Professional Development for Artists


On Tuesday and Wednesday I listened in on Lisa Congdon’s class, Become a Working Artist, on Creative Live. Even though I’m well on my path as a working artist, I was curious to hear what she had to share. I readily admit I don’t have my career all figured out, and I was hoping for a few tidbits.

Lisa Congdon’s class is just the thing for someone starting out, with things like building a portfolio, marketing, social media, putting together a CV, etc. But there was plenty of information for more experienced artists as well. I really enjoyed the segments on goal setting, actionable tasks, creating a schedule, understanding the art world, and licensing work. These are all items I’m interested in (and kind of suck at), but it’s helpful to hear how someone else does things.

The way you learn how to be an artist is through trial and error, and through knowledge shared with you by another more experienced artist. I think art school helps to a certain degree, but I’m a self-taught artist finding my own way in the art world. There are oodles of resources out there in terms of artist materials, techniques, process, and mediums, but very little for professional development for artists.

I’ve focused more on consciously learning new skills (outside of art-making) these last two weeks, and it’s made me realize how little time I devote to professional development as an on-going goal. Watching the class, Become a Working Artist, was just the thing I needed to reinvigorate my desire to succeed as an artist, and to aim even higher in the goals I want to achieve.

If you’re interested in learning new things, visit the Creative Live website to check out the huge variety of classes they have available.