Here’s How to Launch the Art Project of Your Dreams
Many write, paint, or do community theater in their spare time, but what if your ambitions go beyond that? You want to involve yourself in the arts community in a bigger way: starting a literary magazine, making a short film or opening a small art gallery. These projects call for big commitments in terms of time and money, but they can also be rewarding. The tips below can help you get started.
You’ll have an easier time getting people interested in your project, and potentially funding it, if you already have a track record. It’s a good idea to get involved in a low cost, lower commitment way so that you can get to know people. Before you try to launch a small press magazine, see if you can start a monthly poetry reading series in your community, which is an endeavor that will cost you little or nothing. This will give you some experience and credibility to move to the next step.
Figure Out Your Finances
You can make a film, run a small gallery, or publish a magazine on a shoestring, but you’ll need some funds in the first place to do that. Needless to say, don’t quit your day job. Your first step is to figure out the minimum amount of money that you’ll need and then what you would do if you scaled up from that point. Next, consider how you’re going to fund your project. There are many different options, and you may want to use a combination.
Of course, putting up the money yourself is the easiest solution, but you may not have much to spare. It might be possible to cut back on your spending and free up some cash. You could look at changing some of your habits to spend less as well as on reducing some of your bills. You might be able to refinance any student loans that you have so that your monthly payment may not be as high. Once you’ve exhausted your own resources, it’s time to look further afield. Crowdfunding can be a great option if you can offer supporters something of value and providing it won’t take away from your main mission. There may also be grants available for some types of projects.
Have a Plan
Now that you know it’s important to keep track of your expenses you can focus on the other important elements of launching an art project. Be explicit about your plans. If you’re going to make a short film, what do you plan to do with it afterwards? Will you enter it in some film festivals? If you are launching a publication, how will you market it to people? Talk to others who have done similar projects for advice.
While you want to be successful in your endeavor, you should also look at it as a learning experience. You may not succeed the first time around. Your magazine may fold after two issues; maybe you won’t be able to keep up with rent in the gallery space you found. Consider this a chapter, not the whole story. If your first effort fails, you can look at what went wrong, regroup and launch again. Everyone who works in the arts knows how precarious it can be, and the key is to keep learning and growing.