“If you don’t feel a little bit daunted by your business objective, you’re not aiming high enough.”
That’s the advice CHF Director Elizabeth Hulings gave to artists at our recent Art-Business Conference in Rockville, Maryland. As she kicked off the first working session, “Blueprint Your Career,” she encouraged participants to shoot for a career goal in that sweet spot between achievable and quixotic. “You want to have butterflies in your stomach,” she said, “without feeling like you’re going to be sick.”
Though that last remark drew laughter, it shifted the energy in the room, as if the artists suddenly felt free to dream big and figure out how to achieve those dreams. For the two days that followed, they got down to business—learning how to develop new sales strategies from CHF Sales & Event Director Carolyn Edlund, and listening as our Messaging & Education Director Daniel DiGriz spun memorable yarns to illustrate what makes an effective brand story.
The artists also got to hear from some special guests. On Saturday, March 23rd, Amy Lehman, Esq., the director of legal services for Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts in New York, answered questions about copyright and agreements, and the next day we were joined by three alums from CHF’s Art-Business Accelerator—Blake Conroy, Kristin LeVier, and Donna Lee Nyzio—who shared their experiences in a lunchtime Q&A and also joined some of the small-group breakout sessions.
We’re grateful for their time and expertise, and a special thank you goes out to our host, Judith HeartSong of Artists & Makers Studios, for helping everything run smoothly. We’d also like to thank Giant Food in Rockville for donating a gift card in support of local artists and small businesses, and photographer Kelly Heck for her beautiful images, like the ones you see on this page.
Toward the end of the workshops, one of the artists asked how he could stay in touch with his fellow participants and keep building his professional network of peers. The answer was easy: Just go to CHF’s online Thriving Art Exchange, where he was already enrolled simply by virtue of registering for the event.
Even if you didn’t join us in Maryland, you can still connect with these artists in our virtual community—all you have to do is sign up.