For new artists, renting a studio often seems out of reach, but there comes a point when you simply can no longer work or practice out of your home. For some artists this may be about annoying the neighbors, whilst for others it might be about showing your art in a space that your customers can easily access.
Teach someone to fish… This platitude has been variously ascribed to ancient philosopher Laozi or medieval philosopher Maimonides. Either way, it’s been with us a long time, you’ve all heard it, and I don’t need to expand upon it here. However banal it may be, the sentiment is a major part of our guiding philosophy here at Fractured Atlas.
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When you’re raising money as an artist, it’s easy to spend all your energy on soliciting new donations. Whether you’re busy leveraging connections, creating crowdfunding campaigns, writing solicitation letters, crafting elegant social media communications, or all of the above, it can feel like a full-time job. Once the donation finally comes in, however, things are just getting started.
What is risk? Risk is uncertainty and a chance of loss. Everyone faces risk. There are everyday risks -- when you drive a car, when you’re unsure if you’ve left the stove on, if you leave your camera on the train — and then there are those risks that you encounter when making art — when you produce a play and deadlines are missed, transfer a painting and knock into a wall, throw a fundraiser and a volunteer gets food poisoning, teach a class and a student slips and falls, the list goes on.. You can try to protect yourself against risk in several ways:
Making art is not an easy process. You need all the help and support you can get to make your vision come true. Your support system can include your friends who send you encouraging texts in the midst of an exhibition install, patrons who monetarily fund your project, visitors who attend your artist talks, and institutions that provide additional programs and services. This moving, breathing ecosystem includes the arts service organization.
When you set out as an artist to answer the question, "How do I make art?" there is a whole host of funding and labor considerations you may not initially consider. Supplies funding, as well as management of the business aspects of an artist's work, can prove cumbersome and overwhelming. They can also seem far removed from your true mission of creating your actual art. But there are many options out there to provide artist help and support you on your path.
Fiscal sponsorship is something that a lot of folks don’t know about or realize can be an option for funding their work. At its core, fiscal sponsorship is a relationship with a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that enables individuals, collectives, and other groups to enjoy some of the benefits of the sponsoring organization’s nonprofit tax status.
What digital tools do you have to help boost your artistic practice? There are many available at the tip of your fingers. Photo credit: The Gender Spectrum Collection https://broadlygenderphotos.vice.com/guidelines
Alice is a light skinned multi-racial woman with brown, yellow and copper streaks in her curly hair. She smiles and gazes at the camera. A necklace of Autumn colored beads sits around her neck. Photo by Beverlie Lord Alice Sheppard is founder of Kinetic Light, an organization working in the disciplines of art, design, architecture, and social justice, that creates, performs, and teaches at the intersections of disability, dance, and race. Their work seeks to showcase freedom of movement as a pathway for others to understand how mobility is fundamental to participation in civic life and to our understanding of American national identity. Alice became a member of Fractured Atlas in July 2016 and is based in Los Altos, California and New York City.
by Nicola Carpenter, Associate Director, People Operations at Fractured Atlas This is part of a series. If you read part one, two, or three, skip the intro and head straight to the interview. At Fractured Atlas, we really love sharing many of the inner workings around how our organization works. By sharing the things that work (or don’t) for us, we hope to help out in making the sector, as a whole, stronger. A few years ago, we shared our How We Work site so that anyone could see how we work at Fractured Atlas. We’ve also shared how our use of OKRs increases transparency, alignment, and accountability (that post even included a free template). We’ve shared updates on our Anti-Racism, Anti-Oppression journey, why we have race-based caucusing, and so many other things.