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Freelancers: A Little Help From A Friend

Sometimes the task ahead seems a bit daunting. There is unfamiliar technology or risk in making changes that might have unintended consequences. That is when hiring professional freelancers with real world experience comes in.

The default is to go find a friend, but even that has risks. What happens if something goes wrong? Often, friendships can be seriously harmed. It’s even worse if the helper is a family member. Just to be on the safe side, it is best to steer clear of friends and family as contracted helpers. Rather, keep them as your personal support network.

Freelancers

Freelancer Strategy

Hiring freelancers is its new undertaking. With careful planning, risk can be averted. There are many qualified online networks that make the process more approachable. The first step is developing a roadmap for the work you want to do. First, define the goal you want to achieve with the work undertaken. Then, define the individual tactics needed to reach that goal. These things can include:

  • Setting up a basic website
  • Adding eCommerce to a website
  • Integrating Google Analytics
  • Setting up business email
  • Designing web and print graphics
  • Updating a resume or CV
  • Photographing your work
  • Creating and editing a video

Working with someone new can be stressful. You are giving them access to your personal work and online credentials. The benefit of using an online platform to hire freelancers is that there are contracts and procedures built in to protect you in the event of anything going wrong. They also provide rating systems so that you can find out how they have worked out with other clients.

When starting out with a new freelancer, another way to mitigate risk is to only give them a small job to do. For example, instead of hiring someone to rebuild an entire website, have them redesign one or two pages first. Instead of an entire re-branding update, start with a postcard or business card. If you like their work and they communicate well, then continue with a larger project.

Freelancers

Freelancer Networks

Get work done faster with Fiverr, and with confidence. Hire graphic and web designers, digital marketing experts, and music and audio professionals. Find any service within minutes and know exactly what you’ll pay. No hourly rates, just a fixed price.Payment is released to the freelancer once you’re pleased and approve the work you get. Fiverr is here for you, anything from answering any questions to resolving any issues, at any time.

Click here to get started with Fiverr

Click here for more artist tips and discounted services

Todd Hestand - Side ArtsTodd Hestand, Founder, Side Arts, is an independent artist and business adviser. For over eight years he has served as the Manager of the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy where he works with thousands of artists, crafters, and performers. His role includes individual consulting, teaching courses, and developing programs for entrepreneurially-minded artists. Click here to learn about consulting services.

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How Email Can Grow Your Creative Practice

Email is an important part of your social media strategy. It is often overlooked or neglected in lieu of the quick responses from social media networks. To keep it simple, think of email as part of your overall strategy:

Social media network > Website > Email

Collecting email addresses is one of the most important things you can do to grow your professional practice. Collect them at every opportunity – prospective buyers at an art fair, visitors to your website, corporate and non-profit contacts with whom you have engaged. It starts out slowly and grows exponentially over time. Here’s how:

First, just get started. That’s usually the hardest part. It can be a dedicated notebook where email addresses are collected or a digital spreadsheet like Google Sheets. It’s okay if there are duplicates or something is spelled incorrectly, that will be addressed later.

Next, pick an email marketing provider. There are three we recommend based on your design experience and technical proficiency. All three offer entry level pricing based on the number of emails saved. Plans scale based on how many more addresses are added.

Mad Mimi

Mad Mimi is the easiest of the three, although the number of design options and features are limited. It’s a straightforward platform. Upload email addresses. Design a basic template. Send campaigns.

Mailchimp

Got the hang of it or already have some basic design skills? Step up your game with Mailchimp. It is the most versatile without being overly feature laden. Some advantages: Get more creative with your emails with drag and drop elements. Set up a landing page to feature your work and collect more addresses. Educate new subscribers with automated drip campaigns that step new followers through you, your work, and what they can expect to hear from you.

Constant Contact

If your technical skills are a bit more advanced and you’re the type of person that loves tinkering with design, features, and apps, then Constant Contact is for you. It has robust integration features for all kinds of other services.  Plus, the reporting and analytics will give you a heads up about what is and is not working.

How Email Can Grow Your Creative Practice

There are two more aspects for your email strategy: frequency and content. There are no set rules for either and the following are simply suggestions to get you started.

Frequency

Just starting out? If you have under 1000 addresses, once a month is a good start. Up to 5000, twice a month. Hit the 10000 mark, do what you want – weekly, twice a week, or whenever new content is available. The important part is being consistent. Start out by sending on the same day at the same time each month. Over time, you will figure out how to optimize your sending strategy.

Content

Show more than tell and give a clear call to action. Show images of new work for sale and provide a link or method to purchase. Tell a story by showing a series of pictures of a work in progress and describe each step along the way. Inform followers of where your work is being shown or sold including upcoming art fairs, gallery exhibitions, or other retail/wholesale events. Share something about you that informs your artwork – why and how – such as a recent trip or social activism.

How Email Can Grow Your Creative Practice

The more emails that are collected, the more content can be sent. The more reasons there are for followers to click through to your content, the more likely they are to purchase or share your content with others (who may, in turn, become followers).

There is fine tuning in terms of segmenting the list, A/B testing, geo-location, and so on. Advanced users can explore to their heart’s content. It’s a learning curve, most users have an intuitive sense as to when to take it to the next level. First things first… just get started!

Here are some special offers that can help get you on your way:

Click here for more artist tips and discounted services

Todd Hestand - Side ArtsTodd Hestand, Founder, Side Arts, is an independent artist and business adviser. For over eight years he has served as the Manager of the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy where he works with thousands of artists, crafters, and performers. His role includes individual consulting, teaching courses, and developing programs for entrepreneurially-minded artists. Click here to learn about consulting services.

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Are You Ready For A Website?

Before getting started on a website, it is usually best to begin with understanding your goals, strategies, and tactics. Here are a few basics.

Start with defining your goal. Why do you need a website? What is it’s purpose? It could be a representation of your creative legacy that you control, a sales portal, or something else.

Once you have a goal in mind, you can start thinking about the strategy. What do you want to convey? Consider showing images of your artwork in a gallery, an artist statement, biography, and contact information.

When you know what you want to show, the next step is figuring out the tactics – how to get it done. There are a variety of website services. Some are do-it-yourself, others may require outside help. If you need help, there are freelancer networks at your disposal.

Check out some of the artist website designs offered by Wix. Their focus is on making website building super user-friendly.

Website

Website wireframe (how it is organized)

Page 1) Homepage: includes hero (main) image, name, navigation links (at top or side of each page)

Page 2) Gallery – includes 10-20 images with brief descriptions for each (title, size, medium, etc)

Page 3) Workshops
Workshop title with 2-3 sentence description each
Teaching service with 2-3 sentence description
Call to action – contact information (email, phone)

Page 4) Events
List of upcoming events
List of past events (keep this limited to the past 2-3 years)
Partner organizations (linked to their websites, if applicable)

Page 5) Contact
Contact information (Email, phone)
Bio
Artist statement

That’s it! Five pages to get you started. Before signing up for a website, editing the copy and images you want to have shown.  You may need one image for the hero image on the homepage to be larger.

How to find help

I’m biased since I’ve been working on websites for a while, so I often think they are “easy and intuitive.” This is not always so. Even then, first hand experience is always helpful, especially when trying to explain something to someone else. Once your content is ready, give it a try. If you find it too confusing, by all means, stop and ask for help. I’ve organized the wireframe above to be the most helpful for a web designer. If you need one, try Fiverr – this freelance service offers web design help.

Click here to see how Wix can help get you started.

Click here for more artist tips and discounted services

Todd Hestand - Side ArtsTodd Hestand, Founder, Side Arts, is an independent artist and business adviser. For over eight years he has served as the Manager of the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy where he works with thousands of artists, crafters, and performers. His role includes individual consulting, teaching courses, and developing programs for entrepreneurially-minded artists. Click here to learn about consulting services.

 

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Master Performing Public Space (Netherlands) – Call For Artists

Master Performing Public Space (Netherlands) – Call For Artists

Fontys announces a call for artists for the Master Performing Public Space, a new one-year Master program inviting international artists from all disciplines for the 2019/20 intake. In this program, artists focus on public space as their artistic environment together with an international community of artists and researchers. This new Master offers an enriching and flexible research environment which directly relates to the artist’s current artistic work in public space.

Click here for the application / registration 

Deadline: 31 May 2019

The teaching methods are designed to be highly adaptable. Individual coaching is paired with 24/7 access to the online interaction platform, together with regular on-site intensive weeks held in the Netherlands, will make participants part of a sustainable creative international community.

Master Performing Public Space Program

This Master focuses strongly on building an international learning environment based on a like-minded and ambitious group of creatives. They seek to strengthen their international arts network and analyze the versatile facets of public space. An artistic mind will be refined as a consequence of breaking down barriers. It will become more developed via interaction with people from other cultures, backgrounds, and artistic disciplines.

Combining or interacting with other artistic forms is an interesting way to improve one’s understanding of artistic form. The best artists will typically be those with a wide appreciation. This appreciation naturally comes as a consequence of interacting with like-minded but fundamentally different people. A problem solved by students originating from different cultures, which this Master not only supports, but also actively encourages.

Combining an interdisciplinary range of approaches including critical theory and other modes of analysis with an equally diverse range of research methods, the program offers creatives the opportunity to explore the impact of producing work in public space.

So defined is the course’s approach to flexibility and forward-thinking, it is designed for creatives from a variety of art disciplines. Creatives with a background in theatre, dance, circus, music, fine arts, architecture, digital arts, and graphic design are welcome to join this program. In fact, graduates of all art disciplines will be considered for this Masters course.

The full-time blended learning program combines online and on-site learning. While the program lasts one year, the majority of study will occur online via an online learning platform. While working on individual projects in your home country, you will have access to the 24/7 online platform for intensive research and creative dialogue with your peers and mentors.

Master Performing Public Space Bootcamps

In addition, successful applicants will be invited to join on-site intensive ‘Bootcamps’, in the Netherlands. Three occasions per year (two weeks each, for a total of six-weeks). In order to enrich interaction and to expose students to a variety of working methods, the Bootcamps, held in Tilburg, provide the necessary setting and hands-on approach to investigate, develop, and test work in the field – the public space.

An experienced team of teachers, creative leaders, distinguished visiting artists, and partner organizations will provide the necessary cross-disciplinary support, knowledge, and guidance throughout the program. The teaching methods are designed to be highly adaptable. Students will be asked to actively engage with the program’s community. They will co-shape the content of the program to their individual needs.

About Fontys

Fontys is one of the largest universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands. They offer a variety of bachelors and masters programmes in English. They have more international students than any other university in the Netherlands, with students of more than 80 nationalities.

Fontys offers 29 international Bachelors and Masters programmes in English including the Master Performing Public Space. They cover a wide range of fields: ICT, Engineering, Fine and Performance Arts, Marketing, Business, Communication, and Physiotherapy. They welcome a large number of International students to join one of our 50 English-taught exchange programmes.

Programmes are very diverse: a mix of theory, application of knowledge, internships, and graduation assignments. One part of the programmes is the minor which gives students the opportunity to broaden or deepen their knowledge. This is possible at Fontys, at another Dutch Higher Education Institute, or abroad at one of many international partner universities.

For more information, contact FHKpublicspace@fontys.nl.

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Self Visualization For Maximum Good

Self-visualization for Maximum Good

This article is part of a series which is being expanded into a publication. The primary focus is Maximum Good, the changes we make that improve creativity, quality of life, and community. Click here to for the Introduction to Maximum Good. Follow along at sidearts.com/blog.

Self-visualization is thinking in advance about the most positive outcome can be before starting any new activity. Consider thinking about what it is going to be like when we finish, how we are going to feel, and what is realistic.

Consider the following

There is a range of ways that this can be done. Before starting anything new – any new work of art, our new job, or the beginning of our day – consider what outcome of this will make you feel good. Close your eyes for two minutes and think about how a positive outcome will feel.

One of the reasons why this is important to do is that most times there are obstacles that we will confront in new situations. It can be easy to give up when starting something new when faced with these obstacles.

Having a positive mindset going into the new task about what the final outcome is going to be is beneficial. If we think about the positive outcome before starting any new activity, then it is more likely that those obstacles will seem lessened. Try taking some time to think in advance.

Create an image. We can make vision boards made of of positive things which motivate us. These can be cut outs or hand made. We can use a work of art to focus on whether it is one of ours or something which inspires us, even if it is just an image displayed on our phone.

Try writing or reading daily affirmations. These are statements about positive beliefs about ourselves and our abilities. We can use the same phrase every day or try to vary them. They can be aspirational and read at a set time every day, usually in the morning. It can be note that says, “Today, I’m going to have a good day” kept near where we sleep so it is seen every time we wake up. Keep them someplace where we are most likely to see them.

The physical act of writing the same note daily can be helpful, too. It makes the thought process even more tactile.

Consider trying to write out our goals. What are they? What do you want to achieve? Sometimes the best thing is getting through the day ahead of us.

Self-visualization for Maximum Good

Exercise – Get started now

  • Try a self-visualization technique before starting a new activity
  • Create a vision board
  • Write and read daily affirmations
  • Write and read short and long term goals
  • Search online for examples of other self-visualization techniques that you can do daily

Throughout the Maximum Good series, I will present several exercises. Some are going to be new for you and others will be familiar. Try self-visualizing success before you start any one of them give them. Try thinking positively about a successful outcome before we try each activity.

Think positively that you’re going to have a good day today.


Todd Hestand is the Founder of Side Arts, as well as a classically-trained musician, singer, and artist. For over eight years, he has been the Manager of the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy in Philadelphia. The Center provides professional development support in the form of grants, courses, lectures, and individual consulting for creatives. For over eight years, he has developed programming and taught programs at The University of the Arts, Westphal College of Media Arts and Design at Drexel University, the Business Resource and Innovation Center at the Free Library of Philadelphia, and several Philadelphia area non-profit arts and community development organizations.

To receive updates on this publication and other resources, click here to create a free account on Side Arts.

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Introduction To Maximum Good

Introduction To Maximum Good

This article is part of a series which is being expanded into a publication. The primary focus is Maximum Good, the changes we make that improve creativity, quality of life, and community. Follow along at sidearts.com/blog.

Welcome to Maximum Good! This series is about professional development through community engagement. Specifically, how to use your skills and talents to best benefit yourself while helping your community at the same time.

My name is Todd Hestand and I am the founder of Side Arts, a content management service for visual artists and arts organizations. I am also a business management consultant specializing in marketing, operations, and supply chains for consumer goods and industrial manufacturing. In my role as the Manager for the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy, a Philadelphia-area non-profit, I work directly with artists of all kinds – disciplines, experiences, nationalities, gender identities, and ages – to help them realize their creative visions.

This series will review topics that many artists encounter as they learn how to market their skills and build their businesses. I have addressed these concepts frequently with my own clients. Together we have created solutions that benefit them, their bottom line, and their craft. Hard skills will include marketing, budgets, and contracts. Soft skills will focus on personal goal setting and understanding why you do what you do, and how you can move past personal roadblocks. Importantly, each of these skills will be tied to how you can improve your community for maximum good.

Themes throughout Maximum Good

  • Change the defaults: what are the smallest possible changes you can make to your creative process that will have the largest impact
  • Identify innovation: what unique characteristics do you have that will help you engage with your audience and improve your community
  • Build positive habits: what systems can you build that, by automating the smallest possible tasks, can make risk so much easier to address
  • Architect choice: how can you give your audience and community the maximum number of options of engaging with you so that they feel empowered
  • Understand privilege: identifying what privilege is and how it impacts your work, show empathy, and act accordingly to address issues positively in your community

Introduction To Maximum Good
Things to keep in mind

I will be giving you tools that you can use and try out at your discretion. Some will be activities and worksheets, others will be thought experiments and case studies to review. All of which should be designed to be easily approachable. Keep in mind that one size does not fit all. Some activities may not be applicable to you. There is no set order to participate. You should feel that you can jump in anywhere that interests you.

None of these topics are presented perfectly. There is always room for improvement. Feedback and suggestions are welcome at mail@sidearts.com.

Follow along by subscribing to the YouTube channel and read more at sidearts.com/blog.


Todd Hestand is the Founder of Side Arts, as well as a classically-trained musician, singer, and artist. For over eight years, he has been the Manager of the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy in Philadelphia. The Center provides professional development support in the form of grants, courses, lectures, and individual consulting for creatives. For over eight years, he has developed programming and taught programs at The University of the Arts, Westphal College of Media Arts and Design at Drexel University, the Business Resource and Innovation Center at the Free Library of Philadelphia, and several Philadelphia area non-profit arts and community development organizations.

To receive updates on this publication and other resources, click here to create a free account on Side Arts.

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Public Art Installations 2018 – Call For Artists

Public Art Installations 2018 – Call For Artists

The Central Avenue Special Improvement District Management Corporation is seeking creative proposals for public art installations 2018 within the Central Avenue shopping district. Selected artwork will be commissioned for installation late summer/ early fall. Paid upon completion. Preference will be given to proposals that contain 1) original and well-executed use of Trompe l’oeil art technique involving realistic imagery that appears three dimensional and 2) artwork that references the rich history of the surrounding community (i.e. The Heights/ Jersey City/ Hudson County).

Click here for the application / registration

Deadline: 3 Aug 2018

Select artwork for the public art installations 2018 will be commissioned and artists compensated as per written agreement. Fee range from $200 to $3,000. Artwork will be displayed prominently within the Central Avenue shopping district which is centrally located in Hudson County. Population: 674,900. Selected artwork will be part of the daily lives for many local residents. They will experience the murals each time they visit their main street for regular needs such as shopping, dining, banking, and visiting doctor’s offices. Artists will be featured on organization’s website and social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) where their contributions to Hudson County’s growing artist community will be recognized.

About Central Avenue Special Improvement District Management Corporation

The mission of the Central Avenue Special Improvement District Management Corporation (CASID) is to guide and promote the positive social growth and economic revitalization occurring in the City of Jersey City. They provide supplemental management, maintenance, and improvements to the Central Avenue business district also known as the Central Avenue Special Improvement District (Central Avenue between Manhattan Avenue and North Street).

CASID has commissioned eighteen art installations since 2009. It is seeking to do more. Local residents, businesses, and artists are working together to shape the outdoor art gallery along the Central Avenue shopping corridor. This is adjacent to the Riverview Arts District in the Heights section of Jersey City.

For more information, contact dd@jcheights.com.

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Public Art Installations – Call For Artists

Public Art Installations – Call For Artists

The Central Avenue Special Improvement District Management Corporation (CASID) seeks creative proposals for public art installations. Proposed artwork will be installed on either a wall space or traffic box.

Click here for the application / registration

Deadline: 8 Sept 2017

All artists interested in participating in this program must complete and adhere to the guidelines in the Request for Proposal (RFP). It is a competitive process allowing all artwork and artists an equal opportunity to be selected.

Chosen artists will create public art installations within the Central Avenue shopping district in the Jersey City Heights. The artist with the winning mural design(s) will receive agreed monetary compensation and be featured on the Jersey City Heights’ website. Media exposure may include an interview or presentation at a press conference. Jersey City, NJ has a vibrant artist community. The new art installation will be centrally located in Hudson County.

This public art installations program is organized and administered by the CASID and made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the national Endowment of the Arts. It is administered by the Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, Hudson County Executive Thomas A. DeGise, and the Board of Chosen Freeholders.

About The Central Avenue Special Improvement District Management Corporation

The mission of the Central Avenue Special Improvement District Management Corporation (CASID) is to guide and promote the positive social growth and economic revitalization occurring in the City of Jersey City. It provides supplemental management, maintenance, and improvements to the Central Avenue business district. It is also known as the “Central Avenue Special Improvement District” (Central Avenue between Manhattan Avenue and North Street).

Formed in 1992 by municipal ordinance, the CASID was one of the first Special Improvement Districts in the State. It was the first of six in Jersey City. CASID was initiated by the efforts of involved business leaders and commercial property owners within the district. It functions as a public/ private partnership between the City of Jersey City and private stakeholders to supplement, not substitute, government services. Such services include, but are not limited to, administration, marketing, maintenance, capital improvements, and other operations. An elected board of seven (7) trustees from within the district volunteers their valued time to govern the CASID.

In a traditional neighborhood setting, there is a sensitive relationship between local commerce and the surrounding population. One can not thrive without the other. For this reason, it is imperative to be a key player in the community and take a general interest in local matters to better advocate on behalf of our main street community. With over 450 united members (defined as commercial property owners and/ or commercial tenants of assessed properties within the district), the CASID is one of the strongest business organizations in the City. The CASID works alongside community leaders, civic organizations, and elected officials. They guide the growth of Jersey City and its highly valued traditional neighborhood quality in the Heights.

For more information, contact dd@jcheights.com.

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XO, Dumbo – Call for Artists

Drawing upon both 5 Front’s history, ArtBridge is looking for an artist/a team of artists who are able to visually communicate the quirky, contemporary climate of Dumbo while paying homage to its history and situation as a Historic Landmark District.

Call for artists application

Deadline: 11 Nov 2015

When drafting the proposal, artists must give special consideration to the colors and forms of the surrounding architecture and neighborhood. Dumbo is marked by the convergence of new and old; many of the original buildings that were built to be centers of industrial production remain, but were repurposed for residential occupation, artists studios and small businesses. 5 Front Street is no exception, as it was built in 1834–plans for the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge were discussed there. Its exterior has been largely unchanged, until now.

ArtBridge will provide an honorarium to the selected artist and all materials will be generously provided by Liquitex.

ArtBridge empowers emerging artists to transform urban spaces. New York City currently has a staggering 192 miles of street-level construction scaffolding. This ubiquitous construction eats away at the fabric of our neighborhoods. ArtBridge transforms this eyesore into a canvas for local, emerging artists. These exhibitions result in incredible exposure for artists, while artfully reinvigorating our urban landscape.

For more information, contact info@art-bridge.org.

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