DELVE Workshops

What you say matters: learn how to nail your elevator pitch!

Sometimes, talking about your work as an artist or creative professional can be excruciatingly hard. This month we're exploring Community Building: what it takes to meet new people and open the doors to opportunity in a natural, genuine way.

Trust us, when we first started Kind Aesthetic it sometimes paralyzed us when we had to pitch our work to someone. The reason why? Because it was new and didn't make sense to us, yet. And that notion of believing in your work, understanding what your work means to you, why you do it, and what effect is has on your audience will lead to effective ways to summarize your work for networking purposes. Without clarity surrounding your unique story, it's going to be hard.

Having both learned from personal experiences and having witnessed so many amazing people sabotage an opportunity by stumbling on their words, being incoherent, or not giving their work enough credit, we knew it was time to take action. So, we developed a DELVE Workshop on the topic of the elevator pitch.

We got the chance to work with a big group of amazing artists at the Transcultural Exchange Conference in Boston this past February. We walked them through an exercise, and admittedly, not every person was a believer at first. We asked them to write the answers to some simple questions: What does your work look like? Why do you make it? What is it about? What inspires you? Artists were wondering how these words would translate to a verbal pitch.

The beauty behind this simple exercise is that EVERY SINGLE PERSON in the room had a unique answer. So, everyone's elevator pitch was going to be different off the bat, right? WRONG!

The first few tries were full of artists saying things like:

I am a painter who works in New York City.
So? Who cares?! There are a million of you. How are you unique?

OR

I make colorful oil paintings about the environment.
Better, but not quite, because that woman in the brown shirt over there just said the same thing.

We just kept digging and pushing and finally, most people had an aha moment where they realized that they could summarize what they do in one sentence in a clear way, by describing their work visually and adding a brief statement about the conceptual drive or subject matter behind their work. They had just written it all down at the beginning of the workshop. The goal of your pitch is to be specific enough to be memorable and open doors.

The true test was getting up and practicing how to talk about their answers to their peers. How do you translate these big concepts and visual work into a short pitch? It's NOT easy but this exercise is vital to opening up doors of opportunity.

The results of the workshop were:

  • each artist spoke their elevator pitch at least ten times in a row to different people, which meant lots of practice and getting over that anxiety fast
  • each artist left with a stronger sense of how to talk about what they do and why they are unique
  • many people exclaiming: "this was the best workshop of the whole conference!"

Interested in hosting a DELVE Workshop for your group? We cover everything that artists and creatives need to best communicate their work: talking about your work, writing workshops, personal branding and more! We're here to help so feel free to get in touch!

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

It takes a village. We're cultivating a community through DELVE.

You might be incredibly social or like to keep to yourself, or maybe you’ve been in your field for over 25 years or you're just starting out, but still there are multiple times a week when you might feel alone, frustrated or stuck when it comes to your artistic or creative practice. Why? Probably because you are trying to juggle 3,000 things in addition to your creative work. If you’re reading this, you are a talented person who is filtering the world through your creative lens to make your work, in addition to possibly managing other jobs, family, and life stuff... PLUS you also know (maybe just at the back of your mind) that you need to market and communicate your work in a kick-ass manner in order to get the opportunities you want. It’s a tall order, and you’re smart and up for the challenge, but it can be really, really hard.

Well, good news: we are launching the GROUP DELVE TOOLKIT!
Why should you care? Good question.
Here’s why:

  • The Group DELVE Toolkit is a series of online classes for artists and creatives that will help you get better at writing and talking about your work, and will cover all of the nuts and bolts of all of the marketing stuff that feels really hard and not genuine.
  • The classes will be curated and small so you’ll still get personal attention.
  • Small classes means support from your peers, and cultivating these relationships will be built into the classes.
  • The Group DELVE Toolkit is AFFORDABLE! We aren’t multimillionaires selling you an impersonal system. We are two successful women who are artists and creative entrepreneurs and have worked with incredibly talented people to help them succeed. You know you need to invest to succeed, but we don’t want to make that option too hard.
 

Do you want access to a discount to the Group DELVE Toolkit before it launches to the public? Take this short survey!

 

We feel and have felt stuck a lot, too, and that was a huge motivating factor for us to start DELVE.  It is due to the amazing community we’ve cultivated, and the hard work that we’ve put in, that we are now in the position to help you achieve your goals: by helping you clearly articulate what you do–online, in person and in writing–in order to get the opportunities you want, and therefore the life you want to have.

If you're reading our blog for the first time or you’re a familiar friend, we wanted to take a step back and share who we are and how you can be part of the community of artists and creatives we are cultivating in person and online so that running your day-to-day business (artists, you are small business owners, too) can be inspiring and in line with making your work.

First, a little backstory. We, Sara and Andrea, are both visual artists and started our creative agency, Kind Aesthetic, as a way to offer artists and creative small businesses genuine storytelling, visual branding and beautiful, effective websites to push their businesses to the next level.  Any clients who have worked with us know that it's more than just getting a "brand." We can't help you without digging in deeper and uncovering what makes your work uniquely yours and why you are the best at it. We ask a lot of challenging questions, but we support you, hold you accountable, and refresh how you communicate your work to an ideal client as well as to yourself.

It’s because of this creative agency work that DELVE came about, which is an educational and coaching platform for artists and creatives who want to hone their own professional skills and how they communicate their work. In other words, we help guide you in creating your unique story, marketing plan and personal brand. DELVE started as a series of in-person networking events around New York City where amazing speakers shared their paths about how they achieved their professional successes, and has since branched into workshops and our popular 1:1 DELVE Toolkit, a coaching platform for individuals.

We understand that there are a lot of people advertising classes and online marketing solutions to you. Our services come from a very genuine place because we have had the same struggles and have been offered the same options. We are confident that what we do differently is:

  • We communicate very clearly that working with us is not an “easy fix.” We don’t find galleries for artists or tell small business owners where to find their next paying clients. We aren’t magic unicorns. But we do help you define your unique story so that your ideal audience and clients can find you. And when they do find you, they will be very impressed.
  • We listen and we care and we ask a lot of questions. We are two very kind and honest individuals who won’t work with you if it’s not the right fit. We care about your success and don’t want you to waste your money.
  • We won’t waste your time. We show up, you show up, and together, through wonderful conversations and some incredible work, we will help you. And, dare we say, it might even be fun and will make you feel good, confident, and excited about your work.

We hope that if you're interested in some amazing online classes specifically for fine artists in all disciplines, and also all kinds of creative entrepreneurs, you'll fill out this quick survey so we can offer you the classes you want at the times you want. Our thanks will come in the form of a discount! Cheers!

 

 

 

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

How can you stand out from the crowd as an artist or creative?

During our DELVE Workshops or while working with clients one-on-one with our DELVE Toolkit, we often run into amazing people who are frustrated with answering the question "What do you do?" in social, high-pressure situations. As artists and creatives, we all occupy so many different roles in our lives, and sometimes we all need a little boost in seeing the big picture and allowing ourselves to stand out in our vibrant, saturated, creative communities. So we wanted to share a small example of an artist who stood out from the crowd.


We met an artist at an art opening. She had recently moved to New York from Florida, so we were talking about that, since it's a big life move. Sarah, my new acquaintance, impressed me when I asked her, "What kind of work do you make?" And she answered, "I am a sculptor who makes works from recycled materials, especially those small plastic bags that newspapers are delivered in." Immediately, I was intrigued, asked her more questions about her work, and made it a point to look at her website the next day. Turns out her work is very cool and had she just said, "I am a sculptor" the conversation might have drifted off to more social things, or perhaps ended. So, the point here, ladies and gents, is to be specific because each and everyone of us is incredibly unique. Make someone remember you. 

If you might want some assistance talking about what you do and need some perspective, a kick in the pants, or some help with organizing your creative endeavors, we can help with the DELVE Toolkit. Just email us and we can set up your free 20-minute call. 

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

Why DELVE? The impact of community.

Last week, we hosted our ninth DELVE Networking event, on the topic Food + Art. That means that, so far, we have been in nine different amazing arts-related spaces all over the city (such as Made in NY Media Center by IFP, Cue Art Foundation, TSA Bushwick, and A.I.R. Gallery, just to name a few) and have invited 24 amazing artists, curators, designers and creatives to share their work and their paths as creative forces. Then there are all of you: the people who come to listen, learn, engage and share your own stories. It's been super fun, inspiring and educational. Our community has grown so much over the last 15 months of DELVE, and we wanted to take a minute to look back, reflect, and look forward to what all is to come!

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DELVE started as the series of networking events for artists and creatives in New York City described above, but it has grown to include bespoke workshops and our popular Toolkit. With DELVE, our goals are simple: to create community, to empower artists and creatives to hone the professional skills they need to put their best work into the world, and to inspire ourselves and others to take action on projects that truly matter.

DELVE workshops create an inspiring environment of exchange by instigating conversation in a productive environment, nurturing seeds of ideas into coherent thoughts, and providing ample suggestions and resources on how to best communicate your art practice with the world.  Everyone who attends our workshops is meant to share what he/she does, because through this act of sharing and community building, great opportunities can arise. We also have great hand-outs, worksheets, presentations, imagery and fun stories to share. Sometimes we invite guest speakers to come and inspire everyone even more.

With our toolkit, we specialize in helping you—the talented artist or creative entrepreneur—build sustainable skills to assure that your work is best represented to the world: online, in writing and in person. We work with you one-on-one to maximize your potential and develop and maintain long-lasting productive habits. The results? You acquire some kick-ass tools and learn how to use them effectively, so that your creative practice gets to a confident, productive place.

The best part of having the workshops and toolkit be an outgrowth of the networking events is that we are constantly growing our community and helping people get the tools they need in order to create opportunities for themselves and others. By being able to effectively communicate what you do as an artist or creative, you open doors to new collaborations, projects, and more. DELVE has grown into a wonderful community, and we love that anyone can attend our events because amazing things can grow out of a little sharing and conversation. All of the motivation and talent we witness is a huge inspiration, and if you haven't joined us for a DELVE event yet, we hope you will soon!

Click here to learn more about how the DELVE toolkit can help you, and feel free to reach out if you have any questions!


© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

Making it Last- The Feminist Art Project at Soho20 Gallery

On Wednesday, December 4th we had the pleasure of speaking about our paths as artists and business owners at a new series by The Feminist Art Project (TFAP) at SOHO20 Gallery. This new event series called "Making it Last: Fostering Creative Life" was started by The New York City TFAP chapter and is organized by damali abrams, Kathleen Wentrack and Jenn Dierdorf, all talented women and strong forces in the arts community. We were also in good company with fellow speakers Taliah Lempert and Eleanor Callott Whitney

Eleanor's book,  Grow: DIY

Eleanor's book, Grow: DIY

Eleanor started the night off with some great questions about why we choose to be artists and great reminders about the steps and organizational logistics to achieve our big goals. It was insightful to hear the stories about the interviews that went into her book, Grow: How to take your DIY project and passion to the next level and quit your job!, and how each artist has his or her unique and motivated path.

 

Following Eleanor, Taliah walked us through her years of self- promoting her art work about all things bicycles. Her passion for cycling was contagious and it was inspiring to hear her talk about each piece she showed, as well as her persistence in making herself known to the world through distributing postcards and using her website as a powerful tool. 

We spoke about how collaboration was really the key to keeping our art practices vibrant, working with an artist collective, and then starting Kind Aesthetic. Both of us, Sara Jones and Andrea Wenglowskyj, moved to New York right after graduate school and our choice to engage with our local community was one of the most important steps we took to making our creative careers last. It's something we continue to value and nurture with Kind Aesthetic, as well. 

If you want to learn more about the whole event, bios are below!

Taliah Lempert is a visual artist living and working in Brooklyn, New York since 1989. She studied at the New York Academy of Art and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Lempert’s work combines the two things that she is most passionate about, painting and cycling. Lempert’s work has been exhibited in galleries and alternative spaces in every major city in the U.S. as well as Tokyo and London. In 2012 she was selected to participate in the NYC DOT Urban Arts Barrier Beautification program and completed a 600-foot mural on a separated bike lane barrier on Flushing Ave in Brooklyn. Lempert’s work excites both the cycling and art communities alike. Over the years she has worked with such clients as The Museum of Modern Art Design Store, Magma, Moss, Paul Smith, Velo Vine, Blue Stockings, Terry Bicycles, Steward & Stand and Taking the Lane. Her designs can also be found at Anthropologie and Fishs Eddy.

Eleanor Callott Whitney is a writer, rock musician, educator, and arts administrator raised in Maine and living in Brooklyn. She finds joy in bringing order to the chaos of creativity, empowering artists with the tools they need to think of themselves as entrepreneurs and in managing and facilitating creative projects with panache. She is the author of Grow: How to take your DIY project and passion to the next level and quit your job!, released in 2013 by Microcosm Publishing. Eleanor writes extensively about art, culture and nonprofit management and published the personal, art zine Indulgence for 15 years, as well as co-founded the Portland Zine Symposium. 

The Feminist Art Project (TFAP) promotes diverse feminist art events, education and publications through its website calendar. Website visitors can find exhibitions, lectures, artist talks, classes, films and other art related activities in their area or to include in their travel plans. TFAP preserves all calendar listings in the TFAP virtual archives and requests documentation from calendar participants to add to its physical archive.

SOHO20 Gallery is the number one organization in New York City providing women with exhibition and professional artistic opportunities. They are on the forefront of the contemporary art world, and are redefining the meaning of feminism in art. In 1973, SOHO20 was founded by a group of 20 women artists intent on achieving professional excellence in an industry where there was a gross lack of opportunities for women to succeed.

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

Creative Marketing at CUE

We love CUE Art Foundation because they are truly committed to helping artists with their processes. Through workshops and one-on-one meetings, individuals can explore the potential in their own unique paths by learning from others.

Last Wednesday, October 2, we hosted a workshop called Creative Marketing for Artists. This workshop is a fresh way to look at our art practices. It isn't like usual marketing workshops– we didn't cover the standards for social media, blogging and writing press releases. Quite frankly, that information is valuable, important and covered by many professional practices programs, but it's a given that you have to use those tools in today's art world. Our workshop was a lesson in expanding our minds to think where beyond the "art world" our work can exist, make an impact, and grow our audiences.

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We used the Marshall Strawberry Project by Leah Gauthier as an example. Leah is a relational artist who uses plants and food as her medium, is committed to educating her audience about diversifying our food supply, and often incorporates performance into her work. She wanted to try and sell work ( a "product") in order to make some extra income on the side that would hopefully enrich her practice and not be a distraction. During the workshop we shared her story and showed the work of some other artists to demonstrate how these non-traditional models could adapt to any art practice with a little elbow grease, hard work and thinking outside the box.

We are really excited about all the projects that were shared with us after the workshop and during the one-on-one consultations. For those of you who attended, it was really special to delve deeper into what you all do, where you passions lie, and to spend some time with you and your art work. You inspired us, and we hope you are making progress with your ideas.  

Stay tuned for a future Creative Marketing Workshop near you. We'll send out information on our mailing list, and also via Facebook and Twitter. 


 

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

Dream Big: DELVE Workshops for Artists

On April 13th, we here at Kind Aesthetic hosted our first DELVE Workshop for working artists, in partnership with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. We spent the day in Karen Rosenkrantz and Sophie Staerk's gorgeous Chelsea studio and covered a myriad of topics, resources and ideas to help inspire our attendees breathe new life into how they communicate their art practices with the world.

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You might notice that these workshops have the same name as our networking events that we host around the NYC area: DELVE. Both platforms do just what the name says: we jump in, explore and dig deep. We consider it similar to taking a spa day/hike/retreat/intervention for your art practice, which has to include a good lunch.

These workshops operate with the idea that everyone involved has a growing body of art work that they want to get out into the world in a variety of different formats, whether it be showing in exhibitions, getting a grant to work on a project or by finally updating a website. Do you suck at time management but are great at making connections? Do you really want to apply for art residencies but can't make the deadlines? Are you finally happy with your artist statement and can help other people get there? Every artist has their own set of skills, needs, fortes and dreams. And that is why all together, through networking and taking time with one another's work, we can help answer questions that might seem daunting when approached during solitary studio time.

During the course of the day, we covered many necessary topics: documenting one's work; where to find and how to create exhibition opportunities; the ins and outs of email etiquette;  legal issues–contracts and copyrights, anyone?; building websites that look good and are easy to update; creating and maintaining relationships that will help serve you well; taking the fear and loathing out of artist statements; filing receipts and doing taxes; self-promotion; budgeting for life and grant applications; and more. We got real, we got detailed, we had fun and we all learned from each other. We sent everyone home with a lot of information that will aid them over time.

 

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We were really happy to have had Julie Lohnes, the Director of A.I.R Gallery, join us to share her experiences and advice about the art world, and give feedback on everyone's portfolios. Julie's path as an artist-turned-gallery director and curator is really inspiring. It was wonderful to be in the presence of a person who loves what artists do and can celebrate their work by creating exhibitions and sharing knowledge.

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We are so thankful to have met and worked with a wonderful group of artists. If you're interested in joining us for our next workshop, please be sure to email us or sign up for our monthly newsletter below.  Feel free to let us know what kind of topics you'd like to explore.

 

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.