After months of writing, designing, emails back and forth to contributers and grappling with how this ebook thing works, Getting Art Started, is for sale!
Here are the Chapter Headings:
HOW TO BEGIN
HOW TO STRUCTURE A WORKSHOP
LINKS TO RESOURCES
I am grateful to all the 9 facilitating artists and organisations that have contributed to the book in offering their personal insights into facilitation. There are links to their work in the handbook. Getting Art Started is easy to purchase using Paypal. If you have any trouble please do not hesitate to contact me. Also, if you have any questions or queries please do also contact me. I look forward to hearing your thoughts around facilitation and about your work!
Play with your baby
When I became a mother to Oscar I had no idea of what to expect. I now had a gorgeous little baby in my life. I felt all of the things. Excited, tired… no exhausted, under skilled for this new job as a mum. What was I going to do all day everyday with this little human being other than feed him, clothe him, clean and change nappies? He didn’t come with a manual.
I began to sing to him, read to him and show him toys that I thought he would like or that other people seemed to be buying or were the current best sellers. I subscribed to all the groups and joined all of the mothers groups on Facebook.
I slowly began to feel like I wasn’t in line with what felt right, natural to me. That something was missing from how I was being a mother. It slowly dawned on me, I woke up to what was wrong. Firstly, a little background
I am a creative person. I have performed, created and developed arts projects on a daily basis. When I had Oscar. My creative mojo dried up. I was over tired and I listened to the mainstream consumerist baby world. I let it tell me what was right for my baby. What toys and play was right. What I hadn’t been doing was listening to my baby.
I remembered that Play is something I know how to do and I discovered that babies love to play. They live in the moment. They only know now and will give you cues to what is interesting to them. All you have to do is listen and watch and then play with them. Follow their cues and make an offer of play. If that offer does not work then make another offer.
For more on my journey with Oscar and how we do creative play, visit our blog
Can artists be entrepreneurs?
2013 has been a year of evaluating where I am at in life. I began the year by slowing down. Slowing my day to day down. Slowing my arts practice. Slowing my decision making down as well. This has been awesome to do. It has given me space, reflection time and time for ideas to mull.
As the year has unfolded the momentum has picked up and work that I thought I was done with for a while, for example facilitating arts workshops, has kept surfacing and coming back to me. What I thought I wanted in life did not present itself. I have found this to be the case in my career as an artist. That often what we think is the right path or correct way to move forwards is not it. Becoming inventive and putting my creative skills to use has been my path. I have needed to challenge myself and maintain inspiration within the work that has presented itself to me.
I stumbled across this article, 'Who Says there's no money in Theatre' and it is really appropriate for how I have been feeling. It highlights that we as artists often have an expectation that we will live in poverty.
... if you call a company Shoestring Theatre you've damned it to smallness before it's begun. Surely the same applies to our theatremakers? The expectation of poverty will not make passionate young performers and directors give up their dreams, but it will train them to aim low, try to manage on tiny budgets and be delighted with an occasional few thousand pounds from the Arts Council.
This article calls for artists/theatre makers to become entrepreneurs. To step up and take risks and to believe our greatness. I agree with the heart of this article. I see it in my own practice and life. I have lacked the belief that I will ever earn a consistent great wage. I also do rely on other artists for in kind work on projects that are unfunded with the hope that they will become funded in the future. I have believed that I will earn my wage in my industry. So I have done. I have just not thought that I will make an excellent wage. This is where I have been stuck.
I have written a short ebook about Getting Art Started as a facilitator. It offers insight for young artists on how to facilitate a Theatre workshop. I have been branching out into realms like this to keep broadening my skills, sharing what I have learnt and making an extra buck. I am proud of what I have done with this. It includes insights from other facilitators from around the world and thus gives a sense of a community to this work. My hope for this is for it to keep growing and that artists are more connected and sharing in what we do.
I had the privledge of being around a number of tech start ups this year in Sydney and in Sillcon Valley. I see how this industry works just as hard as the arts industry does. I have also seen how passionate start up companies are and focussed on the task at hand. I saw pitch decks, and how connected this industry is in meet up groups and conferences. I see how this industry has great structures (communities) in place world wide in mentoring, and sharing and often open sourcing content. The ways that people in startups stay connected and help each other is inspiring. Skype groups and linkedin are used to there fullest capacity.
I hold onto the belief that there are different ways to do and make theatre and art. I also believe that our skills translate to other industries and are entrepreneaurial in nature and process. I am going to continue to investigate this realm. I would love to hear your thoughts on this!