Artists in Conversation:

Claire Zulkey

Writing and Publishing a Book: Slow Going is Still Going

I wanted to publish a book since I was 13 and read The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. I read that Hinton was 18 when she published her book, and I thought, Well, if she can do it, so can I. Nevermind that I didn't actually have a book to write. I just wanted to do it.

Lauren Viera

Building a Journalistic Career: The Power of Flexibility

Lauren Viera is a Chicago-based journalist who currently writes about arts and entertainment for the Chicago Tribune. She also teaches English at the college level and has worked as a Print Journalism Industry Expert at the Columbia College Portfolio Center, so she's adept at offering solid career advice. I asked Lauren questions about breaking into arts and culture journalism, working at a major newspaper, and her thoughts on being a writer in Chicago.

Carol Fisher Saller

Q&A with a Subversive Copy Editor

The words "copy editor" and "subversive" don't typically go hand in hand, but Carol Saller, a senior manuscript editor at the University of Chicago Press, has proven they're compatible. For years, she has answered style questions for The Chicago Manual of Style's popular online Q&A, and she has done so with clarity, confidence, and good humor. One might assume that she approaches her editorial work with the rigidity of a strict grammarian, but when working directly with writers her emphasis is on forging relationships, being willing to "overthrow the popular view that the writer is a natural adversary," and sometimes even to "think outside the rules."

Putting Yourself into Self-Promotion

An Interview with Wendy McClure, Successful Author and Blogger

Wendy McClure is the author of the memoir I'm Not the New Me, based on a blog she started called Pound. Her blog attracted the attention of editors at BUST magazine who offered her a gig as the pop culture columnist. Her background as a successful blogger makes her well-qualified to answer questions about self-promotion and seizing opportunities.

Gerardo Cárdenas, Contratiempo

Building a Spanish Literary Movement in America's Heartland

When people ask me what exactly is it that Contratiempo strives to achieve, I tend not to mince words: We are the beacon, nucleus, and rallying point for a Spanish-language literary movement in the United States. We are making sure Spanish is spoken, read, and written at the highest level for this generation and (hopefully) the next.

Doug Seibold, Agate Publishing

Going Against the Grain: Founding and Running a For-Profit Publishing House

When I founded Agate Publishing in 2003, I was driven by two main motivations: the desire to do the kind of work that I was most interested in doing, and the desire to have more control over my destiny in doing it.

Elysabeth Alfano

Elysabeth Alfano - Fear No Art Chicago

Fear No ART Chicago on WTTW: How I Got From There To Here

When I started my first two businesses in the arts, I had no idea what I getting myself into. When I created the TV show "Fear No ART Chicago" and, inadvertently, a production company, I couldn’t have been further from understanding what was involved.

Lisa Canning, The Institute for Arts Enterpreneurship

The Artist as Innovator: From “Starving” to Entrepreneurial by Thinking Outside the Box

I am a classical musician: a clarinetist. I’m also a writer, an actress, a visual designer, and an almost 30-year serial arts entrepreneur. If you Google my name or go to any of my websites, it might appear to you that I am more of a business owner than an artist.

Richard Moskal

Profile: Chicago Film Office

Rich Moskal of DCASE Surveys the Field

Chicago filmmaking has seen windfall years before and, unfortunately, they’re often followed by crippling drought.

Lucia Mauro, Arts Writer and Critic

How did you develop your niche as an Arts Writer and Dance Critic?

Like many aspiring dancers, one of my earliest inspirations came in the form of the unapologetically melodramatic 1948 film,The Red Shoes, featuring Moira Shearer as art- and love-torn ballerina, Victoria Page. When asked why she dances, Shearer’s character famously responds, “Why do you want to live?” I became captivated by the movie’s strange and glamorous universe, complete with a Svengali-esque ballet impresario, Leonide Massine’s wild-eyed turn as a sinister cobbler in the fantasy-ballet sequence, and sweeping views of the French Riviera.

William Rattner - Lawyers for the Creative Arts

What do Lawyers Have to do with Art?

I don't have a story, I have a plea to the arts community, based on hundreds of stories told by the artists who come to us for help. My plea is simple, and not very original. I am urging each of you to realize that, whether or not you like it, you are in business.

Jiba Anderson - Griot Enterprises

How Have You Become More Legal-savvy in Your Artistic Career?

Every artist has to remember that, first and foremost, art is a business. If you don't want to face that fact, then do not try to survive off of your talent. Find something else to do. With that being said, I have learned early on that artists need to protect themselves.

Mindy Rose Schwartz

How important is it for you to update your skills on an ongoing basis?

UPDATED NOVEMBER 23rd: Mindy Rose Schwartz receives the 7th annual Achievement Award from The Helen Coburn Meier and Tim Meier Charitable Foundation for the Arts. 

Bob Sloane, Harold Washington Library

How can the Harold Washington Library archives be useful to artists?

Bob Sloane currently heads the Art Information Center at the Harold Washington Library Center. He is in charge of the dance collections, and has programmed more than 350 live dance performances in the last 18 years. Here he speaks on the library archives, how they preserve Chicago's dance history, and how artists can submit works for inclusion.

Mark Nelson

How can art-making impact social and political issues?

The projects I have created for the last 22 years are the direct result of having been raised overseas as a resident guest in other people's lands.

Frederick Holland

How can an art practice have a political/social impact?

From a historical perspective, images were often used to glorify a God or successful citizens (who served as an example of behavior that one should emulate) or to celebrate a hero (who sacrificed in service to the state). The relatively high cost and specialized skills needed for the production of imagery precluded the creation of artworks that challenged the existing powers.

Lee Tracy

Effective business strategies for an artist?

It is important for artists to take things seriously; so seriously that we must enact a thoughtful plan to set ourselves up in a sustainable environment.

Laura Weathered

How Can Artists Create a Cooperative Housing Project?

Artist finds dusty, unused space, convinces landlord to rent space, improves the raw space with the help of friends, neighborhood gets trendy, rents double, artist moves to another neighborhood. Repeat the scenario every two years. How many years do you put up with this cycle of dust and grime, and working in a really, unhealthy raw space? Artist gets tired. It costs too much to make art anymore.

Claire Pentecost

How can art-making impact social and political issues?

I collaborated with Critical Art Ensemble and Beatriz daCosta to create a project of public science using Monsanto's patented RoundUp Ready (soy, canola and corn).

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