Become a Working Artist


As I mentioned in a previous post, I recently tuned in to Creative Live "Become a Working Artist" from Lisa Congdon. Even though I'm not an illustrator, I cannot say enough about how it resonated with me, my new life as an artisan and my challenges. 


I haven't met Lisa personally, but I saw her at Alt Summit in January of 2012. She was on a panel and I immediately thought she's a very smart and talented lady. I admired her personality and her work right away. Since Alt Summit, I started reading her blog once in a while, when time allows. So recently I was quite pleased to learn that she was going to do a Creative Live session --I'm a big fan of Creative Live, such an inspiring place!

Quick notes from Lisa's "Become a Working Artist" workshop:

  • About Goals—
    • Start with your vision map and set goals; dream big, write them down and break it all in smaller goals—concrete and actionable. Part of the learning curve in becoming a working artist is that often times our big goals exceed our knowledge 
    • Take time to plan
    • Find YOUR audience
  • It's OK to branch out and follow all of your passions, instead of honing in a particular niche. As long as you develop a personality in your business, a.k.a. branding, that houses everything you do in a package that people can understand. The common thread has to be easy to grasp
  • The naysayers can be a motivator to push forward; use resistance as a motivator to work hard and follow your dreams
  • Find your community, who will be a great support system
  • A lot of what happen is about human connection


"Don't wait for the work to come to you"
"The more work you make the more work you're going to have"

And my favorite quote:

"It's normal to feel intimidated, to self doubt, to feel one step behind. Or to think that what we do has already been done. The answer is to continue doing the stuff that you love and try to find your unique place in the art world. It's normal to feel frustrated, the idea is to not let that paralyze you or stop you".

One interesting tool Lisa mentioned:

Five Minute Journal; she starts her day with that and come back at it at the end of the day to reflect on the day. 

Obviously my short blog post don't do justice to the 2-day workshop! It's the kind of session worth owning on Creative Live, to be able to listen to when we are open-minded and ready to take notes. And to listen to more than once.