I've got a new business name and a new website. Go to www.smilodoncreative.com to learn all about it! 


artists

Three questions to answer before you (re)design your artist website

So you don't have a website, and you're tired of feeling unprepared when people ask how they can find out more about you. Or maybe you're kind of embarrassed by the site your cousin made for you back in 2005.  It's hard to use, and it's all pepto pink because you were so into that color.  
 
Sigh. 

Time for a new website. 

What are your goals? 

8 Tips for a Successful DIY Artist Retreat

DIY Artist Retreats have been on my mind lately. You know, where you rent a room somewhere and hole up for a set amount of time to focus on your art or your life as an artist.  
 
Last weekend I drove up to the North shore of Lake Superior for a weekend-long, all-by-myself writing retreat. Earlier this summer I took two DIY retreats with Mad King Thomas and am planning a retreat with DanceMN this fall. It's been that kind of year! 
 

Back it up, part 1

About 9 months ago, I took my sacred hard drive, which holds all of my work samples, to a videographer to get video files of a project we did. 
 
When I got home, I did that squirrel thing: I put a super-important object in a super-secure location and then forgot where I put it.
 
Fast forward nine months: I am completely unable to find the UNBACKED-UP, COMPLETELY PRECIOUS HARD DRIVE THAT BASICALLY PROVES I AM AN ARTIST. I'm having nightmares. I've torn apart every part of my house where I can imagine it being. 
 

Why you, as an independent dance artist, should attend Dance/USA

First: What is Dance/USA? 
 
It's a membership organization that advocates for dance on a national level. They have an annual conference in a different city every year. You can volunteer and get free tuition for one day of the conference. Update! Minnesota residents can get 50% off the cost of a day pass.  Online registration closes this Friday (May 16th!).
 
Second: Why should I go? 
I had this question myself. Two summers ago, I happened to be in San Francisco when Dance/USA's national conference was happening. Big whoop, I thought. But people kept mentioning it like I should care.  So I went. And here's why I'm going back:

Performance artists deserve websites, too.

Hi, fellow weird performance artist people.
 
I see you. You're over there, making performance/theater/dance/visual art/post-drama/post-dance/pedestrian/protest/anti-art/Spangbergianist/Viennese actionist work--I see you.  Maybe, if you're like me, you've assigned a name to your work (in my case, dance) and that means you get asked about So You Think You Can Dance all the time. Maybe for you it's Banksy, or maybe it's Death of a Salesman, or maybe it's Phillip Glass.  (If it's any of those, you beat me in the 'what is your art like' game.)

My budget & me.

When I left my day job last fall, I knew one thing:  I needed to make money work for me.  I heard horror stories about freelancers who lived at their desks, who worked through vacations, who stared at rent day in fear.  To evacuate the cozy lifeboat of my full-time job, I needed a lifejacket. Or swimming lessons. (Oh, man, we are entering serious extended metaphor territory; I'm not sorry.)

Elsewhere.

Laura Holway McGinley was kind enough to interview me for her blog about artists, creativity, makin' money, etc. 

Check out the interview and while you're there, browse!  It's a great blog.  She's been at it for two years now, so it's got a ton of content.

Some highlights:

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