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W O R K I T, M A K E I T

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INTRODUCTION You've learned a great deal over the last few years. What you haven't learned — and couldn't possibly have — is how to approach life now that you're on your own. The answers are going to be different for everyone. Some graduates will take part-time jobs to fund their artistic pursuits, some will seek full-time employment, and others will jump headfirst into realizing their wildest plans. A lot of them will change their minds as they go along. Because you'll only know if you like something once you try it. That means every path is valid: there is no wrong way to go. That's the overarching theme that emerged from the numerous blogs by recent graduates, which were published over the last few years on the Art Business Centre website. We can't tell you how to live your life as an artist. But you can read about how others have done it. That's why, for this handbook, we decided not to include any professors, nor ‘experts’, but only highlight recent graduates who've struggled with the same questions that you might encounter. They found solutions, made decisions that may or may not have

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INTRODUCTION

ended well, sought out adventure and jumped in at the deep end. The blogs that were published at the Art Business Centre were all read by Jante Wortel, Nick Felix and Annemieke Dannenberg, three graduates of the Creative Writing program. They found the common threads that link the blogs together, summarized the pieces and collected the finest quotes. They also wrote from their own experience about the first year after graduation: about self-promotion, asking money for your work, working without pay, about self-doubt, about journeys into the unknown, and networking. If you're wondering whether anyone's really interested in you as an artist, these stories from recent graduates will offer a loud and clear answer: a lot of people are profoundly interested. ArtEZ graduates are always in the public eye, and a completed education will give you a head start over others. Your views matter to the world. Once graduated, you'll begin a new chapter of your life. This handbook will help you on your way.

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W O R K I T, M A K E I T

5

TABLE OF CONTENTS

P. 41 THE HONEYMOON PHASE FINDING A NEW RHYTHM SO WHAT ABOUT INCOME? PRIZES, AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS A WHOLE YEAR WITHOUT ARTEZ THE SEARCH FOR A RHYTHM DO LESS FLOW POST-IT! AND THE RHYTHM? P. 65 PROFESSION: ARTIST THE FREEDOM OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP THE BIG CAPITALIST MONSTER EMPLOYMENT PART-TIME JOBS YOUR BANK ACCOUNT SUBSIDIES WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FREE? HOW TO SET YOUR FEE P. 93 MAKE YOUR OWN IMAGE NETWORKING DO I NEED A WEBSITE? #ARTWORKOFTHEDAY #MAKESYOUTHINK #BEAUTIFUL


TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S

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PLAYFUL AND CREATIVE APPROACHES  HOW TO HANDLE A NETWORKING COFFEE DATE?  CHECKLIST: INSTAGRAM

P. 117

LOOKING BACK CRASH COURSE: SURVIVING THE ACHIEVEMENT SOCIETY DAILY SATISFACTION COLLECT BRICKS AND KEEP BUILDING  CHECKLIST FOR WHEN EVERYTHING COMES CRASHING DOWN

P. 137 ON THE DIVING BOARD #SELFCARE #SELFLOVE & #PSYCHONAUTS JUMPING INTO THE COMMERCIAL DEEP END WONDER IS THE START OF ALL WISDOM WITHDRAW #THELONELYARTIST CV OF THE FUTURE ART BUSINESS CENTRE

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L I S A KO N N O & K A R I N V L U G

P. 9

C O L L E C T- S T U D I O . C O M

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D O R E VA N M O N T F O O R T

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D E Z W O L S E S TA D S P R O D U C T I E . N L

B O U D E W I J N KO O P S

BEAR 2017


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THE FIRST FEW WEEKS

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THE HONEYMOON PHASE Summer has started. The graduation ceremony is behind us, the last traces of the exposition are about to be mopped off the floor, and the canteens are left all but empty. In the city, not a hint of us, except the posters with the flags and the blue sky with the white clouds and the black letters: ArtEZ Finals. Enter the first weeks after graduation. For some, the start of summer heralds an ocean of calm; for others, stormy seas. Knowing that you won't return to ArtEZ, its safe environment and its familiar routines, what remains? Should you work and earn a living, or wait for the whistle of a train embarking to far-flung tropics? Graduating means entering the world. The years at the academy were all in preparation: this is the real deal. But so shortly after graduating, it can be difficult to get a sense of what exactly that ‘real deal’ is. And just how that world which the young graduates are raring to enter is going to receive them. And before you know it, that summer is over. The hot summer daze slowly circles

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‘At this moment, everything is new to me. The house I inhabit, the city I live in, the musicians around me, the way I make my living, the way I spend my days. Even the winter and the first wet snow falling down on me are new. New and in motion. Every day is unpredictable — I am unpredictable, surprised by myself. Everything is open to change at any moment. It's amazing and exhausting.’

It may well be one of the biggest challenges after graduation: finding a new rhythm. A new structure, a new equilibrium. Suddenly, you have to do it all yourself. And then they will thrust themselves upon you: the how-do-I-make-ends-meet, should-I-stay-or-should-I-go, to-workor-not-to-work questions. P. 3 3

For graduates, the question isn't just where they left off, but also where they're headed. What's ahead in the coming months? Or, if we extend our gaze even beyond that, the coming years?

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M A R T VA N B E R C K E L

towards the drain and the streets assume a new kind of cool. Everything resumes. Some will return home; others will watch from the window as travelers tow their suitcases across the sidewalk, ready to unpack their stuff, neatly put their folded clothes back on their old shelves, and pick up exactly where they left off.

THE FIRST FEW WEEKS

P. 3 0

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CHAPTER 1

‘After fours years of immersion in theater, I found out there is a life outside of it. Side gigs that have nothing to do with performance, reading books, watching TV, solving jigsaw puzzles. That doesn't just relax me personally, but also gives me space for new ideas and imaginations.’ ‘Since I no longer have an academy to attend every day, I started looking for a new rhythm. For fixtures and structure. What rhythm suits this life of mine? When do I study? When do I sleep?’ ‘So far, accepting irregularity works best. Every day is different, so if I try to impose a schedule, it just ends up disappointing me — I can't sustain that. Instead, I try to set a number of goals that I want to


achieve on that day and in that particular week. That way I keep as much flexibility as I can.’

A N N E L I E KO N I N G

P. 3 0

Setting goals can be a motivating factor. After graduation, you're thrown in at the deep end and to keep your head above water; you'll need to hang on to something. At least for now. Whether that's waking up at 9, finding a space to work in, biking somewhere and back every day, it'll be something different for everyone. ‘The last few months I learned that doing everything at home is not ideal, especially now that it gets dark earlier and I have a harder time getting up. My upstairs neighbor is also not too enthused by my practicing at home all day. So I started looking for a practice room. I had the good fortune that an acquaintance of mine, a drummer, had a space ten minutes away from my house that he was willing to share. In January and February he won't be there at all, and I can have it completely to myself. I can learn how much time I have, and how I want to use it.’

Regularity, routine, stability. Whether you prefer nine-to-five work days followed by an evening of munching chips on the

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couch, or you sit working in your studio way past midnight, the basic idea is the same: structure. Finding one can take weeks, even months. It's a matter of feeling your way around, of trial and error. And once you've found something, only time will tell if it's right for you. SO WHAT ABOUT INCOME? Upon the cancellation of that sweet monthly DUO payment, you may be left with a gaping hole in your bank account. Many of us are no strangers to balances of 0,00 and once that situation presents itself, it can make people radically change course. Being an artist seems all fine and dandy but you can't do anything without money. Completely pouring yourself into your side job at the local coffee bar might look like a great idea, but if you also want to develop your professional artistic practice, you'll have to look beyond earning some quick cash to buy a smoked chicken salad. P. 1 9

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‘That's how I ended up making a living not by selling art, but selling myself as a service. I work together with a few commercial companies. They don't want my


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art, but they want my “artist's gaze”. Using that, they hope to design more innovative products. I sell my own work as a performance of objects. It can sit somewhere for a while and I'll get renumerated for that.’

ROOS MEERMAN

P. 1 0

But what if there is no work to sell yet, no network to fall back on, not even a place to start: what options are there, except serving lattes four days a week? Well: it's easy to forget, but ArtEZ is a network, too. Think of alumni, fellow graduates, teachers and guest lecturers. Graduation might seem like a moment of closure, but it's also a new beginning, an opening, a first step onto the bridge that connects to the world outside. ‘The ArtEZ Finals exposition led to some publicity for me, and a few expositions came out of that. I showed my work at the Big Draw in Nijmegen at gallery Het Eerste Uur, I exhibited at the MAFF festival in Almelo, at the Fablab in Enschede. I was invited to present my work at De Nieuwe Lichting, in the designers' café Stroom in The Hague; to exhibit at three locations during the Dutch Design week, including the Uncertainty Studios exposition at ArtEZ Product Design and

THE FIRST FEW WEEKS

P.1 0

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Interaction Design, and there are four more expositions coming up.’

PRIZES, AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS Graduating is associated with winning awards. Or rather: it's associated with the opportunity to win awards. Sometimes you don't even enter into a contest, but the jury lines up all the graduation works and picks a top five, top three or top twenty. You never had to ask for it. In every other case, however, participating is at your own discretion. The question is: do you want to? Why would you? What are the advantages and disadvantages? When you enter in competitions, there's always the possibility that you'll win — but also the possibility that you won't. Winning can give you a lot of confidence, and failing to do so can lead to precisely the inverse. You can get saddled with doubts about your work, the quality of your work, your future. In graduation awards ceremonies and other competitions, there can only be one winner, and the result is a profound chasm between the chosen ones and the have-nots.


IM

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It may sound like something that's just said to comfort people, but winning or not winning generally doesn't say all that much about your work. Of course winning means opportunities, it's an honor, but when you bring a group of exceptionally talented people together, there can still only be one winner. That doesn't mean the others aren't worthy or that they couldn't have triumphed, had things been slightly different. ‘Participating in competitions and portfolio days… I wonder sometimes if it's

P. 1 1 ILSE MOEL ANDS

‘Last month, our band really had its bubble bursted. We were competing with seven other bands for the finals of The Records, a contest for alumni of various music schools, organized by the Keep an Eye Foundation and the Amsterdam Conservatory. They would award three CD productions, everything taken care of, valued at 10.000 euros. But at the end of the day, we didn't win anything. This led to feelings of displeasure and to tensions within the band, and it took a bit of time to move past that. Despite everything, we knew what our goals were, so what are you going to do? Get back on your feet and get back to business.’

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the best way to find work. I can definitely see the possibilities, but it often feels like clients use them to find talented designers as cheaply and easily as possible, asking them to provide a lot of work for free simply to enter in the competition. It feels exploitative and unfair to myself. So in the end I almost never participate.’

So whether you do or you don't, either choice is okay. Nothing is mandatory, everything is allowed, as long as it doesn't feel like an obligation. Some kinds of work lend themselves more or less easily to winning awards than others, and even then, both kinds of artists can end up working together down the road. A WHOLE YEAR WITHOUT ARTEZ, AND THEN? P. 1 0

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ROOS MEERMAN

D E R A A D VA N T O E Z I C H T

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CHAPTER 1

‘My two graduation projects were research-based, and they aren't even nearly finished. Actually, the last six months have been full of new opportunities and new collaborations. I started my own studio and have been working since September in my own studio space in the heart of Arnhem.’


CHAPTER 1

Although it might seem like a long time, in the end the first year, the first year without the academy, will be over before you know it. Looking back and ahead will lead to new ideas, plans, perspectives and potential collaborations. Graduating is the start of a new chapter, and that chapter is called the rest of your life.

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THE FIRST FEW WEEKS

THE SEARCH FOR A RHYTHM Without the deadlines, regular class times and pressure from teachers and fellow students at ArtEZ, you'll have to find a rhythm of your own. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions; everyone does things differently. It's important nonetheless that you find some kind of rhythm. And that you don't let it be dictated by what other people say you should do. The society we live in is often called an ‘achievement society’. One in which we're all racing not just towards the finish line, but racing for the sake of it. To feel like we're doing something — because those who aren't busy aren't going anywhere. We want to overtake competitors, race for longer and longer distances, to finally reach that unreachable imaginary finish line. But there is no such thing. It won't ever be good enough — we can always do better, and by constantly struggling to achieve only the best, we'll always be left with a sense of

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disappointment that we couldn't manage, that we, once again, failed. DO LESS You might have noticed during your studies, watching friends, classmates or idols: it takes a lot of time to learn something well. Quality is a mark of distinction, especially in a time where everyone wants to do a little of everything. Management theorist Morten Hansen calls it ‘do less, then obsess.’ There's dozens of self-help books that claim to have solutions to work more efficiently, learn more and live better. Although those promises are seldom fulfilled, you can still take away couple of tips that might work for you. If you're suffering from a strained attention span, you can opt for 25 minutes of work, then take a 5 minutes break, for example. But it's better still if you manage to lose track of time entirely by getting completely absorbed in your work. Use strategies to ensure that your phone, e-mail

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and social media won't distract you: for example, don't read your e-mail in the morning, move your phone to a different room, use a ‘dumbphone’ without an internet connection or use applications that block you from the internet at certain times of the day. Also: don't underestimate the utility of boredom. Staring through the window, watching a pot of water as it gradually starts to boil, or extensively brushing your teeth will open up space in your mind. It's no surprise that a lot of great ideas arise while biking, showering, or waiting at a bus stop. FLOW It all starts with bricks. In his Dankboek (‘book of gratitude’, see chapter 4), Ernst-Jan Pfauth writes: ‘You're better off thinking like a construction worker. Someone who stacks bricks on bricks every day, never giving up until the house is complete. (…) Every dream consists of bricks. (…) Identify the bricks in your life and try to improve your handling of them.

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By making practice central to your life, you will experience a stronger sense of satisfaction.’ Keep in mind that there is no ‘right time’ to attain a flow state. In his book, Pfauth cites the Canadian professor Tim Pychyl, who explains: ‘For some reason, adults believe a task can only be completed when they're in the right mood for it. But that's almost never the case. So we say: I don't feel like starting this right now.’ You're often afraid of what's at stake. Because you're doubting yourself. POST-IT! A trick to deal with that is what I like to call the Post-it practice. Start your day by picking up a post-it, writing down 3 things you want to get done that day, and then start by eating the proverbial frog. ‘If you eat the frog first thing in the morning, you can be sure that nothing worse is going to happen to you that day.’ The frog represents your most significant

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task for the day: the one that, if you don't take care, you'll probably end up saving for later. Besides, you'll have the most energy for this task at the start of the day and you'll always feel content at the end, because at the very least you didn't procrastinate on your most important task. AND THE RHYTHM? You won't have that right away, but this is a start. A rhythm isn't entered from one day to the next — it's a matter of trial and error, repetition and perseverence. In Mason Currey's book Daily Rituals — How Artists Work, you'll find the work rituals of 161 artists. Each of them does things differently. Many woke up before dawn, others worked all night. Some of the greatest artists had part-time jobs. Others sought out stimulants. Beethoven manually counted the sixty beans he ground for his morning coffee, and Le Corbusier did his morning exercises at the exact same moment every day. It takes a lot of discipline, but if you can muster it,

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and also make sure that you don't forget about relaxation, you'll eventually find a rhythm and it won't take so much effort to sustain. Set small, realistic goals for yourself. Get to know your own working process. Don't demand too much of yourself, but ask others for help when you need it. Because that's more effective than any self-help book will be.

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MAKING ENDS MEET

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PROFESSION: ARTIST After four years of soaking up knowledge and honing your skills, you're ready to storm the labor market, armed with your diploma. You're about to conquer the world with your art. Of course, plenty of people are enthusiastic about your talents. But it's not very likely that your first step outside of the academy will lead you directly to a generous bag of money, waiting on your porch with a note attached: ‘Don't worry about this, just get to work!’ So you'll have to take care of business yourself. How can you make sure that you can provide for yourself as an artist? Will you register at the Chamber of Commerce and reel in the work as an entrepreneur? Do you want to work for a company or organization? Or will you stick to the part-time job you've had for years? Let's make one thing clear first of all: there's no ‘wrong choice’. If you want to bartend five nights a week, go for it. If you want to incorporate as an independent artist, that's fine. If you want to put your heart and soul into an art world career: wonderful. Clichés are inevitable: the most important thing is being happy with what you're doing. The rest will follow.

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If you enjoy doing artistic work by yourself or in a stable team setting, you can opt to become an entrepreneur. Since you'll have spent most of your time at the academy developing your artistic practice, the administrative hassle of starting a business might appear daunting and exhausting at first. But it's not always as hard as it looks. Through the Chamber of Commerce, the tax office and through a variety of books, you can find all the information you'll need. Don't kid yourself, though: your first tax returns will still cause numbers to dance in front of your eyes, cold sweat to run down your back, and your mood to be overcome by a general malaise. That is part of the deal. The second time around, it'll start to make more sense, especially if you've made an effort to understand that big bad capitalist machine a little better. You can do so by attending the (free) seminars at the Chamber of Commerce, designed specifically to help starting entrepreneurs. That will also help you put a face to the name of those organizations that appear to be interested only in your money.

MAKING ENDS MEET

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THE FREEDOM OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP

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‘To jump-start the new year, I registered for the seminar “A Good Start with the Tax Office”, organized by the Chamber of Commerce. This seminar gave me the opportunity to ask relevant questions about my situation as an entrepreneur and also gave me a more human perspective on the tax office. Normally I would have thought of scary blue envelopes, boring people in gray suits, and stuffy rules, but from now on I'll think of the mild-mannered sales tax expert who made one pun after another to turn opaque numbers and regulations into something concrete and understandable. I would recommend every starting entrepreneur to drop by one of these.’

You've got your own business, you work under a name you chose yourself, and that's something to be proud of. All the money that comes in goes directly into your pockets. However: there will be some sacrifices to be made. There won't be anyone to cheer you on when things aren't going so well, you will have no bosses or colleagues to enforce your self-discipline, and if you decide to work at home, you'll have to get used to never being truly done working.


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‘The downside of working from home is that, on the one hand, you're working, but on the other hand you'll be tending to little household chores all the time. Sometimes I feel like I'm always working but also always in “time off” mode.’

BOWING DOWN TO THE BIG CAPITALIST MONSTER

ILSE MOEL ANDS

P. 1 1

Some people have a bad feeling about turning their art into a business. Maybe they feel their art is tarnished the moment they ask money for it, or their wellspring of creativity dries up when paying rent is the only immediate motivation for producing work. ‘I've always had some difficulty with terms like entrepreneurship and business. In my view, they apply to “standard” companies but not very much to the creative arts. It just doesn't feel right. It's like we're trying to subject the rules of the art and design world to the laws of another world. I can see the interesting possibilities, but it still rubs me the wrong way. On the one hand, you still have to follow the rules — but on the other hand, those rules are so difficult to apply to art and

MAKING ENDS MEET

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design that they don't offer you much guidance.’

Although it might not feel this way, this is something that's within your control. If you think that art made for money should never see the light of day, it's probably wise to find a different way of filling your bank account. A part-time job of sorts, perhaps. But that doesn't hold for everyone: some might find that the pressure of deadlines and the ever-present threat of bankruptcy leads them to perform surprisingly well. Don't forget that you're talented and that people are prepared to pay for your work, even if it's made on your own terms. After all, you graduated from ArtEZ. That's enough to grab people's attention. EMPLOYMENT We've discussed entrepreneurship, but for many people it can be a more attractive option to work at a larger business, or to join a studio or production company. Entrepreneurship, after all, is a path that takes a lot of effort and attention. In exchange, you'll have a great deal of artistic


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M E R E L R AV E N

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freedom and the possibility of setting your own work hours. However: that takes a healthy amount of discipline. Merel Raven had discipline aplenty, but soon found that there are other advantages to full employment. ‘Working alone? Ugh, how boring. Of course as an entrepreneur you're never totally alone and you'll often collaborate with people, but it's never like having a community of colleagues. And the insecurity! I'll take consistent working hours and a predictable salary at the end of the month over waiting for my client to pay their invoice from three months ago so I can finally buy food, thank you very much.’

Merel saw a job ad at the VPRO for a junior interaction designer, applied and got hired. She says the VPRO had always been attractive to her, so it was a match made in heaven. The stability of full employment can be liberating: you'll never have to worry about making enough money in your day-to-day work, so you're truly free to spend your free time any way you want. That means you can fill it with whatever artistic excesses you can think of.

MAKING ENDS MEET

Maybe you think that whatever you're doing doesn't fit in any existing business template. But don't underestimate how much you might be able to learn by applying your talents in different ways than you're used to, collaborating with other talented people. Your skills aren't limited to the art world or your familiar modus operandi. Outside the academy, you'll find that it's not only convenient to be open to different approaches, but it's also instructive. And the colleagues with whom you'll be spending the break eating sandwiches are also capable in their own ways. Let yourself be fascinated and inspired by the talents and experiences of others. PART-TIME JOBS In the coming weeks, you'll be spending a lot of time explaining your plans to older family members, since that's mostly what they ask about. What you want to do. How you are going to do it. Whether you have a job yet. If you're still going to be tending drinks in the same bar that you've been working in for years, no dream job in sight, they might say something like: ‘Oh! well, that's OK too, no?’ And it really, truly is OK.

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Don't let people who believe otherwise drag you down. If you want to keep your part-time job, or look for one that has nothing at all to do with your art, that can resolve a lot of your worries. The income from such a part-time job is often much more consistent than the fickle existence of an entrepreneur or independent artist. ‘Having a part-time job gives me financial security. It allows me to take the time and mental space that I need to think about my own projects. I'd find it difficult to be thrown into the deep end as an entrepreneur and suddenly find myself forced to accept commissions just for financial stability. I'd be afraid that this would get in the way of my own, autonomous work. Right after graduating I had a strong urge to get a job that didn't have anything to do with art or design, but that's gradually started to change. The challenge for the next few months is to turn my projects into my job.’

It must be noted that for many artists, it can be a great relief and source of relaxation to do something outside of making art, especially something that doesn't require you to put your creativity to work, or something physically taxing.

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‘This past year, the main thing I learned is how important it is to do something that makes you happy. That sounds obvious, but there's a lot of (starting) freelancers that work themselves into the ground doing projects they don't necessarily support while getting underpaid at every turn. It can be really tough work. Sometimes I chose to pass on commissions because I'd rather be bartending. I don't mind having a part-time job and it's a nice change of pace sometimes to have a boss and do something entirely different.’

YOUR BANK ACCOUNT Let's talk about money. Does that make you uncomfortable? Unpleasant memories of blue envelopes from the tax office, negative red account balances, and a diet composed solely of cheese crackers flashing in front of your eyes? Relax, take a second to breathe. Then write down how much of it you need. It may seem easier to avoid all confrontation with the hard numbers and soothe the financial worries in the back of your mind with an unfounded hope that things will be all right. Until those worries end up keeping you awake all night anyway.


SUBSIDIES For young artists (and older artists, too), subsidies can be a great option to fund your work. It might sometimes seem like the Ministry doesn't want much to do with culture or art, but there's still plenty of funding for subsidized work in every sector of the arts. A number of alumni have written detailed blogs for the Art Business Centre about the application procedure. Although the process was specific to the fund that was applied to and therefore different for everyone, all applicants indicated they found the procedure tough but instructive.

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Get specific. Find a pen and paper, or boot up the least sexy application on your computer: Excel. Create a column with your expenditures and fill it out — honestly. What do you need to make ends meet? How much do you need to work for that? This exercise of taking on the role of your own accountant will probably lead you to realize that it's perfectly possible to pay the rent. Even if it doesn't feel that way when it's actually due. Next time that happens, take a look at your accounting tables, so you can quiet your nerves: things will be all right.

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‘Some people will say that applying for subsidies is a mere trick that, once mastered, will result in a practically endless flow of money. I don't think they're right. Everyone can learn to write a politically correct and socially desirable application, but it really has to be heart-felt or you'll never write it down persuasively. In my interview with the commission, they really turned up the heat. I survived, I think, by being honest and speaking from the heart. Even if that meant telling them I didn't understand the question. Or that I didn't know the answer.’

You can always apply for subsidies, but take note of what Mart van Berckel says: believe in your project and be a hundred percent confident about it. Any cultural fund that's going to assist you will want to know everything about you. A mere theory or idea won't suffice. You will need specific ideas, a planning, well-founded reasoning why this way and not that way, and so on. ‘In my interview with the commission, they really turned up the heat,’ Mart tells us. But he remains honest. He speaks from the heart and answers the questions straight-up. There's something ironic about the fact that you're applying for subsidies to do art while avoiding


Mart got his funding — but won't give up his part-time job. The different options discussed in this chapter are not exclusive choices: they form a spectrum. There's no right or wrong. Even though Mart has the financial green light to work on his art full time, he chooses not to. Because it seems like the right thing to do.

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‘The last few months I've been working in a shop to make my living. I'm not embarrassed about it, because it was a lot of fun. Now that I've gotten my funding, I could basically quit that job. But I don't plan to. Doing theater and theater only is dangerous: it's work and passion and life's calling all at once, capable of completely swallowing all my energy. I can totally lose perspective. I think it will be very pleasant and healthy to sometimes spend a few hours selling clothes instead.’

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Rianne Stremmelaar also applied for subsidies, to make an animation film. In collaboration with a studio, she turned her idea into a story. To request subsidies for a collaborative project with multiple contributors, like a film, you need to get those people involved in the project by the time you start your application.

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the corporate world, and then have the commission demand you show the most practical, business-oriented side of your work. So don't forget: it's okay to be unfamiliar with these bureaucratic challenges. Let's see what Mart has to say about the outcome of his application.

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‘It was a really instructive experience: for a successful application, you really need to be able to substantiate your story. I found it very difficult to answer a question like: “why should this be made?” Because at first, I couldn't think of anything more than “because it's awesome!” But if you work on it together and ask each other the right questions, you'll gradually find out why you're doing what you're doing.’

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‘Waiting for a decision about our application was a tense period. We'd worked on this a lot together and really believed in the story. I was looking forward to getting it produced. So I was pretty sad when our application was rejected. I took it personally — I guess because it was my first


time. At the academy, I could make films regardless of whether our teachers liked them or not. Now it's all a bit different.’

RIANNE STEMMEL A AR

‘I felt empty after that rejection. I was upset with the way the process went and started questioning the story of the film, too. I'm not sure why.’ ‘Fortunately, the application and the work we did for it weren't all for nothing, because the storyboard led me to receive a new and different commission, one that I hadn't expected at all!’

Of course it's difficult to process a major setback like having your application rejected when you've only just left the academy. But Rianne's story shows that it doesn't mean you should just give up entirely, quit art and grow potatoes instead. She received a new commission, and from that came even more work, and once you get the ball rolling, the flow doesn't dry up so easily. In her blog, Merel Raven looks back on her job application at the VPRO and writes that in the end, she got lucky. And there are many other students who, writing these blogs looking back on the past year,

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mention good fortune as a big factor. But can we really say that? Getting lucky or unlucky — it may all look quite different in retrospect. If you get hired somewhere, that isn't luck — that's an indication of your qualities and commitment. Misfortune can befall any of us, but even what looks like bad luck can come with unforeseen benefits: just look at Rianne Stremmelaar's rejected application that resulted in an unexpected new work commission. The overarching message really is that it's most important to do what makes you happy, to put yourself in a position to flourish. Whether that's full-time employment, two part-time jobs, applying for subsidies, becoming a freelancer or starting your own company, or a combination of those things, that doesn't matter. Have faith in what you can do, follow your own path, and it will lead to success and a smile. P. 1 1

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‘Unexpected things will appear along the way. Walk around them, melt all over them, jump up and down on top of them, or attach yourself to them. Try everything and see what works for you.’


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WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FREE?

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Without much practical experience and with a relatively small portfolio, the odds are you'll run into this controversial issue at one point or another: doing work for free. For exposure, to be part of an exhibition, for experience — but not for money. At the academy, of course, there was never a question of getting paid for your art, and you love what you do. So it might happen that, once in a while, you're inclined to accept an unpaid assignment of this kind. ‘A friend and I were approached by the fashion retail chain C&A. C&A wanted to open a modern pop-up store in Arnhem and give young designers an opportunity to be part of it. They asked us to design a goodiebag. I love the idea of providing opportunities to young designers, but work should be renumerated.’ ‘C&A offered us a voucher. We should be happy just to have our names linked to the brand. And it would be an opportunity to talk to press and

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‘Why do companies feel they don't need to pay for creative products or concepts? Why should artists and designers do everything “for the experience”? If this is normal, why should an accountant get paid directly from graduation, why isn't it common for other professionals to work for free because it looks so good on their CV?’

It's hard to say why there's often no financial compensation for work in the art world. Creative labor is often underestimated by people who are unfamiliar with it. Especially the number of hours that thinking, conceptualizing, and finessing the art takes. That can be frustrating. So you should be critical when you're approached for a commission or performance of any kind: if you think

the pay isn't proportionate to the work they're asking you to do, it's wiser to spend your time on other things instead, as Fabienne suggests. Sometimes working for free can be really constructive, says Lisa Weeda. Not only for exposure, but also for your art itself. P. 1 7 0

important people at the opening. I don't think this was acceptable. Now that I've graduated, I need an income. My landlord doesn't take C&A vouchers. The time I spend on this design could've gone to other commissions.’

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‘If you don't spend much time on your art, you'll lose momentum, you won't grow as an artist. Standing still isn't what you should aim for. After four years at the academy, you have to move forward. Sometimes that means having a little less money for a while, but spending time on working “for nothing” can actually lead to very good work. And when people see that, money will eventually come your way. Once people know who you are, why you make something, and how you do it, they'll want to hang it over their beds or read your books.’

The promise of exposure might seem like an excuse for stinginess on your clients' part, but don't be too cynical. Because being in the public eye can

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definitely be valuable. Depending on the assignment, the reach it has, and the size of the stage, that exposure can contribute a lot — or very little — to your professional development. But once again: remain critical. Your work is valuable. The years you spent studying and practicing to get to your level are worth something. Just because you have time to perform in Alblasserdam for twelve people and enjoy doing that, doesn't mean you shouldn't ask money for it. But as Lisa Weeda says, don't be afraid to do something for free when it's in your interest. It doesn't mean you've surrendered. Evaluate the platform or the stage you get, think about whether it will be fun, and then decide whether experience and exposure are worth your valuable time. HOW TO SET YOUR FEE In addition to deciding how much you're prepared to do for free, you'll have to figure out how much you want to be paid in exchange for the work you do. How much do you

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value your work, and, even more difficult: how does that translate into a specific number? It may feel unnatural to charge people for the art you make — after all, that's rarely the reason you make art in the first place. Still, it's an important part of being a professional artist. Not only does making more money allow you to do more fun stuff — the price tag will also lend a certain status to your art. The precise fee can differ between projects, but you shouldn't be too modest. You are talented and capable of providing a unique service to your client. That's something you can be proud of, and the fee should reflect that. It also shows to your client that they're not dealing with an amateur. Regardless of whether it's for autonomous work or to let yourself be hired as a photographer or workshop leader, in the end the fee is up to you to determine. But how? Simone de Kinderen came up with a step-by-step guideline to help you make that difficult decision.

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ROADMAP: HOW-TO-DRAWUP-A-QUOTATION (OR HOW TO DETERMINE YOUR FEES)

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STEP 1 Start by calculating the number of hours you expect to spend on the job in question.

Make a list of expenses, such as travel costs, materials, equipment rental, etc.

— Don't be shy! Ask other businesses large and small, and other experienced and inexperienced artists in your field how they determine their fees. That way you can compare.

STEP 3 Now comes the hardest part: the consideration of your fee. You could opt (for example) for a daily or an hourly fee. Ask yourself:

STEP 4 SIMONE DE KINDEREN

SIMONE DE KINDEREN

Who is your client?

— What kind of income do you need to provide in your sustenance, as well as invest in new materials and knowledge to be able to produce future work?

STEP 2

— How much do you want to earn at a minimum for this commission / the work?

— How much experience do you have? Did you only just graduate, or have you been working as an independent artist or entrepreneur for a longer period?

Be decisive: set your fee. People may have all sorts of well-meaning advice for you, but in the end you have to go with a price that feels right and that you're confident attaching to your work on the market.

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STEP 5

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Put the specifications in step 1 and 2 in a table, which you attach to the quotation where you outline your responsibilities, the planning for the work, and the total amount due. Remember that there's no right or wrong fee. Value yourself as an entrepreneur, as an artist, and as a human being. Rely on your own values to determine your worth.


SELF-PROMOTION

MAKE YOUR OWN IMAGE Self-promotion, sales and networking are some of the most important duties of any freshly graduated artist. Now, we can already hear you thinking: ‘If that's what I wanted to be doing, I would've had a communications degree. I want to make art!’ However: self-promotion is what will enable you to make art. You can wallow in the negative connotations of the word. But who you choose to talk to, how you present yourself, and what you share with the world are within your control. Try and use that fact in your favor, because a lot of people are waiting to hear what you have to say.

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‘You just graduated a few months ago, and besides your family and friends (who are all equally desperate to find work) there's nobody around who knows you, and much more importantly, what you do. People tend to say that nobody is sitting around waiting for you, and in a way that's true. But if you look at it in another way, everyone's potentially interested — you just need to have something to offer. That's why I network, attend gatherings where programmers and practitioners convene, invite the right people to come watch my performances, and never stop talking.’


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‘Networking remains a struggle. Just walking up to someone you don't know can lead to awkward situations. It's a skill you won't learn at the academy, but which can make or break you in this field. In Tokyo, I frequently had to step out of my comfort zone, but that has also brought a lot of good things my way.’

After all, not every networking situation is going to be awkward. If you meet someone at an exhibition or performance, you'll have something in common. That won't just make conversation flow more smoothly, it also presents an opportunity to learn something new. Every person you talk to, whether they make art or not, has a

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In your final year at the academy, you've probably been told that your graduation work doesn't only mark the end of your education but also represents your first step into your professional field. Expositions of graduation work, especially at ArtEZ, draw a lot of attention. You should use that attention, and the momentum that comes with it. Embrace every opportunity to exhibit your work, meet other artists and enthusiasts, and expand your network.

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unique perspective and talents that are interesting to hear about. All the bloggers at the Art Business Centre indicate how important, exciting and instructive it is to keep talking, keep meeting new people, and to always be open to learning something from them.

MILOU VOORWINDEN

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‘You get to know people from outside the academy, people who have been active in your field of work for a number of years and who can get you in touch with others in the field.’ ‘Lately I've realized just how important it is to meet people in your profession, to learn from them, because they can connect you to all sorts of opportunities. It sounds like a cliché, but if you're working in your little attic without meeting anyone, being invisible, you're probably going to be stuck in that attic.’ ‘It's really cool to talk to people from different fields about a shared project. Things that I spent time at ArtEZ thinking about, I can now experience in practice: science, technology and the arts are all fields with empty spaces in between them. If we can fill those, they could yield all sorts of beautiful things.’


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‘Throughout my education, and after that, too, I always got the same advice. Persevere. Be patient. Work hard. Be on time. Build your network. Send out invitations. Ask for help. Be specific. Maintain your network. Work harder. Drink coffee. Be more patient. Be positive. Be nice. They're all things that don't sound very sexy at first sight and, worse, they don't sound like “make art.” Still, there's a lot of truth to all of these and they're important, I'm learning. If you're in the practice room, on stage or at the brainstorm table, it's one big celebration of creativity — but everything outside of that, it's all ice-cold business.’

Try to realize that a few hours of successful networking can result in many hours of art-making. You're not networking because other people or ‘The Man’

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demand it of you — you're networking for your own sake. So you can keep doing what you love doing most of all. To realize projects and create opportunities, but also to develop your art. In her blog, Lisa Weeda quotes the author Juliet Gagnon:

LW

There will be days where you don't feel like talking to others at all — to explain once again what your art is about, just hoping that this other person has something interesting to offer. But this is a part of what being an artist means. Depending on your personality, that can be frustrating. You may want to be doing art and only art, rather than networking.

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‘It's an absurd thought that authenticity can be attained exclusively and purely by a solitary individual.’

Making art involves a lot of different things and one of them is opening yourself to the world, finding out what other people are like, how they act and think. If you approach networking in that way, rather than as a series of awkward conversations between awkward people, it won't feel so much like a necessary evil but rather as a source of inspiration and motivation. DO I NEED A WEBSITE? Having a website never hurts. It's a way for people to find out about you and it expresses a level of professionalism. Besides, you'll be able to control your image to some extent. If someone Googled your name today, it's quite possible that they would end up looking at work that's five


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years old, or at photos from last summer's festival season. If you have a website of your own, it'll be right at the top of the search results. That way, you can control what you want to show people, how they get to see it, and how they can get in touch with you. ‘At the same time I was busy finishing our website in collaboration with our graphic designer Lieke de Blank. This is a completely different story but I can just say: never underestimate the amount of work and thinking that goes into creating your own website. But finally, I can proudly announce that we are online, which is a hugely important step towards making ourselves visible outside of Barcelona.’

Do realize that having a website is a responsibility. As Laura explains, it isn't so easy to build one. A good website takes time and money, which you won't be able to spend on other things. But it's still worth your consideration, because it can have many advantages.

SELF-PROMOTION

#ARTWORKOFTHEDAY #MAKESYOUTHINK #BEAUTIFUL Art gets made for all sorts of reasons. To express an emotion, produce a sensation in a viewer, to show an image, to induce contemplation, and so on. Sharing art is a big part of that. What kind of audiences do you want to reach? How about people who can make a difference financially? Where to start? We make art in a digitalized world. Within the art world, there's a healthy skepticism about transmuting art from its original medium into a social media post. Instagram accounts featuring authors sharing a daily selpfie from behind their laptops don't garner much interest. And sharing photographs of your designs or installations probably won't do them justice. But that doesn't mean that social media aren't worthwhile platforms to share and spread your work on. Milou Voorwinden shares images of her art, the production process, and the final presentation on her Instagram (@milouvoorwinden). Not only does this give people a unique look into her art, her methods and her professional development, it also allows her to be

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contacted by people that she would otherwise probably not meet. ‘In January I was approached by a stylist from New York, who had seen my work on Instagram. He was really excited about my jewelry and asked if he could use some for a photoshoot in Noi.se Magazine.’

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Try and make the platform work for you. An artist will think about how their art is exhibited to the world — the environment, the lighting, the general presentation. You can look at an Instagram feed or a Twitter account the same way. Don't think of it merely as a wall on which to project representations of your work — think of it as an extension of the work itself. ‘I like to share with others what I'm doing, where I'm publishing, where I'm performing, what other authors and projects I enjoy, with whom I'm collaborating. But I don't want to be loud about it. I want to be honest and to keep my integrity. But sometimes I can't really tell where the line is between integrity and simple selfadvertisement. Showing the world that things are going well, that you're keeping busy and growing, is important to me. I like that people know what I'm working

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on: it could always lead to a performance or a gig. But when it comes to channels like Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, it's hard to know when you're showing, and when you're showing off.’

Lisa Weeda writes about her doubts when it comes to self-promotion. She wants the results — but doesn't want to shout from the rooftops. She's constantly exploring what works for her. You, too, could post photos or stories that inspire you, with an explanation to accompany them. Or if you're a writer, instead of selfies you might be posting quotes from your stories, giving people a sneak peek of what's to come. The one-dimensional nature of computer or smartphone screens means social media won't always be the ideal medium to present your work the way you want to, but you can still make people curious about your work, your methods, and yourself, the artist. For all you know, you might get an e-mail from a New York stylist, too. PLAYFUL AND CREATIVE APPROACHES If social media don't suit you, there are many other ways to present your work to


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the world, without anyone explicitly asking for it. Mirthe Dokter found a creative way to do so, one that is a perfect fit to her work. ‘I moved heaven and earth to get all the organizational issues in order, often from the starting point of Retro-Innovation. For example, I sent some twenty handwritten letters by snail mail to theater practitioners, festival programmers and agencies. I sent them all a big stamped envelope with an old-fashioned, brushwritten letter and a recycled flyer with ecoline painting. That way I could both recycle my flyers in a creative way and send out a personal and fresh eye-catcher. These people get more e-mails than they could ever hope to read, but a handfashioned letter on the doormat will never cease to be a pleasant surprise. This tactic has paid off: there's some very interesting people in the room on the day of my performance.’

When you talk to someone at an exposition, a congress or during a coffee date, be confident in yourself and in your work. Talk about what fascinates you and ask others what fascinates them. Selling yourself doesn't have to involve a memorized

SELF-PROMOTION

sales pitch. Let your passion and enthusiasm speak for you: when you want to speak about something, there will be people to listen. Truly. Give the people what they want. They might not know exactly what it is — that's why you're there to tell them. So help them figure it out.

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HOW TO HANDLE A NETWORKING COFFEE DATE?

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So, you're going to have coffee with someone you'd like to collaborate with, or someone who might have a gig for you. Why am I so nervous? Is there something stuck between my teeth? What if I spill my coffee? It can almost feel like a first date. Lisa Weeda made a comparative study of networking dates and romantic dates. Not to stress you out even more, but she suggests that the two have a great deal in common. ‘Before a romantic date, you'll have — even if it's just in your head — some plan or goal: that you'd like to kiss this person, for example. The same way, you might have a plan for a business conversation over coffee. It can be very loosey-goosey, but it's a good idea to have a basic notion of what you want to learn, share, or create with someone. You can do a little Googling in advance, as if you're Facebook stalking your date. You'll have talked to them once or twice, face-to-face or by e-mail, but

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it's always comforting to have some background information in the back of your mind. That way you'll know about some shared interests, a good topic of conversation, or simply what someone's up to. I think it's important to know a little bit about that. Curiosity is human, but knowledge about someone's work or their motivations doesn't fall from the sky — it makes it more likely that your conversation ends up on a different plane altogether, which is more interesting. It can open new worlds for you as a creator. There's a chance you'll see things in a new light, that you'll have new insights, that your network will expand to new areas, and that you'll obtain some new tools for your creative skillset.’ ‘This is why I think having coffee with other creatives is important. It's just like dating, except it's never monogamous — poly only. There's creative people all around that move you, that you might want to work with. If those people also want to work with you, you should be on cloud nine, just like you'd be if that

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one pretty girl or that handsome guy wants to go out with you. That means someone appreciates you, and on a business level, that they appreciate your work.’

The fact that someone's joining you for a coffee date — just to keep calling it that for convenience's sake — already betrays some mutual interest. You're not going in clueless — you have something in common. Maybe it's a shared idea, a professional field, an interest. The date isn't going to devolve into an uncomfortable silence after a first ‘Hey, how are you? Did you have to come a long way?’ So make sure to exploit those commonalities as much as you can. Don't be too passive in conversation. It's easy to let the other person take the lead, but that's not the best way to tell them about who you are, what you can do, and what you want. If you want to pique people's interest, you'll have to show interest in the person across the table in return. If you can manage that, it won't be long before you kiss… uh, expand your network.

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CHECKLIST: INSTAGRAM SELF-PROMOTION 1 PHOTOGRAPH YOUR EQUIPMENT WITH A CUP OF COFFEE: ‘READY TO WORK!’ 2 DON'T JUST THINK ABOUT INDIVIDUAL PHOTOS, BUT ALSO ABOUT YOUR WHOLE FEED. 3 POST REGULARLY. DOESN'T HAVE TO BE EVERY HOUR, BUT DON'T GO OFF DISAPPEARING FOR WEEKS. 4 SHOW YOUR FACE ONCE IN A WHILE, IT'S NICE TO SEE THAT MYSTERIOUS FIGURE BEHIND THE ART. 5 GOT PETS? PUT THEM ON INSTAGRAM. GUARANTEED SUCCESS. 6 TAKE PICTURES OF YOUR PROJECT AT DIFFERENT LEVELS OF COMPLETION.

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7 TAKE YOUR TIME TO GET A GOOD PHOTO. BETTER TO SPEND 15 MINUTES ON A GOOD PHOTOGR APH THAN TO SNAP A MEDIOCRE ONE RIGHT AWAY. 8 LET YOUR PHOTOS REFLECT THE STYLE OF YOUR WORK. PRESENT YOUR ART IN THE WAY IT DESERVES TO BE PRESENTED. 9 EXPLORE POSSIBILITIES: USE INSTAGRAM STORY, BOOMERANGS, AND ALL THOSE OTHER FUNCTIONALITIES THAT LET YOU DO CREATIVE THINGS. 10 TEASE WITH SNEAK PEEKS, SOUND BITES, TRAILERS, KEEP YOUR AUDIENCE HUNGRY! 11 BUT BE CAREFUL, DON'T GIVE EVERYTHING AWAY! YOUR FEED IS NOT AN EXHIBITION.

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12 IT MIGHT FEEL BAD, BUT USE THOSE #HASHTAGS. #ART #BEAUTIFUL #GRADUATED. SO THAT PEOPLE WHO DON'T KNOW YOU YET CAN FIND YOU, TOO.

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13 SHARE YOUR SOURCES OF INSPIRATION! 14 MAKE SURE YOU'RE EASY TO FIND FOR THOSE WHO HAVE BECOME ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT YOUR WORK. 15 SHOW PEOPLE YOU'RE COLLABORATING. IT'S NOT ONLY A NICE THING TO DO FOR THE OTHER ARTIST, BUT YOUR FOLLOWERS WILL LIKE TO SEE IT, TOO. 16 THINK ABOUT WHAT SETS YOU APART FROM OTHERS. YOUR METHODS, YOUR MATERIALS, YOUR WORKPLACE PERHAPS? SHOW PEOPLE WHAT'S UNIQUE ABOUT YOU AND YOUR ART.

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MAYBE I SHOULD SPEND THE REST OF MY LIFE WORKING AT A COFFEE SHOP AND FULLY COMMIT TO LATTE ART MAYBE IT'S NOT EVEN THAT I CAN'T, BUT THAT I DON'T WANT TO MAYBE I SHOULDN'T THINK SO MUCH. MAYBE I SHOULDN'T THINK LIKE THAT. MAYBE I SHOULDN'T. MAYBE I SHOULD. MAYBE. I SHOULDN'T.

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CHAPTER 4

LOOKING BACK Whether in the first few weeks after graduation or half a year later, there will come a time that you look back. A time to reflect on all the things you did, the things you created, the things you didn't create but might have wanted to. In those moments, you'll inevitably be haunted by doubts. Transitioning from a life at the academy to a life of independence, a life of finding your own work, of meeting deadlines and facing the consequences when you don't; you're feeling around in the dark. Some days you might lose faith entirely. But as long as you have an inner fire, even if it's very small and tucked away into a deep and dark part of you, it'll still be there. Even if you can't see it for a couple of weeks. Graduation means an infinite amount of choices. You won't always be aware of it, because you'll have made some of them while you were still studying. To go to graduate school or to explore the world. To stay, or not stay, in the same town. To do something else entirely. To settle down, for a moment. To push onwards right away, announcing yourself to the world, here I am. Indecision is often thought of negatively as a lack of drive, while it really means

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you want many things simultaneously. Or at least it means that you're aware of the things at stake. Having doubts is evidence that you're questioning yourself: what do I want? Where am I now, and what should I do to get to where I want to be? CRASH COURSE: SURVIVING THE ACHIEVEMENT SOCIETY — JANTE WORTEL The first months after my graduation, once the summer had ended, I'd made a mess of my life. I have to admit that it wasn't due to problems that barred me from moving on — it was rather that I drowned in all this sudden freedom. I felt blocked, all I did was work, and I neglected my art. I did little things, but felt like nothing worked out well. I started to question whether I could do it: and also, whether I really wanted it. That only changed in February. I had a talk with some of my former teachers at ArtEZ and while I was sitting there listening, sometimes speaking, I realized that this was what I wanted after all. Not to work at a simple coffee bar, but create things. Get back to my projects — and do the rest only to make that possible.

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After that unexpected turnaround, I started saying ‘yes’ to everything. I poured myself into the creative world, would do anything to crawl my way back into the field. For months, I ran around like a headless chicken, having taken on too much work and struggling with the consequences of a divided attention. Some of the jobs I simply couldn't finish in time — I submitted late, stumbled into meetings an hour after they started. I felt like a failure — I wanted so much, but would've needed an extra pair of hands to realize it all. As a result, I found myself back in my negative spiral, lost faith in myself and withdrew to the safety of my student room. What followed were a few weeks of radio silence. I was afraid to tell people I could not make good on my promises — I had failed, I couldn't do it. So I stopped answering e-mails, refused to pick up my phone, and cried a lot. I'd convinced myself that I'd fooled everyone for four years, that they saw something in me that wasn't there and that probably never would be there. I disappeared. I hid. Until, after a month and a half, there was no escape and I arrived — with an enormous ‘train delay’ — at my evaluation talk. It wasn't going to be good news, I could read

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from everyone's faces, and I got emotional before anyone had said anything. All this guilt I'd been keeping to myself for the past few weeks came out. I explained how I felt paralyzed by the pressure to achieve things, that I had no idea how to escape from this mess. Talking about it was a relief, but I still felt hopeless and confused for the days after that. Then, after another night of trembling in the face of unreachable deadlines, I found a package in my mailbox. There was a small postcard attached, saying: ‘believe it or not, but this helps’. What emerged from the wrappings was a book with a dark green cover titled Dankboek (‘book of gratitude’). I leafed through it for a bit. It was a self-help book, but not the kind of self-help book that I thought I was holding. Only a third of the book consists of text: the rest is left empty, for you to fill in, by noting three things every day for which you feel grateful. I'd always been skeptical about these things, these roadmaps to self-improvement, and besides I knew: I'll never manage to do this for long. But I soon found out that the book's author, Ernst-Jan Pfauth, was so keenly aware of this resistance to the esoteric, that I couldn't but keep reading,

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considering his advice. Because this book tried to offer me something that I'd wanted for a long time: a more contented daily life, structure, rhythm, motivation, and most importantly: calm. The Dankboek contains a manual for a more grateful life; and although I can't tell you whether it really helps, at least it's made a small difference for me. So I'd like to share some elements from this (possibly underrated) book, hoping that others can benefit. DAILY SATISFACTION Ernst-Jan Pfauth's research concerning day-to-day satisfaction led him to the following insight: it's become a clichĂŠ, but research shows that chasing rewards like fame and riches does positively nothing to make people happy. Daily satisfaction means experiencing happiness derived from the meaning of the things we do, rather than the rewards they might yield. The author presents an analogy of a soccer player, who plays for fun rather than to win competitions. Based on a large number of self-help books he'd reviewed in the past, ErnstJan Pfauth developed his own theory

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of gratitude. In his illustration of that theory, he distinguished the following four strategies that help to find daily satisfaction: 1 VIEW YOUR WORK, HOBBYS AND PROJECTS AS PRACTICE. If you're only interested in the results, you'll find less pleasure in it. Because we enjoy practice and developing an understanding of how we can improve. Ironically, turning your work into practice actually enhances the odds of reaching your goals. 2 MAKE SPACE FOR FLOW AND REST IN YOUR LIFE. Flow is a state of total concentration, one that brings people a lot of happiness. It's getting increasingly rare, because we're constantly distracting each other with an endless barrage of whatsapp messages, e-mails and meetings. Escape this collective occupational therapy and maximize your chance of achieving flow. It'll save you time that you can spend on resting more.


LEARN TO FOCUS ON OTHERS. Everything's about MeTM in the achievement society. That's a waste, because humans are social creatures and we'd do well to care about each other and invest time in each other. Not only will we support one another, but we'll also find satisfaction in helping others.

4

PRACTICE GRATITUDE. ‘All the people that I interviewed and that called themselves happy, indicated — without exception — that they actively practiced gratitude, and they believed this was the cause of their happiness,’ writes the American scientist and selfhelp author Brené Brown. Many studies support her findings. We often forget to be grateful, so it must be actively practiced. These aren't tips you apply all at once. They're rather tips you can compare to cleaning your house. You won't do it all in one go, but you have to maintain parts of it regularly.

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Maybe you're asking yourself if all this is for you, because you've heard it all so many times you can dream it. But for many, this can be a useful guideline once ArtEZ isn't there to help you, and suddenly all sorts of things are expected of you — if not by the outside world, then by yourself. COLLECT BRICKS AND KEEP BUILDING P. 1 7 0

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‘Real artistry isn't just having talent. Sure, you have talent, without that you wouldn't have gotten into the academy, but that doesn't mean you've arrived. Artistry means fighting spirit, it means getting beaten down and getting up again, and truly facing your weak points. It means struggling to improve until you're good enough. All that is entrepreneurship, too. It's not just working on your creations, it's also working on yourself. You're the one who creates things, the one who makes the art. You are your own brand.’


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DOUBT AND REFLECTION

CHECKLIST FOR WHEN EVERYTHING COMES CRASHING DOWN Don't panic! Sooner or later, everything will go wrong. It just happens that way. No matter how everyone keeps saying you should have the courage to fail, that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and this is part of improving, at that moment you won't care. If it's more than a small setback and you're really feeling down in the dumps, it may help to take a minute to walk through this checklist.

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1 ARE YOU REMEMBERING TO EXPERIMENT?

2 ARE YOU REMEMBERING THAT SOMETIMES, IT CAN ALL GO INTO THE TRASH?

3 ARE YOU REMEMBERING THAT SWIMMING IS ALLOWED HERE?

4 ARE YOU REMEMBERING ALL THAT YOU HAVE ALREADY ACHIEVED?

5 ARE YOU REMEMBERING THAT SETBACKS ARE PART OF LIFE?

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6 ARE YOU REMEMBERING THE GOAL YOU HAVE SET? AND THAT YOU'RE FREE TO QUESTION THAT GOAL, TO CHANGE IT, BUT THAT IT WILL ALWAYS DRIVE YOU?

7 ARE YOU REMEMBERING TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF? TO SHOW SOME KINDNESS?

8 ARE YOU REMEMBERING TO GO BACK TO THIS LIST SOMETIMES?

9 ARE YOU REMEMBERING IT'S OK TO SOMETIMES NOT REMEMBER THINGS?

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‘“LOOK,” HE SAID. “I'M DRAWING THE HUNT. THIS WAY THE KIDS WILL LEARN HOW TO HUNT.” HE HAD CARVED AN AUROCHS. “THAT ISN'T THE HUNT, THAT'S JUST AN OX.” “THE REST WILL COME. IN A FEW SUNSETS.” THE OTHERS SHOOK THEIR HEADS. “THIS IS TAKING TOO LONG. WE MAY AS WELL SHOW THEM.” AND SO THEY DID. THEY WENT HUNTING AND SHOWED THE CHILDREN EVERYTHING.’

ON THE DIVING BOARD

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You've had to decide how to proceed after graduation. We've concerned ourselves with part-time jobs, earning money, promoting yourself, networking and doubting. But we should also talk about jumping into the deep end. Leave all those questions on the diving board, close your eyes, don't think about it — just jump. You can think about the consequences later and consider whether it was a smart thing to do. But now, all you can do is jump.


MILOU VOORWINDEN

P. 2 1

Following a beaten path is the easy way. It's up to you to manage your time, take the space you need to reflect, and to facilitate the actual creative process. The academy is no longer your workspace — which means you may have to outsource some of the creative process, that is to say, paying for it and losing some control over the production. If you can save enough money, you can get all the materials yourself. But you could also work in a community-based way. A big advantage of studying at the academy, after all, is that you'll have a massive network of people with shared interests who might have the equipment you need. ‘Since I bought my first loom a year and a half ago, I've been struggling with the space I have in my apartment. Over the past time I've collected quite a few machines, so every other month I have to completely revamp my apartment to make room for my newest purchase. My first

P. 2 1 MV

‘“You shouldn't follow the beaten paths. They don't suit you. Make sure you deviate, because that way, you're strongest. Find a way to show your projects and the work will come on its own accord,” my teacher told me.’

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loom was an old Swedish contramarche, my second was a Thumm, and besides those I also have a knitting machine. Currently, I'm waiting for the absolute best thing I ever bought: a Magic Dobby.’

Ilse Moeland, after buying a 600kg paving stone that's now in her parents' garage because her studio isn't on the ground floor: P. 1 1

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ILSE MOEL ANDS

P. 1 1

CHAPTER 5

‘Now I'll get that press ready for printing and experiment with it. I want to use it for commercial commissions, as well. It's a good example of how I consider my options. I’d rather make birth and wedding announcement cards on my press than find another part-time job that's totally outside my professional field. I like making my money this way, so I can keep doing my autonomous work on the side.’

#SELFCARE #SELFLOVE & #PSYCHONAUTS You may be afraid of a black hole eventually appearing, but you could also embrace that possibility as a chance to reflect. It's a moment to look back, but also to look forward. It's a kind of impasse that lets


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you leave certain ideas behind, abandon some insecurities and approach the world with a new mentality; a moment to do something you otherwise wouldn't make time for, something scary or something you need ample time to rest for. While it may not result in immediate productivity, changing your view of yourself might help you change course. Lizzy Ossevoort wrote in her blog that she felt dragged down by so many fears, worries and thoughts. ‘Do I work hard enough? Will my music get me anywhere? Why don't I perform more? I must be doing something wrong.’

All those ideas will impact the way you see yourself. Lizzy chose to participate in an ayahuasca ceremony, which she describes as an inspiring journey full of new insights. She experienced a love-filled awakening that made her feel the senselessness of talking herself down. Ayahuasca is a kind of tea made of hallucinogenic plants. When people drink it, they often encounter things from their subconsciousness, like Lizzy ran into her insecurity. The ceremony, guided by a shaman, offers an opportunity to explore and embrace that awareness. Now we're not encouraging you to start

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tripping, but merely illustrating how helpful it can be to seek out a person, place, time or substance that allows you to leave certain insecurities behind. To jump into the black hole. You might find stuff that you haven't confronted in a long time, but that still impacts your work or your ideas about your work. Letting go of those fears is like jumping on a trampoline — can you feel the wind, the freedom? JUMPING INTO THE COMMERCIAL DEEP END Just because you graduated from art school doesn't mean you're obliged to do badly paid work brimming with personal significance and pain. Just think of the academy as a place where you obtained all sorts of new skills, which can be used for both commercial and artistic purposes. Be pragmatic. New work doesn't have to be an epic, it can just be something temporary that you want to do now. Like ice cream. Together with another product designer, Robbin Baas started the company Beschaafd, a shaved ice cart. The dream of a traditional designer — what is that, anyway? With Beschaafd we can see that a designer's hand and

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artist's eye can be very impactful and also lucrative. ‘We could have just bought a ready-made cart but as product designers it was hard to resist designing and building our own. It also gave us the opportunity to decide how we wanted to construct the cart in order to capture the melting water and use it to water our ice-herb garden.’

WONDER IS THE START OF ALL WISDOM

LISA WEEDA

P. 1 7 0

After spending nearly every day at the academy, it's no surprise that the rest of the world beckons. New sights, smells, people and experiences will enrich you as an artist. Wonder is the start of new dreams. How to chase them? Well, one of the ways is by actually leaving, without knowing where it will take you — driven by curiosity and desire for inspiration. ‘For me, the research I do as a writer doesn't just involve reading stacks of books and clicking my way around a city on Google Maps. It's also about going outside, traveling to see something, feel, smell, taste, experience. It sounds cliché perhaps, but I think that's an important

T H E L E A P O F FA I T H

P. 1 7 0

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part of writing stories. Especially since non-fiction is an interesting genre to me. Coming home with more in my fingers, with new images and anecdotes, more information in my head. All this must be of use later. I think that's a big and indispensable part of entrepreneurship: moving, being active. And after that, of course, peddling the stories and photos, trying to turn them into an exhibition or publication.’

WITHDRAW #THELONELYARTIST For the last four years, you got to spend all your time and energy on something you chose yourself. Now that commitment has to be renewed — a priority over all those other things asking for your attention. That's not easy and it's perfectly acceptable to take a little time to explore how you want to go about it. Domas van Wijk entered a residency. After his graduation show, he was asked to spend six months in Schlöss Ringenberg, so he could work on his art there in peace and quiet. In his blog, Domas introduces the term Sturm und Drang: a period in German art where the cult of the genius artist as


ILSE MOEL ANDS

‘One of the things I wanted to do was to travel. In January I left for Greenland, because I wanted to learn about the life of the Inuit. Through an artist-in-residence program, I got to live and work for a month in Upernavik, one of the northernmost villages in Greenland. One thing that really touched me was the changing culture of the Inuit. Due to a ban on the trade of sealskin, the Inuit have difficulty surviving on hunting alone. But that was something they derived their identity from for centuries. From my cabin I could see the ocean, which transformed during my stay in a massive sheet of ice. I watched the hunters at sea for hours. What would they catch today? How much longer would they be around?’

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Sometimes you have to act without thinking first. You'll never know in advance if it's the right choice. ‘If you don't do anything, you won't get anywhere.’

P. 2 9

Every choice you make is a new path you walk down.

BY BY

P. 1 1

a unique and autonomous creature was at its height. Art was to be made for art's sake, and no other. The time after graduation can be lonely — but that loneliness can also be a source of new work. Don't fill your days too quickly with things that are really your second, third or fourth priorities. Seclusion isn't for everyone — but make sure to emphasize the space and calm that you need to get creative. Make sure to take the time for your senses to do their work.

T H E L E A P O F FA I T H

‘Every choice results in a new path, and it's not always clear where it leads. It'll always be exciting to find out whether the choice you made is the right one.’

In the end, you could follow in the footsteps of Karlijn Sibbel (product design, 2015) and win a prize after graduation, exhibit, network, collaborate, and finally pack your bags and move to New York to start experimenting over there. P. 1 7

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‘Having the courage to dream about things that seem impossible, too bizarre or too logical, leads to innovation. By experimenting I obtain new ideas and sometimes unorthodox theories. They may not always be correct, but they do lead to interesting new thinking processes and ultimately to innovation.’


CHAPTER 5

In the end you learn most by simply acting. By experimenting. By leaping into the unknown. Once, that leap meant applying to ArtEZ. Now that you've graduated, your time has come to leap again. And you'll keep doing it for the rest of your life. Every artwork represents a leap. It won't get any easier. If it's not scary, maybe it's not a leap at all. But perhaps, once you've done it often enough, you'll start seeing the fun in it.

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T H E L E A P O F FA I T H

CV OF THE FUTURE Businesses are always working on their visions. To decide in what direction they want to move in the future. While you'd do well to steer clear of this brand of management theory, it can sometimes help to think about what direction you want to move in. That can help you decide if you're on the right path and what you want to do in the future. Your assignment is simple: write down for each age what you want to have achieved, what you want to be doing, or where you want to be.

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WRITE YOUR FUTURE CV HERE: —

WHEN I AM 100, I WILL…

ONCE I AM 65…

— ONCE I TURN 90, I WILL HAVE…

— AT 50, I WILL BE AN…

— WHEN I AM 75, I WILL BE MAKING…

— IN MY 40S, I WILL GET…

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TRINHBECX

— IN MY MID-THIRTIES I WILL FINALLY…

AT THIRTY… P. 1 5 7

TRINHBECX .COM

— ONE YEAR AFTER GRADUATION…

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D E R R I N VA N D E W E T E R I N G

FA S H I O N D E S I G N 2 0 1 4

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K ARINVLUG .COM

K ARIN VLUG

INTERIOR ARCHITECTURE 2017


D E R A A D VA N T O E Z I C H T

BEAR 2016

P. 1 61

D E R A A D VA N T O E Z I C H T. N L

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SIMONEDEKINDEREN.COM

SIMONE DE KINDEREN

JA ZZ & POP 2015


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RIANNE STREMMELA AR

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M U S I C T H E AT R E 2 0 1 4

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R U B E N S T. N L

RUBEN STELLINGWERF

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MIRTHE DOKTER

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COLLECTOR

JA ZZ SINGING 2017

P. 1 67

STUDIOCOLLECTOR .COM

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FREDERIKEBERENDSEN.COM

FREDERIKE BERENDSEN

INTER ACTION DESIGN 2015


ENRICO MEIJER

M U S I C I N E D U C AT I O N 2 0 1 5

P. 1 6 9

EMPRODUCTIONS.NL

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DEMUZIEK WERELD.NL

ILSE TERVELDE

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ALEX FREISE

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LOMANSROMBOUTS — CHRISTIA AN LOMANS

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SCHOOL OF ACTING 2018


ART BUSINESS CENTRE

*

ART BUSINESS CENTRE ArtEZ' Art Business Centre is a place where, up to three years after graduation, you can find assistance and information about setting up a business, making a business plan, designing a project budget, or fiscal and legal advice. We can also answer questions about subsidies and grants and help you get in touch with potentially interesting partners and companies. You may also enroll in courses like Personal Branding or our summer school in cultural entrepreneurship. Get in touch with us after graduation, because we have interesting commissions and jobs on a regular basis. Please feel free to leave your contact info or portfolio with us! CONTACT INFORMATION M T W FB

— abc@artez.nl — +31 (0)26 353 56 31 — artbusinesscentre.artez.nl — ArtEZ Art Business Centre

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ATTRIBUTION The chapters of this handbook incorporate the personal experiences of ArtEZ alumni as well as the contributions of some 50 in-house bloggers, which have previously appeared on the Art Business Centre website. These bloggers have written on life after graduation and their experiences with entrepreneurship since 2013. For the purposes of this publication, relevant excerpts were selected by the authors; unabridged versions remain available for reading on the Art Business Centre website.

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THIS PUBLICATION EMERGED FROM THE WRITING AND VISUALS OF Alex Freise, Annelie Koning, Boudewijn Koops, Bram Bogaerts, by By, Cassandra Onck, Collector, Derrin van de Wetering, Domas van Wijk, Dore van Montfoort, Enrico Meijer, Fabienne Balvers, Floor Rieder, Frederike Berendsen, Ilse Moelands, Ilse Tervelde, Iris de Vries, Joanne Hakkert, Joris de Groot, Juliette Huygen, Karin Vlug, Karlijn Sibbel, Laura Saumweber, Lisa Konno & Karin Vlug, Lisa Weeda, Lizzy Ossevoort, LomansRombouts, Marleen Garstenveld, Mart van Berckel, Merel Pauw, Merel Raven, Met Andere Woorden, Michelle van Ool, Milou Voorwinden, Mirjam van Dijk, Mirthe Dokter, De Raad van Toezicht, Rianne Stremmelaar, Robbin Baas, Roland Spitzer, Ronja White, Roos Meerman, Ruben Stellingwerf, Ruben Tekelenburg, Simon Boer, Simone de Kinderen, Simone Peelen, Stormvogels, Studio Met Met, Suzanne Oude Hengel, Tessa Groenewoud, Tonio Geugelin, Trinhbecx, Valentina Gal, Valerie van Zuijlen.

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COLOPHON

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W O R K I T, M A K E I T

PHOTOCREDITS Bart Heemskerk Bart Merks Bo Bannink Claudia Peppenhorst Collector Danielle Corbijn Derk Stenvers Fred Dokter JW Kaldenbach Kaulane Huisman Koen Kievits Lieke Bielderman Maarten de Leeuw Masha Bakker Monica Stuurop NDVDU Patricia Kostman Rolf Hensel Photography Sanne Peper Studio Schulte Schultz Fotografie Team Peter Stigter Timo Ottevanger

COLOPHON ‘WORK IT, MAKE IT LET ME GUIDE YOU AFTER ARTEZ’ is a publication of the Art Business Centre, ArtEZ

CONCEPT & REALIZATION Eefje Bouwkamp

EDITORIAL Annemieke Dannenberg, Jante Wortel & Nick Felix

FINAL EDITING Alex van der Hulst

TRANSLATION Witold van Ratingen

DESIGN & LAYOUT Stukk Design Kim Waterlander & Marjanne Kuipers PRINTING Coers & Roest, Arnhem SPECIAL THANKS Bart Huydts, Monique Warnier, Cily Smulders, Annely Bouwmeister & Tamara Rookus

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Work it, make it, let me guide you after ArtEZ  

A unique guide, published by ArtEZ Art Business Centre and created specifically for all new graduates of ArtEZ University of the Arts, about...

Work it, make it, let me guide you after ArtEZ  

A unique guide, published by ArtEZ Art Business Centre and created specifically for all new graduates of ArtEZ University of the Arts, about...