Earlier this month, Colin and I had an opportunity to host a panel of some of our absolute favorite contemporary creatives at LightBox Expo online. We chose the topic “So What Do You Really Wanna Know?” to give attendees a chance to get feedback on questions that would be most helpful to them. While the questions from attendees below created the framework for the talk, our conversations usually covered much more ground than just the focus topic at hand. For my part, I learned a lot, laughed a lot and found that each panelist touched on meaningful points that will impact my own art and business practices in the future, for which I am incredibly grateful.

In building a career in art, there are so very many paths you can take, directions you can go and ways you can design a creative life you love. Figuring out how to make it all work can sometimes feel like an insurmountable task – some days, just carving out time to do your work while establishing and running a business (which your art practice is) seems like such a massive mountain of stuff that you’ll never get it all done. This panel offered many insights into the various facets of living the life of a creative – and they’re all doing it their own ways successfully.

In talking with this group, I once again find myself awed by the creativity, wisdom, authenticity and generosity of the artists in this community – how very fortunate we all are! It is with great delight that I share this video of our panel talk.

Included in the talk (and more):
1. What is the best thing you have learned as an artist that has helped you survive (and thrive)?

2. How can an artist just squeaking by to pay bills also learn new things, for example, sculpture when it seems so expensive to take classes, find space or get materials?

3. Most of you started out without social media. Do you use it now and do you find it helpful to promote your work and keep you in front of art directors?

4. What do you think about the future of traditional work/traditional mediums? I love painting, but I sometimes feel like I’m lagging behind and feeling like I have to work with digital even though I don’t like it very much.

5. What streams of income have worked for you and can you say why?

6. What tools do each of you use to achieve your yearly creative goals and how much flexibility do you realistically factor into those timelines?

7. I wanna know how do you get recognition and connections in the industry living outside of the US?

8. I found a lot of schools/courses to be disappointing in terms of knowledge I actually gain, so I’m considering mentorships and one-on-one reviews instead. However, it seems that a lot of artists don’t offer them or they’re not similar to the type of art I’m interested in doing. Do you have any recommendations for how to find mentors and connect?

9. What are your favorite methods for generating ideas and what processes do you use to select which ones to go forward with? I’m curious on how each of you work on starting your projects.

10. What would you tell your younger self that you wish you would have known sooner?