Illawarra writer Chloe Higgins is leading the charge of opening up conversations on how to make being an artist a sustainable practice.
Ms Higgins is facilitating a series of free symposiums at The Little Prince on Globe Lane, titled Two Tacos and a Top Hat, with local artists from varying genres to discuss the “back end” of being creative.
The concept is part of Wollongong City Council’s Creative Dialogues program and was named around the audience enjoying food while passing a hat around to gather questions for the night.
“I really feel like there’s a lack of conversation happening around things like how to sustain a long term arts career, how to get funding, how to build partnerships, how to look after your mental health, working as a creative, all this back end stuff,” she said.
Musician Jordan Ireland and visual artist Nicci Bedson have already presented at the monthly meets with dozens of creatives turning up to listen and ask questions.
Ms Bedson spoke mostly about multi-tasking, diversifying skills and being business-minded – topics she said are not often overlooked because art is often driven by passion and emotion.
“We talked about the business side of art and the need to be professional and make money, and promote one’s self,” she said.
Award-winning seascape photographer Warren Keelan will be the next to share his wisdom this Tuesday, with a focus on networking.
“It takes ages to establish yourself as an artist and then to make a living off the genre that you do,” Mr Keelan said.
“I’m more of the old school, like, I think to create a business and survive in this industry you just can’t rely on social media and be emailing people you’ve got to be present and turn up to events and give back to the community.”
Two Tacos and a Top Hat at The Little Prince, Wollongong – photographer Warren Keelan June 12; cultural activist Jenny Briscoe-Hough July 10.