The February MKE Creatives meetup turned out as it has on occasion in the past – not as it was planned, but still in a good, albeit unexpected way. Our presenter, Nick Dempske, of Racine Public Library’s BONK! Series, was unable to attend, due to a car problem. So instead of talking about BONK!, our discussion became one on a topic that all creatives deal with at one time or another:
“what do you do when things get slow? How do you determine >what< to do? How do you find your audience? How do you keep motivated when you’re a one-person show?”
Andy Pain (travel-writer, superhero novelist, and cross-country/nations motorcyclist) had a good insight: “to find an audience, one way is to get active in the community that is interested in what it is you’re doing.” For instance, Andy made a small-motorcycle journey from Alaska to S. America. Sharing his adventures on various message boards led to him being recognized as a good source of info for that particular kind of adventure – which in turn led to invitations to speak and present at various conventions/events.
Paul Akert (storyteller, toymaker) suggested that you need to work at recognizing what it is that really gets your creative juices flowing, and then find ways to make that work- ways you hope for AND ways you didn’t expect: “even though I had back-up plans when I retired, I had no idea that my life would be like it does now, that I’d have become a storyteller!”
Deni Storm (portrait/conceptual/stock photographer) learned that the slow points help her to see what it is that really likes about her work, and that in turn, pushes her to stay focused on her marketing: “When things get slow, and I think about getting a regular job…then I realize, “why would I ever stop doing something I love so much?”, and I buckle down and get to marketing my work.”
Kerri Grote (writer/corporate comms) mentioned how helpful in can be to read biographies/autobiographies when the going gets tough: “We all can relate to each other’s journeys; we’re all on our own ‘Hero’s Journey’.”
John (CPA/fiduciary/financial advisor) talked about coming into his busy season as folks get ready to have their taxes done.
And me, I’ve recently gotten to do some neat work for Renaissance Theatre, and am preparing for a running endurance race in June – the Titletown Ultra!