networking

Make people remember you with an effective introduction

Have you ever felt tongue-tied when asked to introduce yourself and describe your work? Or maybe you ramble on in a way that doesn’t accurately describe what you do?

As a creative who does so many amazing things, it might be incredibly difficult to put your work into words in order to give your audience that “aha” moment and make them want to learn more.

There are many occasions where you’ll be asked to describe your work – or answer that dreaded question: what do you do? These include interviews, parties, networking get-togethers, conferences, or even meeting a friend of a friend for the first time.

The goal? You want the right people to remember you.

There are ways to practice talking about your services and talents that will open doors and engage the people you are talking with in an exciting way.

First, you need to remember: You are the only person in the world who does exactly what you do in your unique way. We want to help you make sure you tell the right story when people ask, in a clear, succinct, and compelling way.

First, let’s explore an example:

We met an artist at an opening. She had recently moved to New York from Florida, so we were discussing that, since it's a big life move. Sarah, our new acquaintance, impressed us when we 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, we were intrigued, asked her more questions about her work, and made it a point to look at her website the next day. 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 is to be very specific because each and every one of us is incredibly unique.

Make someone remember you. How do you do that? Create your perfect elevator pitch in five easy steps:

1. Say what you do: I am a______________________________. (designer, writer, illustrator, programmer, etc)

2. Now write down the three most important things that you do as a (designer, writer, illustrator, programmer, etc) and cite proof points why your work is important or unique.

3. Now figure out: What do you want your work to accomplish/What is your goal?

4. Distill the above three points into a short sentence or two: this will become your introduction, or pitch. You’ll want to end up with a simple statement like: I am a _____________ who (does this unique thing.)

5. Remember, you are talking with someone else, so engage them. Hopefully your pitch is so compelling that they ask you follow-up questions! Make sure you have a business card on hand to give them in case they want to learn more.

Here are some tips to consider as you practice your pitch in the mirror and to your dog, cat and best friend before you take it out into the real world:

  • It should explain what you do, clearly and succinctly: Who are you? What do you do?
  • It should be no longer than 20-30 seconds, which is about the time it takes to ride an elevator.
  • The pitch should be addressed to THEM not to YOU. To successfully engage in conversation, remember it’s about storytelling, not fact-reciting.
  • It should be comprehensible to even a kid.
  • Say it with confidence.
  • Be memorable.
  • It needs to be compelling and sound natural in person. (It’s beneficial to write it out and memorize it, but you don’t want to end up sounding like a robot.)

Why is your elevator pitch important?

  • You want people to understand what you do and remember you. It’s an opportunity to create a mental picture for your audience when your work is not in front of them to experience first hand.
  • You are creating an opportunity for an opportunity, which getting tongue tied will not provide you.
  • In a social setting, you would like to be able to engage in meaningful dialog with someone without rambling.
  • You want to add value to your community.
  • Because it’s an opportunity to represent your character as well as what kind of work you do.
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Good luck! Let us know what your success stories are after you’ve written out and practiced your pitch!

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

2 Ingredients To Build Community As An Artist or Creative Entrepreneur

One of the talking points in our extensive conversations during the DELVE Toolkit is about building community. A lot of us often have that nagging feeling that we could be doing more to network and build a supportive community around us, but life gets in the way. We listen to what each of our clients is actually doing and help them figure out how they can enhance their community-building efforts, or if they are doing just fine. Building community isn't always easy, depending on where you live or how shy you are, but it's not impossible – it's so incredibly important. So read on...

More often than not, artists and creative entrepreneurs want:

  • people to share new work with, commiserate with, and bounce ideas off of
  • accountability and support
  • to feel that they are not isolated

There are two ingredients to build the community you seek: coffee and follow-through.

"Coffee" means: meet people out and go to events. Make coffee or drink dates with your peers. If you don't get out, then you won't meet the people you need to. We also like to have "virtual coffees," when an introduction is made and it's hard to meet up.

"Follow-through" means exactly that: communicate and do what you say you will and follow-up. Don't be that person that wants to meet up but doesn't make the effort to do it, because frankly, community won't always come to you. If you want to get some people together for a peer critique, for instance, start one yourself.

How will you (continue to) build your community? Start today! We know that each of you has at least one person you have been meaning to meet or reach out with. It all starts with an email. Have fun!

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

DELVE: Death + Art

This event’s theme is Death + Art.  With all of our events we curate interdisciplinary talks and performances that include a variety of artists and creatives who give presentations prior to an evening of mingling over drinks. For DELVE: Death + Art, we are interested in how artists may transcend literal or personal experience to examine such topics as war, obsolescence, the “death” of materials through loss of function, decay or disintegration, or how death and the past can be reframed in the present to create a spectacle, an oddity, or an educational experience. It is our hope that this exploration of death will result in a new creation. Through multiple platforms (the event, our blog, and social media), we will share the many ways that artists and thinkers may create a beginning from an end. We hope you can join us on this journey!

Over the next month, we will be sharing links, interviews, and guest blog posts by artists and creatives who deal with this topic in a wide variety of ways. Please be sure to follow us on social media and use the hashtag #delvedeath, if you have anything to share!

The night of the event, we have two artists who will be sharing their practice with us:

Spencer Merolla

Spencer Merolla

Spencer Merolla

Spencer Merolla is an artist working in the medium of human hair. She has been making art as long as she can remember, beginning with obsessively coloring on the little cardboard inserts that come in packages of hosiery--and also on the walls of her childhood bedroom. Her interest in Victoriana stems from growing up in a sprawling, drafty Victorian house in Larchmont, NY and from being dragged by her mother to lectures with such scintillating titles as "Edith Wharton's Influence on Homes and Gardens."

Her recent work revisits the Victorian practice of sentimental hairwork from a contemporary perspective, investigating its emotional and performative aspects. Shifting attitudes toward mourning and death make the Victorian practice at odds with modern sensibilities, and this discordance offers an opportunity to reflect on our modern-day conventions of grief and remembrance.

She lives and works in Brooklyn.

Terence Hannum

Terence Hannum

Terence Hannum

Terence Hannum is a Baltimore based visual artist and musician who performs solo, with the avant-metal band Locrian (Relapse Records) and the dark synthpop duo The Holy Circle. Hannum is an Assitant Professor of Art at Stevenson University. He has had solo exhibitions at Guest Spot (Baltimore), Western Exhibitions (Chicago, IL), Stevenson University, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Gallery 400 at UIC (Chicago, IL).  And in group shows at TSA (Brooklyn, NY), sophiajacob (Baltimore, MD), Allegra La Viola (NYC), City Ice Arts (Kansas City, MO) & Jonathan Ferrara Gallery (New Orleans, LA).

About the venue:

The Morbid Anatomy Museum is a new 4,200 square foot non-profit institution dedicated to the celebration and exhibition of artifacts, histories and ideas which fall between the cracks of high and low culture, death and beauty, and disciplinary divides.

The Morbid Anatomy Museum hosts the kind of temporary exhibitions that very few larger museums can produce; shows both large and small, drawing on private and public collections and calling on the scholarship and expertise of the greater Morbid Anatomy community. Our permanent collection houses a research library of over 1,000 books as well as artifacts such as memorial artworks, medical moulages, wax embryological models, natural history specimens, and a variety of uncanny artworks and artifacts from around the world.

GET TICKETS HERE

RSVP ON FACEBOOK HERE

© 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.

Step away from your computer! Network in person.

We all spend a lot of time looking at screens. Screens are part of our workdays, connecting on social media, reading the news, sharing information. They are our best friends and sometimes our worst enemies. But there really is no better way to connect and meet people than a good old fashioned face-to-face. (A phone call comes in at a close second.) 

This great article on the Etsy blogTop Tips for Building a Creative Network by Casey Sibley, has a lot of great information in it. One of the key take-aways is this:

You may be hesitant to put yourself out there before you feel ready, or before you’ve perfected [your] product. When I started my business, I was terrified to tell people about it, fearful that they would think I was a total weirdo for wanting to start a creative business. But networking in person early and often will help build your confidence. Over time, I’ve found that most people are very supportive, and often admire that I am pursuing something that I love to do.

We often work with creative entrepreneurs who work alone, or in a small team, and a new business venture or even a new product needs moral support to take off, as well as financial support, a clear voice and strong visuals. Explaining your goals in person is often most effective, and doing so will help light that fire to move forward. And yes, if you are making a transition from a 9-5 corporate environment to a creative business, it can feel very, very weird. So there's no better way than to start getting your idea out there in the world to see how it sticks. It sounds scary and kind of annoying, but always ultimately fun. That's networking.

Wanting to give people the opportunity to meet in person is one of the many reasons we started DELVE Networking events around New York City. Our next one is July 22nd in Dumbo at Made in NY IFP Media Center and we'll be exploring Food + Art. We'll be sharing more about it soon, but get your tickets now before it's too late. Some amazing speakers are lined up and we can't wait to spend the evening with you! Summer's a great time to start sharing your new products, projects and business ideas with friends and like-minded people in person– the energy is high and the nights are long. And if you want want to chat about telling your story in the most clear and compelling way with stunning visuals, say hello.

See you on July 22nd in Dumbo and feel free to leave your favorite networking tips and insights below!

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

NEW DELVE Fabric(ation) & Toolkit + Post-Networking to dos

Last Friday evening, many people braved the bitter cold to join us at the cozy Textile Arts Center's Manhattan workshop for DELVE Networking, Fabric(ation) + Art. It was a seriously inspiring group of artists, graphic designers, architects, fashion designers, students, Textile Arts Center fans, interior designers, entrepreneurs and more. Fiyel Levent and Annie Coggan gave inspired talks about their work and process, each diving into what the idea of fabrication means to them.

We had the chance to announce our brand new Toolkit for Artists and Creatives that is part of the DELVE suite of services, which also includes events and bespoke workshops. If you are an artist or creative looking to grow your community or build your practical professional skills to enhance your practice, check out our new site and take action on projects that are important to you.

Plus, in this post we also wanted to share some tips for what to do after these networking events to keep building your community.

Scroll down and keep on reading to learn more....

Last Friday evening was a wonderful and productive event because:

  • We had the opportunity to hear about and be inspired by the processes of two talented architects/designers/artists who redesign, beautify and transform the way we use and think about everyday objects and the spaces we inhabit.
  • The Textile Arts Center, an organization that symbolizes experimentation and learning based on fabric and textiles, is a great space to think and talk about fabrication.
  • Meeting new talented people from all around the city (and world) really opened our eyes to so many more inspiring projects that are going on.

Hearing Fiyel Levent talk about her process was really enlightening, and it was amazing to hear how her travels around the world have influenced her designs for furniture, objects and paper goods. Experimenting with different materials is very important to her work. She took us down the fascinating path of how she actually makes her intricate, beautiful objects. She left us with an important thought: from designing her furniture and objects to her paper goods, fabricating locally has become incredibly important to her as she moves away from creating every single one of her pieces on her own. 

Courtesy Fiyel Levent  These intricate shavings were a by product from her screens on the right, an unexpected surprise. 

Courtesy Fiyel Levent

These intricate shavings were a by product from her screens on the right, an unexpected surprise. 

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Courtesy Fiyel Levent  The blue foam cylinders, collected from art supply stores all over NYC and then some, became the molds for this gorgeous wine rack for a private client.

Courtesy Fiyel Levent

The blue foam cylinders, collected from art supply stores all over NYC and then some, became the molds for this gorgeous wine rack for a private client.

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Annie Coggan's work explores, in her words, "rooms, objects and stories: three preoccupations and their subsequent consequences." First, Annie took us on a tour of incredible rooms that she has designed, and the objects (especially chairs) that she remakes for certain persons from history. Each space, object and drawing is infused with deep historical meaning, usually based on a specific individual chosen and interpreted by Annie. As a mother, teacher, instructor, designer and artist, her fabrication methods thrive on self-imposed rules, whether all materials must be salvaged, or she works on projects in pieces through embroidery in the evenings so she can always be producing.

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Thanks to everyone who attended and participated and we hope to see you again soon!

LINKS
Annie Coggan/Chairs and Buildings
Fiyel Levent Atelier
Fiyel Levent Paper Goods
Textile Arts Center

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If you collected any business cards or made new friends last Friday at our event, here are some suggestions to schedule into your calendar this week:

Follow up and say hello! Just send an email and check out the other person's website. Simple. Do it before you forget. Add each other to your mailing lists.
Connect on social media. This is a great way to stay in touch. It seems we all use Facebook these days to share art events and Twitter is an easy way to stay in the know. 
Comment and interact with the event organizers. We have a blog and hope you'll comment on pieces that interest you and leave your website and introduce yourselves. Join our community!
Schedule a studio visit. We are huge fans of studio visits with new friends of colleagues. So if you've hit it off with someone, there's never a better time to get some feedback on your work, or vice versa. We all live here to create and share what we do.

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

Friday Links–January 3

This month is all about FABRIC(ATION) leading up to our DELVE Networking event on January 24th at Textile Arts Center in Manhattan.

Networking is vital, and more important than you think.

The documentary My Brooklyn  will be aired on PBS on January 14, and there will be 30 days of free streaming.

Don't forget: lots of big museum shows are closing this month, including:

Chris Burden at the New Museum, through January 12 and Robert Indiana at the Whitney, through January 5.

Two fun things to look at and consider wearing:

A girdle book, attached to your girdle or belt; or look more powerful in these scarves by Miranda July. 

Where are people in America going? To other states

And we're still catching up on some best of 2013 lists, including this one at Frieze. 

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

Networking is vital, and more important than you think.

The word "networking" has gotten an unsavory reputation recently, maybe because it conjures sweaty, awkward events with fishbowls full of poorly designed business cards. Here are some typical reasons someone might give for not wanting to go to a networking event:

1) I have no one to go with.
2) I am not in the mood.
3) I don't have time and I am not sure if the event will be worth it.

We'd like to FLIP that mindset and say:

1) Go alone. It's the best way to meet people. You are at a networking event for that exact reason, along with everybody else. 

2) When are we truly ever in the mood to leap out of our comfort zones? So, ignore the TV shows you need to catch up on, that drink with your complaining coworkers, and your primal fears, and go. We guarantee that once you get to the event you can find some genuine connections with people.

3) This is a valid concern, since our time is most certainly precious. That is why we started our DELVE Networking series. We can guarantee that each event will leave you inspired to do more--and you might even make some new friends. 

 

 

Join us on January 24th for DELVE FABRIC(ATION) with speakers
Fiyel Levent and Annie Coggan
.
They'll blow your socks off with all they do.
Plus we are going to be at the very cool Textile Arts Center workshop space in Manhattan.
Get your ticket here

Of the two of us, I (Andrea) am more of a natural networker. I am genuinely curious about who people are and what they do, and it could be in my DNA--my father used to be the M.C. of our annual town festival and he found it great fun. He always gave it his all because he understood that his community could be more rewarding when people were brought together and connections were made. When we started these events in March of 2013, Sara, the other half of Kind Aesthetic, was very excited but admitted to it being out of her comfort zone. That made me stop and realize that it is indeed nerve-wracking to speak in front of a crowd of strangers and meet new people. Therefore, it was imperative that our events be comfortable, productive and friendly.  

And that is where the hitch is: don't network just because you want something. We all want things: to be more successful, to make new connections, to be given the things we know we deserve. But no one is going to want to talk to us if we are pushing our weird business cards in each others faces. Desperation stinks.

We are not the only ones who are preaching the value of meeting new like-minded people. According to this article by Ilise Benun, we should network to get the following people into our pool of contacts, whether you are a freelancer, creative type, entrepreneur or artist:

"1. Clients and customers. 
2. Peers and colleagues. 
3. Mentors. 
4. Referral sources."

And this article by Jessica Hische is hilarious, true, and a good reminder that you can have fun and not be totally creepy while networking. Definitely give both of these articles a read before your next event.

This is a list of what you should bring to your next networking event:

1) A nicely designed business card.
2) A short, memorized, friendly elevator pitch about what you do.
3) A smile, some nice questions to ask people, and a good attitude. No one likes jerks who don't listen.
4) An open mind.
5) A plan to follow-up with your new contacts within a week. 

So, why do we force ourselves to network? Because people are actually really amazing, especially artists and creatives. We guarantee that you will meet at least one new person to have a studio visit with, schedule a coffee date with, or open up your mind to a new creative technique. We leave each of our events a bit euphoric because we got to be around an unparalleled amount of energy and interesting stories. We hope it's the same for you. See you on January 24th!

Read about all the past DELVE Networking events  here !

Read about all the past DELVE Networking events here!

 

 

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.