Secrets of an Arts Administrator

“Secrets of an Arts Administrator” will be a weekly blog post featuring anecdote from regional administrators/educators in the creative field.  It is NCLAC’s hope that through these real life experiences artists in all fields can gain practical knowledge for the industry.  As the famous author C.S. Lewis once said “Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.” Lesson: "Say Yes to the Dress" has all life's guidelines

No, this is not a blog posts about weddings or television.  For those of you who don't know "Say Yes to the Dress" is a TLC show about wedding dresses and the famous bridal boutique Kleinfeld in Manhattan.  It shadows brides on the search for the perfect wedding dress.  Like most netflix junkies I have spent way too much time watching episodes of my favorite shows in rapid succession.  Including "Say Yes to the Dress".

Recently it dawned on me that it has the answers to most problems I encounter.

The fashion experts and bridal consultants on the show outline 4 rules a bride should never break when shopping for "the dress" and why:

  • Do not bring an entourage to your wedding dress shopping.  Entourages have a tendency to shout their opinions over your desires.
  • Never walk into bridal boutique without having some idea of what you are looking for because it will quickly become overwhelming.
  • Never try on a dress outside your budget.  You could fall in love with something you can't afford.
  • And lastly, once you find the "perfect one" stop looking.

After hearing these rules repeated in show after show and seeing the disastrous outcomes of not heeding said advice, I began to see similar experiences with the artists and professionals I work with everyday.  Below I've covered the same rules and adapted them for artistic readers:

  • Sometimes you have to ignore the "peanut gallery" Remember that you can't please everyone.  Although we strive as artists to impact those viewing our work it is not always going to make everyone happy.  When you pursue artistic goals you have to remember your direction.
  • Which brings me to my next point...Have some direction.  Most artists have wonderful plans for producing their work and dreams of where they would like to perform/exhibit/publish those said works, but loose the step in between.  Make a plan of how you will get from point "A" to point "C".
  • Work within your financial means. I am not saying you should "settle" and not aim for the moon.  What I am saying, is make sure that what you hope to produce is within your means financially, and if it's not have a plan about how you will get the funds.
  • And lastly, know when you are done.  Overworking has destroyed many projects.