In late 2010, I relocated back to Atlanta from Los Angeles to be closer to my father (his health was getting fragile), and to re-strategize my art career. Although I'd built pretty good momentum during my time in LA, I was still unsatisfied. How does a practicing artist represented by six galleries covering territories all over the US and Europe not be able to make a highly profitable living off her art? How was that possible?
As friends and family suggested with good intention for me to go get a "real job", I refused defiantly. There was no way that was going to happen - my career as an artist was my full-time job, my only job, and I intended for things to stay that way. It was either art or bust. To either sink or swim. Anyone who suggested that I go get a job, who was critical about my dedication and commitment to my art simply got cut out of my life with no regrets. I really was that serious.
You see, I'd made a commitment to myself years earlier after learning of how Julius Caesar burnt his ships in battle, leading to a victorious triumph. His men were weary; to eliminate any possibility of retreat, Caesar ordered all their ships to be burned so their only options were to either win or die. I was so inspired upon hearing this, I deleted my job resume that day - forever! The only thing I had was my curriculum vitae, a decision to make a living as a full-time artist, and a firm commitment to do so. Sure, I was scared. Sure, I quit my job. Sure, the only thing I had was artistic talent, a bunch of porn, and an iron will to swim and paddle my Bunny paws hard...
In remembering this commitment to myself, getting a "real job" was definitely out of the question. I'd built up a waiting list of folks interested in buying art, and had turned down international shows in the Ukraine, France, and Korea in order to reground myself back in Atlanta. All I had to do was stick to my dream and make art. Besides, I had no resume and couldn't remember the dates of the places I'd worked anyway. Plus, who was going to hire a visual artist who'd been out of the work force for five years choosing instead to collage flowers out of porn? In the Deep South?
About a year ago I was assessing my situation and asked myself, "Yun, you're back in Atlanta, you're not in LA or NY which are considered major art hubs, so what do you do now? How do you strengthen your international art career from Atlanta? Surely there are other artists wondering the same thing." Then a pink light bulb went off. Ding! Wouldn't it be cool to get artists based in Atlanta who are making moves on the international scene to share their business secrets and strategies? We could get a food sponsor and chow down - share, eat and learn! Yee!! *Excited squeal* I was so excited, and so were a lot of people after I posted the idea on Facebook.
Fahamu Pecou, Pam Longobardi , Sheila Pree-Bright, and Neda Abghari of The Creatives Project reached out immediately to show their support of the idea. Through our networks we reached out to The Goat Farm Arts Center, Burnaway, and C4 Atlanta to share the idea and get feedback. With great admiration for Jason Kofke, we asked him to join our initiative.
Our vision was for these panel seminars to be ongoing, to make an impact in educating and serving Atlanta artists so they wouldn't leave to other cities. In educating our local talent on how to build an international career, over time I envisioned these same artists popping up onto the international arts scene. One by one, the world will take notice that these artists are based in ATLANTA. Yee!!
There was a need for Atlanta artists to have this knowledge. The reception for this seminar exceeded my expectations, reflected in the number of applicants who applied. It's also piqued the interest of some members of national/international press. To me, Atlanta is a treasure trove of artistic talent comprised of dedicated, hardworking, fervent art advocates and deserves more recognition as an arts hub. All these amazing people with a passionate love for the arts in Atlanta came together in making this vision happen and it's going down May 4th! For almost an entire year, these Atlanta art enthusiasts donated their time and resources through numerous Skype meetings, phone meetings, emailing back and forth, coordinating back and forth - a true example of flawless cooperation and teamwork. Such amazing professionalism.
I'm truly honored to have worked with these art professionals in learning, being inspired by, and held accountable while given an opportunity to serve the Atlanta art community. I hope the artists that attend the seminar can walk away with a different mindset in how to approach this glorious art dream, knowing that success is not only possible, but possible from Atlanta. Most of all, I look forward to seeing more Atlanta artists stake their position in the global arts economy.
Below is an overview and summary of topics:
has an amazing and growing community of talented artists, and we have
an incredible opportunity to become a leading international arts
community. This series provides expert advice to help local artists
build their international career based on efficient and unconventional
strategies, shortcuts and valuable insights. Attendees will learn how to
strengthen their international presence without leaving Atlanta and our
burgeoning arts community will be able to retain the creative talent
we’ve worked hard to nurture and support.
Saturday, May 4, 2013
10am - 2pm
Erikson Clock 364 Nelson Street Atlanta GA Castleberry Hill
*Submission deadline for artists has closed. If you would like to attend as a VIP or if you are a member of the press, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
PANELISTS & TOPICS:
ARTIST AS BRAND: “Creating Your International Public Persona”
• How inventing yourself as a brand can further your international art career.
CULTIVATING ALLIES: “Strong Relationships Lead to a Strong Career”
• How to gain support from influential arts supporters and add them to your team.
Jason Kofke & Pam Longobardi
TRAVEL OUTSIDE THE BOX: “Going Global From Atlanta”
• How to gain international recognition and credibility to support your career.
HEALTHY HABITS: “The Significance of Investing in Yourself”
• Why character / skill development is vital to your success as an artist.
Click here for complete PRESS RELEASE