- What training/education have you completed, and what did you gain from those experiences? [Include self-education. How have you taught yourself? Also include non-art training/education that contributes to your worldview.]
I studied Fine Arts at Fanshaw College in London Ontario, and from that I came away with the knowledge that access to your fellow artists is essential for growth, support, reciprocal mentorship, and inspiration.
I have possibly an unusual amount of diverse on-the-ground self-training. I Homeschooled my two sons from 1996 till 2008 in the classical method which meant a lot of relearning as well as new learning, for instance I learned Latin so I would be able to teach it.
In 2009 I read the book Yes Man by British humorist Danny Wallace. The memoir relates a 6-month period in which he committed himself to saying ‘Yes’ to everything. Aside from finding it to be a laugh-out-loud read I was convinced its premis was a worthy practice. I did absolutely follow it up with my own period of saying yes to any request; if it was related to art and the business of art I responded affirmatively, if not at times eagerly as in the case of live television interviews.
The ‘Yes’ approach often took me out of my comfort zone and presented situations that required specific skills or knowledge. I frequently had to draw on the expertise and knowledge of friends or instructors. Subsequently, I have attended literally hundreds of workshops-info sessions-lectures-meetings etc in just over 2 years. Most have in some way contributed to the business side of things: computer graphics & design, project management, grant writing, creating budgets, bookkeeping, marketing and promotion, event planning, presenting, proposal drafting, and chairing an organization to name a few.
- What new art or business skills have you learned in the last year?
This year was spent honing a very long list of skills with thanks to a participation in a year long course on the business of art (Alyson B. Stanfield’s Artist Conspiracy), but two stand out as unique to this year:
- Writing: Thanks to an on-line course this October by writer and creativity coach Cynthia Morris, I have a newfound ability to generate content in a freer, less painful manner than previously.
- Project management on a large multiple-event scale: specifically The Pachter Factor, an month long art exhibition by Contemporary Canadian Icon Charles Pachter, opening as a Nuit Blanche North Extravaganza event including a VIP pre-event with presentation by the Mayor of Huntsville, a paparazzi lined red carpet arrival complete with volunteers portraying the Queen, Prince William, princess Kate, a “Buttertart Honour Guard,” an evening of limo exit public photo op, including exterior entrance wall slide show projection of selected works, and a Projection Injection live feed onto opposite exterior entrance wall of red carpet arrivals onto projected images of Pachter’s paintings.