Hire Me, Hire An Artist.
Awhile ago I read an excellent blog post about artists as employees, written by Chris Ashworth. The title of his post was, “My competitive advantage: I hire artists“, and in it he explains his hiring of an artist and the huge difference this made to his company. For the full story you should really go read it, but there are a few points I’ll highlight here because it got me thinking about what I’d like to see from a future employer.
Chris makes the statement, “Artists, as a species, are amazing people… Show me a good artist and I will show you a highly educated, highly creative, highly passionate, highly driven human being.” There’s more to the statement but the point of it is this: isn’t the kind of person described above exactly the kind you’d want to have as an employee? And as Chris says, all an employer needs to do is not destroy the whole reason you want to hire an artist. You do this by creating a job custom built to support their passion. Artists need flexible schedules and a base amount of money to keep doing what they do, and neither of these things are easy to find. All this segue’s nicely into talking about the next steps in my own art career.
I am just over a year into working full time as an artist, and while I have seen many tangible successes from this total commitment to my art, the most important thing I lack is a source of steady income. I dove into this phase of my life knowing I was taking a huge risk stepping away from a regular paycheck, but I really wanted to work on developing my career as an artist full time. The last many months have been very educational in building this artistic career, and I’ve figured out many of the pieces to make it work for me. I’ve always envisioned part-time employment as part of the plan and have taken my time to carefully consider exactly what I want from my next job. Most importantly I need an employer willing to embrace the fact that I’m an artist and view this as an asset to their company.
What exactly am I looking for in a job? Let me lay it out for you:
- Working closely with a small team of people, or in general interacting with people (potential customers, current clients, contractors, etc.)
- A flexible schedule in days/work hours, aiming for a slightly more than half time position
- The option to work from home – I’d love to connect with people locally in Vancouver, but am setup to work remotely
- I thrive on variety in the tasks I tackle, and am good at context switching to focus on what needs doing
- Earning a living to cover both basic expenses and support my art practice
What I have to offer:
- Skilled user of social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, & Blogs
- Experienced with multiple CMS platforms such as Blogger, WordPress, ExpressionEngine, and Drupal
- Producer of a monthly newsletter using Mailchimp, and able to steadily increase readership
- In general, very comfortable with web apps & tools, from Harvest for time tracking & invoicing to Basecamp for project management and client communications
- Creator of compelling content in both written and visual form
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Strong computer skills, working with both Mac and Windows platforms, using a variety of tools from Photoshop to Word
- Self motivated and able to work independently to achieve deadlines
- A team player interested in maintaining an enjoyable & supportive work environment
I’ve worked for a number of technology- and web-related businesses in the past, handling a number of tasks around project management, marketing, basic accounting, and office management.
Ideally, I’m looking for a position with what I can best describe as a creative technology company. Or perhaps a company that wants to use technology creatively.
The non-profit space interests me as well (especially if arts related), but I’d be looking for a fit with an organization that wants to evolve its use of the web and technology on both the marketing and internal process fronts. Translation: rather than an office paper shuffler, I’d want to help your organization better adopt the use of technology to accomplish your mission.
So do you want to hire an artist or know of an organization where I’d be a good fit? I would appreciate you spreading the word about this post. You can easily re-share or “like” this on Facebook as well.