Snapshot: An Artist-to-Artist Panel at the College Art Association Conference

This past Valentine’s Day, several Creative Capital artists shared the love with a roomful of colleagues, as they discussed some of the skills that have enhanced their careers. Along with Creative Capital’s Director of Programs & Initiatives, Sean Elwood, I was privileged to moderate the panel, which featured Creative Capital grantees Chris Doyle, Barbara Hammer and Beverly McIver. It was held at New York City’s Midtown Hilton hotel, and entitled “Artist to Artist: Sharing Tools for a Sustainable Practice.”
This year marked the College Art Association‘s 103rd conference, and featured representatives of the visual arts and humanities fields from across the world. During the “Artist to Artist” discussion, each of the panelists spoke about the significance of making time to set specific goals, and creating an action plan that includes small, consistent steps toward those goals. They highlighted the importance of valuing yourself and what you have to offer, and each revealed their struggle to acknowledge the fact that they were deserving of success as artists. Artist Chris Doyle remarked that while professional development skills are important, it’s equally important to understand your own strengths and weaknesses.
(From L-R) Barbara Hammer, Chris Doyle & Beverly McIver at the February 14th panel. Barbara Hammer told the audience that she stays productive by keeping herself away from social media until 3pm each day. “Of course, I’m lying,” she later admitted, “but sometimes it works.”
The panelists agreed that it’s important to put your vision out into the world and ask for what you want. I added that while asking is the first step (and there are plenty of people willing to help, if you just ask!), it’s essential to use your ask to articulate the passion and themes that run through all of your artistic work. Artists who can clearly and succinctly communicate their mission or vision are able to subsequently build strong relationships and find visibility and support for their work.
What makes artist Beverly McIver (R) happy? “Ice cream, going to the spa and mentoring other artists.”
Ultimately, valuing your self and understanding your personal mission; developing your own definition of success; and committing to consistent, sustainable goal-setting are some of the key elements to building a sustainable practice. That, and (for Beverly at least) staying in touch with what makes you happy.
Want to find out where Creative Capital’s Professional Development Program will be next? Check out our online calendar.

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