008 19:40  
Blogger prettylady said...

Exactly. But accountability is everything. That's why honest reviews and gradual network growth are key; you only find out who is genuinely reliable over time.

07 January, 2008 22:52  
Blogger Evening said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

08 January, 2008 00:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice idea. I think the key here is to keep any network firmly rooted in the practical -- like PL says. If you can establish any sort of arena for real exchange that doesn’t float into the ideological stratosphere, but deals with something, anything that is of useful and real concern then there is genuine possibility that this could work.

It is not that we are stupid; it’s just that the advice was written by some guy and for everybody and is inherently generic. What I hope that this might achieve – should it go ahead – is to actually concentrate on the specifics of any given situation. The advice isn’t stupid either, but still there is a disconnect and it remains full of gaps. Getting artists talking one another should plug them.

09 January, 2008 08:03  
Anonymous Paul said...

↑↑↑
Sorry, don’t mean to be anonymous. Just a bit of renegade clicking on my part.

09 January, 2008 08:31  

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