Art Takes Guts

I cannot remember where I heard it. But I think about it all the time. I think about it when I want to drag my feet getting to work. I think about it when thoughts of procrastinating sink in to my tired brain. I think about it when working on the weekend to meet a deadline. I think about it whenever I have a “brilliant” idea but no action or plan to back it up.

No business ever failed for lack of good ideas.

The human brain requires energy. It requires a complex system of organs working together to fuel those thoughts. The guts fuel the brain.

I know it is a weird analogy but I like to think of our strategic plan as the “guts” behind our mission. It takes guts. It takes guts to be a freelance artist, and it takes guts to be an entrepreneur.

It takes guts to be an artist

Over the years, I have heard this sentiment: “Me? I’m doing fine. I’m working regularly. I don’t need a plan.”

Mustering up the energy to create is no easy feat. I will agree with that. However, we need more than ideas to earn a living from our creative minds. A business plan is not some gimmick–it is road map to fulfillment. It is a way to reach your goals. All of them. A good plan includes business goals that align with your physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.

There is never a right time. The right time is now, no matter where you are in your career.

I teach business planning for arts. Because I do, I do my best to practice what I preach. Every year, our team makes time to plan. Actually, we make time to plan every week. We do this because not because we are robots, or brilliant minds that have figured out a magic formula for success. We do this because we know our limitations. We know that we face distractions. We do this because it is a core value of our organization to mirror the behaviors what we teach others.

I wanted so badly to bring to Atlanta a place for artists to come together to help support their goals. That is why we offer Ignite. I wanted to help connect artists to resources that I did not have access to when I was working as an actor. I feel in love with this work because I want artists in Atlanta to thrive–not just get by.

Unique

This last year, C4 redesigned several classes to keep up with the needs of artists in our community. It is our commitment to you to provide a high quality educational experience. It is our devotion to our mission. These days, there a more resources for learning the business side of the arts. Great! More access points for learning is a good thing. But I want to make the case for you to join us for Ignite this season. Here are some things that make C4 classes unique: 

  1. This is what we do! We are not riding a trend or chasing grant dollars. There is little glory in being an arts organization that does not produce or present, but we love our jobs. We hire artists who love teaching. Our team has years and years of experience in curriculum design. Which means that we will never promise you riches simply by taking on of our classes; however, we DO promise you learning objectives, trained facilitators, a variety of teaching styles for different styles of learners, and more. In other words, we are not just content experts or teaching based on our own experience–we are trained educators for adult learning.
  2. Entrepreneurship is for everyone. I love entrepreneurship as a female. I have had ideas shot down because of my gender. It is a fact. Often women and people of color get shut out of traditional modes of industry and the arts are no exception. I see artists who identify as female and artists of color doing amazing, innovative work in Atlanta. Their hill is extra steep. Despite the challenge, women and people of color are embracing the role of entrepreneur, and they are making a difference. But this isn’t just my casual observation. A recent article by Forbes pointed out that more and more millennials and people of color are becoming entrepreneurs.
  3. Connections. C4 classes connect people to people. I think the greatest value C4 classes offer is the opportunity for artists to come together from different backgrounds and disciplines, to learn from one another, to support one another, and to build a community of people who create. It is such a gift to experience. Many of the artists who have gone through our programs have meet new artists to collaborate with on projects that have received local and/or national recognition.

The time is now

There will never be the right conditions to start. You don’t need to be at the beginning of your career or in crisis. The time is now. Join us for our next round of Ignite.

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