-If you only know one other person, start by meeting one-on-one.
HOW TO RUN A MEETING: NUTS & BOLTS -Try to make the group a "free event" so artists with all budgets can attend.
-Use a timer, go around the group and give each person equal time to speak & show their art.
-Come to the meeting with your "burning question." What is the question you need answered from the group that day?
-Set individual goals for yourself for the next meeting. -Invite volunteer guest speakers such as agents, attorneys or designers. Prepare a list of questions. -Start your own yahoo group so everyone can communicate with each other. Try to avoid one person being responsible for all communication. -Choose a public place to meet, such as a cafe, so there is little prep or cleanup required.
CHERYL'S WORKSHOPS She will also be teaching a workshop November 7th in San Francisco. (For more information: contact Chery at firstname.lastname@example.org 415-863-6523. Her website is http://cherylphelps.com/)
THANKS A special thanks to Brad, Dianne's husband, for taking these photos and helping us with all those little things that help make a meeting run smoothly. It was really valuable having him volunteer his time for us.
Possibly everyone feels they don't have enough time, but for artists it's even harder. You may find yourself defending the importance of art time, because others view creative time as recreational, and nonessential. This book shatters that limited view.
What the author, Rice Freeman-Zachery does, is investigate our experience of time and space for creating art. She conjures up images many of us had as children, our days filled with long summer hours of uninterrupted creativity, where time became invisible. The author tries to lead us back there, where we can enter that mental space of timeless creativity.
Rice interviews 14 professional working artists about such topics as: exploring time, making time, mental space, soul space, creative habits and taking it on the road.
This is not just a "do what you love" book, but rather it's a serious look at how to transform the way we perceive our art time and studio space, and what we can do to practically make more time and space for our art.
I like that she gives a name for people like myself, "the non-schedulers." Those are people that need to work organically to get into the zone. These artists can't create art between appointments.
I was also relieved that after reading this book, I no longer felt I needed to have a separate studio space outside of my home. She has a great section on how to determine if you really need separate space, or whether you are just fantasizing about a space you think you will work in. For example, one drawback of having offsite studio space is that you end up having 2 sets of everything: one set for home, and another for the studio. Also, because your studio is across town, you just never get there as much as you'd like.
There are also great extensive sidebar exercises all throughout the book called "try this" on how to free up time and space for art, such as how to limit your internet time, and a list of shortcuts to save time. There are other exercises for warming up creativity, such as writing the alphabet in all caps without lifting up your pen, and the importance of creating unusual imaginary stories out of events happening around you.
At the end of the book, I thought she had a great recommendation to schedule days where you create art "in public." Many people are shy about setting up an easel in a park, but she argues how much people love to be in the presence of someone being creative, and that you never know what might happen.
I would recommend this book for artists who feel like their time and space is non-existent, or that they are putting their art life on hold. The book helps you learn step by step how to get out of that rut and that no matter what situation you are in, how you can still take a few steps forward, to the place you want to be.
UPDATE: After reviewing this book, I also interviewed the author. Read Interview.
Here's a great interview on Talk of the Nation with David Dickerson, author of House of Cards, a book that tells of his time at Hallmark and how the experience and the cast of characters he meets there open his eyes to a much larger world. He talks about colleagues who don't understand him, and learns what it takes to connect with personalities and how to write funny lines that resonate with the people.