It's been 11 months since my last post and admittedly that ridiculous in-my-head-you're-so-lame self-defeating voice has kept me from writing.
But really, this first year teaching seriously whipped my ass.
It's been a scary, intimidating, anxiety-filled, stress-inducing, exhausting year and it has been a thrilling, satisfying and incredibly enlightening year.
And so with the new year begins year two. But, this isn't any new year of teaching. This new year starts with a new course I've designed (experimental at this point) called, "Craft Your Image".
The Course Creatives Need and Never Got in School
Once I started marketing this course this year's photography graduate students signed up immediately and several undergraduate students were on the waiting list.
I was thrilled.
So for approximately 14 weeks, I'm going to collaborate with my students to "Craft their Image". Some of the major topics of discussion will include:
- Creating a business road map
- Identifying your people
- Nesting in your perfect place and position
- Keeping your eye on your cash
- Taking the scary out of marketing
Some of the nitty gritty must-cover topics:
Why a Business Course?
I get it. I've been there. I'm still there but in a different way. (I may not be running my business full-time but you can't take the mindset of entrepreneurship out of me.)
The idea came from experiences with my clients and from talking with so many creative people: beginners, seasoned professionals, photographers, designers, consultants, etc.
In my first semester I gave two three-hour overview workshops about preparing a portfolio, the importance of personal branding, marketing and more. It was geared for students about to graduate. The students share many feelings professionals have: fear, uncertainty on next steps and how to take action.
My goal was and is to distill the information and present it in a non-threatening, accessible way ripe with no bs, a few curse words and admitting to not having all the answers.
Visual Communication Programs Need to Get with the Program
Visual communication programs need to step up to the plate and design a curriculum that includes a course that covers the basics of business. The classic, generic business-school course won't do. It must be a business course tailored to creatives by a creative.
Visual communication professors have a responsibility to prepare students to find work in whatever form that may be: a full-time employee or as a "solopreneur".
For aspiring photographers this is not optional.
We do a great job teaching students concepts and the latest and greatest software; however, most schools fail at prepping students with the tools, the fundamentals of running a business, the mind shift it takes to think like a business, an entrepreneur.
Newhouse has been cultivating the entrepreneurial mind in students for quite awhile. I'd like to think we are setting the pace.
Visual communication students are eager to learn and to be successful. We need to get beyond politics and red-tape. You know, get creative and make it happen.