My Experience in Artists U: a program to help artists build a sustainable life
Since I have moved to Anderson, I am continually grateful for the opportunities and support that I’ve received from the Anderson community and the Arts Center. Last month Anderson Arts Center hosted Artists U, a two-day workshop lead by Andrew Simonet. The workshop was funded by a grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission, and was free to all the artists who registered.
Our first meeting was a wonderful opportunity for me to meet other artists in my community. The workshop began as Andrew walked around to each of us and thanked us for the work that we do. As artists, he explained, we have something important to give back to the world. And we are driven to offer our vision to the world: a world that often doesn’t understand what we do.
Some days, I don’t even understand what I do. How am I supposed to tell the world why my message is important?
All the artists who attended are at very different places in their career. All of our goals, like the work that we produce, are very different. The most important parts that I took from the workshop are mindset shifts. I’m working to place more value on the skills that I have, because I know that’s the only way that I’ll turn them into a sustainable career for myself.
I learned about how to be a better advocate for myself, and picked up a few strategies to negotiate increased compensation for my work. I’ve been working hard to tell myself that what I’m doing is enough, and being very good at a few things is better than being mediocre at many things.
Earlier this month, our focus group concluded our second meeting to follow up on the goals that we set after the workshop. The artist group has become an opportunity for all of us to connect and get support and ideas from other creatives.
I’m so grateful for the opportunity to attend the workshop and am excited about our next meeting, where we’ll talk about our artist’s statements and give the group updates on our steps towards the goals that we set. To learn more about Artists U and download the free course materials, as well as Andrew Simonet’s powerful book, "Making Your Life as an Artist", go to http://www.artistsu.org/
Watch Andrew speak on his YouTube Channel, embedded below.