April 28, 2020 | By Cindy Stovall
Creative Solutions for Extraordinary Times
. . .
They say necessity is the mother of invention. It’s increasingly obvious that the innovation conceived and deployed in response to Covid-19 is nothing short of inspired.
And nowhere is that creativity more apparent than in the arts community — which seems to me a natural course for the talent that surrounds us.
Each day we have the opportunity to see many of our favorite performers, artists, writers and the like, on social media platforms. They continue to do their thing during a time when many of their incomes have been dramatically reduced, if not completely cut off for the foreseeable future. Many share their talents to help us remain connected, to do what they love most, or to help raise funds for themselves or a favorite organization with varying degrees of return.
But what if these talents could be organized in a way that pairs individual art lovers and service seekers to individual creators with a wide variety of talents? What if you could go to one place, find a discipline, skill or object you covet — and learn, commission or consult with these providers?
Luckily for us, some very smart people came up with just such a platform.
hireartists.org “is a way to create other streams of income, to skill-share and to fill the day, of both sides, with productive learning, solving old and new problems, and getting shit done.”
Let’s break it down. The hireartists.org team interviewed artisans and arts organizations over the course of several weeks. They were disheartened to find that the current crisis meant not just an interruption, but potential long-term loss of engagements, projects and income for up to TWO YEARS. That was simply untenable.
The team wanted to connect creators directly with supporters and customers to find a way to build income streams for creative providers while providing a service to the masses that now find themselves with time to learn new and amazing things — or, of course, want to buy stuff.
The idea spread to include many disciplines that require the skill and expert level knowledge base of a wide variety of creatives from far and wide.
Here’s how it works: Let’s say you are an artist, performer, writer, teacher or macramé aficionado sharing your work (mostly for free) on YouTube, Zoom, etc. — which is amazing, but leaves you wondering how the hell you’re going to pay your bills.
Conversely, let’s say you are an aspiring. . . well, any or all of those things — and more.
hireartists.org brings the forces on both sides of the viral divide together.
Founders Vallejo Gantner, Alex Reeves, Erica Schnitzer, Chet Kerr, James Dennin and their team have signed on a myriad of talented individuals to teach you everything you want to know about everything you want to know. “Our intent is to use this moment of confinement as an opportunity to grow your world.”
Here is just an example of the offerings at hireartists.org. Some are specific to the arts, but the content extends well beyond that.
- You can commission a custom portrait or painting
- You can learn how to paint your own portrait
- You can take guitar lessons or hire someone to serenade your Zoom gathering
- You can learn how to write poetry, screenplays, stories, music — or commission an artist to do it for you.
- Hire a dramaturg to help with your new hit play. Don’t throw away your shot! (Sorry, Lin-Manuel, it won’t happen again.)
- Take cooking lessons
- Take dance lessons, or yoga
- Learn to write a winning grant
- Speak a foreign language — you’ve always said you would, anyway. Ja oder Nein?
- Write that children’s book and hire an illustrator
- Learn audio and video editing
- Oh yes, learn to become that macramé aficionado. You get the idea.
“hireartists.org gives us an opportunity to exercise our crafts, share what we know and maybe keep our dreams (and livelihoods) afloat.”
All transactions are conducted through the website using Skype and Zoom to ensure safety and privacy. Payments can easily be made through Stripe and PayPal. Standard shipping is available as applicable.
And I’ve saved the very best for last — Hireartists.org does not take a cut of any transaction! Proceeds go directly to the artists. I think that’s incredible.
Signing on as a customer, student or artist/service provider is a very simple process. Don’t put it off.
As it turns out, these strange days may be offering you opportunities to do and learn things you may have only dreamt of, in the “real world.”
How about THAT for turning some pretty big-ass lemons into lemonade?