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Join us for a series of Artist Meet Up events! Spokane Arts presents a new networking and professional development series taking place in galleries and venues throughout Spokane. These free events will be an opportunity for artists to learn about individual galleries and venues particular booking processes, as well as meet and discuss themes relevant to our arts community.

Every Artist Meet Up is open to artists at every point in their career and across disciplines. Bring a friend, come and make a friend, and join in the conversations!

Email Mika at mika@spokanearts.org with questions.

 

Find re-caps with great info from the Artist Meet Ups below!

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First Artist Meet Up Re-cap!

We had a fantastic first Artist Meet Up at the on June 11. Terrain Director and co-founder, Ginger Ewing, snuck away from the busy last minute work of getting Terrain’s new retail store From Here ready for the Grand Opening to share details on how artists and performers can book shows or events in their space. (Watch for their open call for gallery show proposal submissions in the summer as they book for the following year to 18 months! Contact the the Terrain team directly about booking collaborative projects or short-term events in either the gallery or larger events space by emailing team@terrainspokane.com)

Spokane Arts Program Manager Mika Maloney shared conversation starting Question Cards with everyone as they entered the gallery. Each card featured one of a dozen questions around the topic Pricing & Valuing Your Work. Mika shared thoughts that she’d gathered from several of Spokane’s many working artists in response to those same questions, and then we all spent the rest of the evening in conversation, sharing questions, experiences, and ideas!

DO YOU ADJUST YOUR PRICES FOR THE VENUE YOU’LL BE PERFORMING IN OR SHOWING YOUR WORK AT?

NO, for objects. No buyer wants to see variable pricing. Do keep in mind that different galleries and spaces take different cuts of the bottom line, and taxes are real.
— Katie Creyts
Yes I do! I am not sure if that is best practice however I want my art work to be accessible. I additionally consider what work I bring and if I can reproduce it through prints to help keep prices equitable but also prices where I can still make a profit.
— Shantell R. Jackson
Because art is my only income, I can’t do free work. In some cases I will charge under my regular value or volunteer. However, I only have time and financial stability to do that about once a year. Artists will die of “exposure” if that is all they are living on. Do that once or twice and document the shit out of it, share it like crazy. Also, if you keep doing free work, you are undermining your fellow artists.
— Ellen Picken
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HOW MUCH DO YOU TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THE MARKET? DO YOU SELL WORK/PERFORM IN MARKETS OUTSIDE OF SPOKANE?

My prices are the same everywhere. I sell and show throughout the region.
— Karen Mobley
I often ignore ‘the market’ (but let’s be clear here, I’m not making a living off my work). Yes, I send work out as often as I can.
— Chris Tyllia
Most of the time I work outside of Spokane. Spokane is great for artists to get their legs, experiment, work for peanuts while still holding part/full time jobs. For a full time artist it is very difficult to make a living here. That is fine for me, but if you have a family, or other obligations the normal person can not make those sacrifices.
— Ellen Picken

HOW MUCH OF A ROLE DOES YOUR EMOTIONAL CONNECTION TO A PIECE OR PERFORMANCE INFLUENCE YOUR PRICING?

None. I always try to do my best. The work is hard no matter how much I love or hate it.
— Ellen Picken
As far as emotional connection to something I guess it affects it greatly. Some stuff I’d rather not sell as far as paintings. Mural work I’m able to detach more.
— Daniel Lopez
The emotional connection can be real selling point. Learn to talk about what the importance is of your work - why should other people invest in your creativity. To me the emotional part or passion is more about marketing than pricing. Know what makes your work great and articulate it clearly.
— Katie Creyts

ARE YOU WILLING TO NEGOTIATE WITH A BUYER? HOW DO YOU NAVIGATE THAT?

When I first started, I would take what I could get. Slowly, I would adjust and raise my prices. It fluctuated for a few years. Now I don’t have to negotiate too much. Mostly this is because of the companies I work with. I include materials of course, meetings, travel, site visits, design + revisions, installation (size, time, level of danger), rentals, hotels, meals, insurance, studio expenses, business costs, documentation, and depreciation of tools.
— Ellen Picken
If you have work at multiple prices, you can suggest a less expensive work. There are some people who just want a deal, so if it works for you knock 10% off and see how your bottom line is at the end of the month. Consider having a studio sale or a show at your house where you can move work at a sale price w/o ruining your market.
— Katie Creyts

DO YOU INVOICE UP FRONT? DO YOU CREATE CONTRACTS?

I do send out invoices via email for consultations, down payments (including the “remainder owed”) and receipts. Hold clients accountable beforehand so everything’s on the up and up. Don’t be afraid to talk time and money. I think a lot of artist have a hard time with that.
— Daniel Lopez
I invoice half up front and half on delivery. I hired a small business lawyer to write my contract. Also, general liability.
— Ellen Picken
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ANY TIPS FOR NON-TRADITIONAL ARTISTS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN TRYING TO PRICE WORK?

Don’t forget about the years, sometimes decades of practice, learning and evolving your work. That time has some value; don’t just charge for materials and frames.
— Chris Tyllia
There are some really great books out there on the business of art - I recommend GYST - Getting Your Sh*t Together.
— Katie Creyts

WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU’D KNOWN WHEN YOU WERE FIRST STARTING OUT AS A WORKING ARTIST ABOUT PRICING YOUR WORK?

I wish I took an accounting class! Don’t think a business plan is going to ruin your creativity; it’s going to make it easier. Have a bank account for your creative practice. This helps with tracking and taxes. Also, avoid credit cards.
— Katie Creyts
That it was ok to change prices if you realize they are off.
— Tiffany Patterson

WHAT IS THE QUESTION YOU WISH YOU COULD ASK OTHER PROFESSIONALS IN YOUR FIELD ABOUT MONEY THAT YOU HAVEN’T ASKED?

What are peoples’ square foot rate for murals....like high and low depending? I’d just like to know what others are charging.
— Tiffany Patterson
How do you front the cost to create inventory of artwork to start your business?
— Shantell R. Jackson
Who is your CPA?
— Karen Mobley
 

Pricing and Valuing Your Work

At the Terrain Gallery, 304 W Pacific Ave, Tuesday, June 11, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

How Place Influences Art

At The Bartlett, 228 W Sprague Ave, Tuesday, July 30, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Social Media for Artists & Performers

at the Jundt Art Museum, 200 E Desmet, Tuesday, September 17, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Balancing Art/Work/Life

at the Downtown Spokane Public Library, Tuesday, October 15, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Education, Residencies & Work Approaches

at Saranac Art Projects, Tuesday, November 12, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

 
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Answers from some local artists on questions about pricing & valuing your work:

DO YOU HAVE A SET FORMULA FOR PRICING YOUR WORK OR DOES IT CHANGE EACH TIME?

An emerging artist needs a clear picture of their practice and financial goals. It’s easy to be swooned by ego-boosts and a little extra cash, but is it really sustainable? A creative can start by tracking their input and output for a month. Track creative time, materials, business and promotion time, materials and promotion costs (like business cards, hustling for exhibitions, framing, website building and social media), creative space, packing material. How much time and resources did you put in vs. how much did you create? It’s variable for each artist and it’s surprising when you add it up - artists typically come up short, and that’s not sustainable. Track all sales, including contact info of buyer.
— Katie Creyts
I do not have a set formula on pricing, but I do have a minimum. I include: my time, design, supplies and the most important thing is my talent. I feel if it’s something that’s custom and you can’t just go out and buy it that makes it more valuable!
— Daniel Lopez
No set formula, I always make sure to tack on the cost of frames and materials. My time is invested in the research it takes to make the things I make, I don’t have a secret way for pricing my research and expertise. A Major factor for me is the question… “Can I make another one of these, and how easily?” If it’s a true one of a kind I price it much higher than a print or production piece.
— Chris Tyllia
I have a bit of an organic formula that makes sense to me. It’s taken a long time to figure it out and get more comfortable pricing... although I’m sure I will always struggle with it. I imagine all of my work existing on a spectrum. Depending on size, detail/time, materials and overall successfulness of the piece I price them where they fit according to my other works. It’s hard when I can’t see where something fits because it is way larger, or I spent a month making it. It’s not a flawless system.
— Tiffany Patterson

DO YOU DO COMMISSIONED WORK? HOW DO YOU PRICE THAT COMPARED TO YOUR OTHER WORK?

Commission work I price high. If it’s not my artistic expression but I’m making some else’s dream become a reality, I should get paid well.
— Daniel Lopez
No, I’ve had some bad commission experiences in my early career, I don’t do it anymore. (Again I recognize this is a privilege that I don’t have to make a living off my work.)
— Chris Tyllia
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ONCE YOU SET A PRICE, DO YOU ADJUST IT AFTER A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF TIME IF SOMETHING ISN’T SELLING OR YOU AREN’T GETTING BOOKED?

YESSSS! Strictly when it comes to prints. It’s an investment that I made at a moment in time. Some do not sell like I would have hoped. After a year or two of not selling I mark the prices down. It’s a risk investment that I’ve either came out on top of or have lost.
— Shantell R. Jackson
Every few years, I have a studio sale and drop prices on stuff that has been sitting around for awhile. Generally, the price is the price.
— Karen Mobley
Adjusting my price, I never do that. Unless it’s a shelved project which is usually determined by clients. I try to get every project going if possible. One thing I do is tell clients first off with a bid is “price is subject to change” after a year. So let’s say I do a consultation, design something. They end up not going through with the project. But get back to me in a year and I’m really busy. Most likely I’m raising the prices. Hopefully my art is worth more every year. #artistgoals
— Daniel Lopez

WHAT IS YOUR ONE BEST PRACTICE FOR PRICING YOUR WORK?

Every time I have a major solo show or my work evolves I try to price my new work a tiny bit higher than I would of. So as I become a better artist my prices rise ever so slightly naturally.
— Tiffany Patterson
Be Consistent.
— Chris Tyllia
Remember all of the small costs and include them. They add up. Then you have taxes to pay at the end of the year. It is good to have that included. Don’t forget to save that money though!
— Ellen Picken
I basically set up a price for each size and keep it all the same so I don’t get confused.
— Karen Mobley
I think my best practice for pricing my work is to be fair. To myself and my client. Am I going to be walking away happily paid? That’s a question I ask myself. Or do I feel used? Art is so personal, mastering the business side has been a struggle for me. How do I further my career, how do I pay my bills how, what am I worth? Knowing my value has made me stronger and more confident.
— Daniel Lopez

WHAT’S THE BEST/WORST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED ABOUT PRICING OR VALUING YOUR WORK?

Good advice: If you agree to do volunteer work, invoice your client for what you would charge with a pro bono column to total zero. And include a scope of work. That way they can appreciate what you are giving them, and they can’t ask you to keep working for free.
— Ellen Picken
Worst: that you can discount work out of your studio. NOTHING makes your galleries more unhappy than being undercut by an artist.
— Karen Mobley
Best: “Sorry NFS” is also totally valid. And if it’s not for sale now, it can be later.
— Tiffany Patterson
YOUR TIME HAS A VALUE!
— Chris Tyllia
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HAVE YOU CHANGED HOW YOU THINK ABOUT THE VALUE OF YOUR WORK SINCE YOU STARTED WORKING AS AN ARTIST?

ABSOLUTELY! An area that I have struggled with is questioning if my work is “ever good enough” and “should I be pricing this high or this low” In order to combat my creative insecurities I’ve learned that buyers will see value in my work based on how I present it, speak about it and price it. Buyers pick up on that, I’ve not only observed this but a mentor explained it to me this way. “Too low and buyers will not see the value and not buy, and too high buyers will feel it is inaccessible.”
This is a tough balance to strike but the more I do it, at the end of the day I want to feel good about my interaction with the buyer and how they relate to my work.
— Shantell R. Jackson
I have seen my work evolve, and I feel like my taste has evolved. I feel more comfortable gradually increasing my prices because I can see the value going up.
— Tiffany Patterson
Yes, I treat it with less emotion now, because, I value the research and process more than the objects themselves.
— Chris Tyllia
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What do you need in your environment to do your best work?

When creating visual art: good lighting, good audiobook or podcast, and a cozy nook to work in. When my tiny studio is too messy or cluttered, which happens often, I at least need a path to my desk. I need an inviting space to work, so I like to have a candle lit and a snack or beverage to keep me from leaving my workspace to run down to the kitchen.
— Emma Noyes
I have discovered that I am more productive and effective in the execution of my ideas in places where other creative people are also grinding in their making
— Reinaldo Gil Zambrano
Preferably a space 60’ x 40’ with a sprung dance floor, a good sound system, natural light, access to water and bathroom, climate control, mirrored wall with covering curtain, video and large replay screen, internet connection.
— Vincas Greene
Safety and security. As in, I need to not be anxious about how I’m going to pay my rent or buy groceries; I need to know that my family understands that what I do IS work and that they respect and hold that space for me (and I them); access to digital university library resources, the internet, my laptop, a notebook, COFFEE (more coffee) and sometimes candy and sometimes cheez its.
— Kate Lebo

Do you have any tips for creating a productive studio or workspace?

If you seem to get bogged down with clutter or supplies for future projects, miscellaneous items, and generally overflow from daily life, I highly recommend putting all of that in a big box and sticking it at the bottom of a closet in another room. Keep in mind what you really need to do your creative work and then remove the excess. For me that often means I need paper, pencil, ink, brush, work surface.
— Emma Noyes
Make a place that is comfortable with the tools that you need but not too comfortable for you to get distracted. Set yourself boundaries and treat it for what it is: a working space. It takes a bit of consistency to develop that pattern to follow while you are immersed in that space if this makes sense
— Reinaldo Gil Zambrano
I like to move my furniture and books around whenever I need to release some kind of stuckness or access a different kind of energy in my work. I like having plants in my office, especially flowers—something alive but quiet that doesn’t beg for attention, but keeps you company and when blooming, offers a little quiet drama. Some room with a door that closes that doesn’t cost much, has a window, and is easy to commute to (i.e. down the stairs or down the street) so there are no barriers to going to work.
— Kate Lebo

How does where you are when you are creating influence what you are making?

I have been able to move quite a bit and every new city heavily influence my narrative and modify a bit my visual language. I do believe that I am a sponge and I absorb the energy and stories from my surroundings and incorporate them into my visual narratives.
— Reinaldo Gil Zambrano
The shape and size of the studio can really influence the movement size, shape and direction. Also, the atmosphere, temperature, and light affect my creativity.
— Vincas Greene
On a practical level, when I’m writing about food I need a kitchen, and there’s a kitchen outside my office door. Other than that, my “where” doesn’t influence what I create.
— Kate Lebo

How does the history or past of the place you are working in influence what you create?

Immensely- both directly and indirectly. First off, as a photographer and filmmaker, my environment is the foundation of my work- my art practice is much like a never ending scavenger hunt. But one must also be conscious of the creative history of the place they’re working in- as that has, consciously or not, had a profound impact on said artists’ practice. The artists, venues, critics, and communities that came before us immediately shape the present we find ourselves in now- shaping everything from trends and styles to opportunities and challenges.
— Matt McCormick
it’s very important! spaces aren’t just four walls. they are culture. everything a space does from their social media, to their staff, to the other events they host all create a culture and it’s important to know what kind of culture you are aligning your art with.
— Karli Ingersoll
I believe that a place builds its energy from previous experiences so the stimuli that I am getting currently has been around and evolving from previous times so it continues to influence.
— Reinaldo Gil Zambrano
When working on my current book, the Book of Difficult Fruit, if I wanted to write about fruit native to where I live now and where I grew up, I had to write about the tribes. Specifically the Colville Confederated Tribe of northeast Washington and the Chinookan peoples of southwest Washington. It just wouldn’t be a full picture without doing that research into the past or talking to tribal members about their interactions with, for example, huckleberries today.

I’m really interested in the traces people leave behind and how we learn how to read those traces. I feel that learning how to read those traces might help me create a closer relationship (with myself, with my work) to the place where I am rooted. The honeysuckle vine by the front door of our house, for example, tells me something about the previous owners of my house, how they sought beauty or gave up on it (the honeysuckle was cut to the ground when we moved in).
— Kate Lebo

How do you know when your art/music is a good fit for a venue?

Starting for the fact that I get invited to a space, I am assuming the person directing the venue knows about my work so I will just go and do my thing. I do not think too much on how the work will be received, I continue exploring my ideas and challenging my narratives on a personal way, later on, I explore people’s reactions to it during the shows. I generally allow the viewer environment to react to the piece
— Reinaldo Gil Zambrano
Take a look at the other art/music being hosted at the venue. is it in a similar realm genre or audience wise? if not, it might be an uphill battle trying to connect with the audience that will be coming across your art. ask the staff or owners of the establishment what they enjoy and what they feel like their customers enjoy. can you objectively asses if you would fall under the same umbrella?
— Karli Ingersoll
When the dancers and audience members have a positive experience together.
— Vincas Greene

How and should you shift your creative process for trying to get your work showcased in different spaces?

I think it depends on what you consider the experience and space will challenge you and provide you to your career in the long run. If you have a solid goal maybe having that particular experience might not work for you but if you are stuck on making the same work for a while, maybe that opportunity can be a place to explore and get out of your comfort zone to evolve and challenge yourself and be uncomfortable. While doing so, we must be totally aware of what is happening and allow ourself to be present and learn from such experience.
— Reinaldo Gil Zambrano
I don’t think you should change your art to get into a certain public space. you could by all means make separate, different art to fit certain spaces. but whether or not there’s a good space to showcase what you do shouldn’t define whether or not you do it. there’s always the internet!
— Karli Ingersoll
For dance, we have to consider costuming, lighting, floor/ground, temperature, size of space.... By examining possibilities and being open to alternative spaces we perform in theaters, parks, museums, galleries, warehouses, and hopefully alleys soon.
— Vincas Greene

Do you live in Spokane? Do you work in Spokane? Why do you think Spokane is a good/bad/easy/hard place to be an artist?

At the top of the “good” list has to be Spokane’s relative affordability- it’s next to impossible to survive as an artist in the big coastal cities these days, but Spokane is still a place you can live and work for an affordable cost. This not only includes one’s rent or mortgage, but also studio space and potential venue space. There are a lot of empty buildings here just waiting for something to happen in them. Also on the “good” list is spokane’s open, energetic, and supportive creative community- artists here work together for the greater good of the community. But there is plenty on the “bad” list as well, first and foremost being a real lack of established commercial art galleries and no real art museum. Coupled with that is Spokane’s relative lack of an invested audience for the artistic events being produced here- let alone collectors who might buy stuff. Artists and venues in all mediums need to work on cultivating Spokane’s art audience.

*** As a recent transplant who just moved here from Portland, if I could offer one bit of advice to local artists in this regard it would be to BUY A HOUSE NOW! The biggest challenge that Portland artists are currently facing is that we are/were all priced out. Those of us who didn’t buy houses back when they were affordable simply can no longer afford to live there. Same could be said for galleries and organizations, etc.
— Matt McCormick
I do live and practice in Spokane. I believe Spokane is a place with unlimited possibilities with multiple challenges that makes it ideal for an artist to grow and try things, grow and also be noticed. I see Spokane has a playground with multiple opportunities to anyone who is willing to build things.
— Reinaldo Gil Zambrano
I live and work in Spokane. It is incredibly hard to be a dance artist here for many reasons but that is my job to make Spokane accessible and welcoming to the art of dance and dancers.
— Vincas Greene
Yes, yes, and I think YES it’s been a wonderful place to be an artist, much easier than Seattle. That said, by the time I came here I had already traveled a lot, earned my masters, and am now able to work all sorts of places without feeling isolated or wondering what else is out there. If you’re an artist, I think it’s good to leave your hometown no matter where you’re from (unless maybe you’re from New York).
— Kate Lebo

Do you think being in Spokane influences your creative work, or would you be creating the same work even if you lived somewhere else?

Moving to Spokane has meant moving back to the Plateau region where I grew up and living closer to the area that has been home to my ancestors for over 10,000 years. This transition has led me to create more art that reflects my plateau consciousness and to really develop my style with the confidence that my artwork would be appreciated by other indigenous people in this area.
— Emma Noyes
Spokane makes me think about what does it need in the way of contemporary dance. I have created a piece about the Spokane River, I have collaborated with Spokane composers, I work with Spokane dancers - all of these things make my work uniquely Spokane.
— Vincas Greene
I will be making work anywhere. However, it is hard to answer because I am currently here and I am making the work I am making and I am trying to be present here and here is Spokane.
— Reinaldo Gil Zambrano

Does your work reflect something of the place you create it? Could your audience (and would you want them to) recognize a sense of place in your work?

I think so, it does. I feel I illustrate things from Spokane’s reality into my work but under my personal visual language. Viewers can definitely recognize some parts of Spokane within my work.
— Reinaldo Gil Zambrano
My attitude towards money and finances have changed. Balance your passion for creativity with being good at living. How? Listen to financial podcasts, read books. be financially literate. Know what it takes and stick to it. Read about art and artists so you can educate your friends and collectors. Get people to understand the value of creative culture. Elevate the arts.
— Katie Creyts
Yes. Shifting from working on the side to working full time has been eye opening. Mural work is very difficult and time consuming. I can only do so many large scale jobs a year without destroying my body. It has to be worth the physical tole, creative freedom, and time away from home. Going full time changed everything. I started out working for nothing on a few massive projects while still holding a part time job. This was a sacrifice that paid off. The dedication to making the work perfect and being a hard and happy worker helped boost my reputation (I also think a lot of luck helped.) After a while, companies started to commission my work, enough so that I could go full time. It is still a gamble if I’ll get enough work each year, but because I am available with no other “job” obligations, I can take whatever comes my way. Work begets more work and I can ask for the prices that I think I’m worth.
— Ellen Picken
 

Second Artist Meet Up Re-cap!

Our second Artist Meet Up of the year took place at the end of July in the Bartlett! Owner Karli Ingersoll shared information on what she likes to see when she gets emails about booking shows at the Bartlett.

Our questions and conversations were focused on How Place Influences Art and we talked about how the places we create, the places we live, and the places we show and share our work all influence the work that is created.

Do you work/create where you live? Do you attempt to keep work/studio/creative space separate from living space? If so, what are the things you try to control in your physical environment to separate those spaces?

My studio is a tiny room on the second floor of my family’s two story house. We are talking about 11 x 7 feet dedicated to illustration and painting. Unless we have guests in town, I am usually the only person that heads upstairs and this creates a distance or solitude that is important for getting certain types of projects done quickly and peacefully.
— Emma Noyes
If I could have a full sized dance studio in my home I probably would. As it is, I have space donated and I have to rent available space. I travel to get to the studio spaces and they are not my own so I cannot keep all of my things in the space and have to carry them with me.
— Vincas Greene
I personally like to separate my working space from my living space to fully dedicate my time and be present in either of them. So, for the last 5 years, I have been fortunate enough to have a studio separate from my home. I leave things like my computer, tools, sketchbooks, etc anything that is related to my practice stays at the studio and the “making swift” is turn off once I leave that place to now be home.
— Reinaldo Gil Zambrano
I do! After a period of applying for fellowships and residencies and moving around because I couldn’t afford Seattle anymore, I’ve found that having a really steady domestic environment (low mortgage, with a low-stress job that covers my bills but leaves ample time to write) is actually more conducive to my writing than trying to set aside special time or get institutional support for my writing OR living in a city like Seattle where there’s lots of institutional support for artists but the cost of living is higher. Not having to constantly hustle has helped my writing immensely. More time, less stress, and less writing to pay my rent (i.e. not writing what I really want to write).
It’s important to me to keep my studio space separate, yes. It’s my work space, and it’s in my house, and I don’t want to feel like I’m working whenever I’m in my house. Work does bleed into the rest of my home life all the time, and it’s a problem.
My husband is also a writer. When we were looking to buy a house, we looked for one with enough bedrooms to give us both an office. At the time, buying a house with this number of rooms was cheaper than renting one. I hope that’s still true in Spokane but I don’t know.
As for things I try to control, mostly I need my door shut, I need no loud noise on the first floor of the house where my office is (my stepson likes to play piano, so when he’s home we have to negotiate piano time with writing time). My husband and I both write at home, so we have to stop ourselves from interrupting each other all the time. We’re careful to knock, careful not to interrupt if the other person says it’s not a good time.
— Kate Lebo

When does the environment most influence your art?

Traveling or spending time on the land gathering foods place me in environments that plant endless seeds of ideas for new work. The results are often lists and sketches to take back to my little studio.
— Emma Noyes
Before the pieces are made and the stimuli are received to generate an idea. Also, when I have a piece in progress I am constantly looking around in long walks and the environment provide me with possible textures and solutions to my visual problems that later when incorporated into the piece.
— Reinaldo Gil Zambrano
Environment doesn’t influence my music as much as the music I play influences the type of environments I’m willing to be involved in. for live music, I really want to always make sure I’m setting myself and my band up for success. being up front with what the setup is for sound/stage/lights/staffing is super important for me to know what type of an environment will be a good fit. the type of event and type of audience plays a big role as well.
— Karli Ingersoll
When I am creating a dance for non-traditional spaces or site specific dances, the performance environment must be a primary concern of the work being done.
— Vincas Greene
When I write these kind of “foraged” essays that are based in my daily experience, conversations, discoveries. All of those take place in my immediate environment, and serve as doorways into tangents and obsessions that take me far afield.
— Kate Lebo

Do you think about where you will show/share your work before, during, or after you are making your work?

Absolutely “before” - In this day an artist cannot be naive about their goals for their work, and the environment in which the work will exhibit is a crucial part of meeting those goals. This does not mean the venue has to be confirmed, nor is it a failure if said venue doesn’t pan out, but someone wanting to work in a ‘fine arts’ capacity simply can’t turn around and exhibit their work in a craft fair or sell it on Etsy. Artists need to be mindful of where and when their work exhibits, understand the audience they are trying to reach, and have a plan to reach said audience.
— Matt McCormick
I generally always making work and then the venues start to appear so many times I will adapt the work to be suitable for the place but other times I just continue my practice and the work gets shown the way I was intended to make it ignoring the space. Unless a space really asks for an specific intervention.
— Reinaldo Gil Zambrano
Not really before or during but after. each musical project i’m in, i have a feel or idea for what kinds of spaces might be great or make me feel like my work is valuable. the wrong space can make me feel like my work isn’t valuable just because it might not be a great fit. for example: my solo songwriter project might not be a good fit for an afternoon outdoor event with lots of families where people won’t be very engaged. but that kind of environment might be great for a rock band or something more fun. just because one doesn’t fit and the other does, doesn’t make either better, it’s just important to acknowledge the difference and make decisions based on that.
— Karli Ingersoll
I try to make work that can be shown in many different environments.
— Vincas Greene
I try not to. But I do think about it. I can’t help myself.
— Kate Lebo

How and should you shift your approach to pitching yourself for different spaces?

I have been learning that depending on the idea a venue might be more suitable for it than others but adapting it can also be an interesting challenge. Depending on what I want to do and the space needs I will modify the ideas or allow then to be transformed and evolve. For example, when I get invited to colleges to do projects, I research the school and study their needs so I can provide an experience that will provide them with something that they might not have access to it in general basis.
— Reinaldo Gil Zambrano
I think it’s important to see each space you approach as a business. you may not be doing your art full time, but the venue you are approaching is paying rent, utilities, insurance, taxes, etc, etc, and likely employing multiple people to keep the doors open. on top of that, most venues that host anything arts related are scraping by and several people are volunteering to keep them in existence. while you need to make sure you aren’t getting taken advantage of, you also need to consider that hosting your artistic efforts needs to have some sort of drop in the bucket for keeping this machine alive that is in turn supporting the arts. so, when you approach having someone host your art show or band, consider how it could be a partnership where you are covering your costs and hopefully making a bit of profit, but how they are also doing the same. this will go a long way in building a long term partnership between you, the space and the audience you both serve.
— Karli Ingersoll
I try to help the venue coordinator “see” the dance in the space.
— Vincas Greene

Does the place your work is shown/shared affect your own view of that work?

Totally. Space provides a new world with viewers bringing their experiences, lights, space, etc. The work is now living in a new environment where it gets to grow so now as the makers we are also spectators and get to see how the piece stands by itself and how it works for what it is and not for what we think it is.
— Reinaldo Gil Zambrano
Absolutely! with music i find it impossible to not let this affect my view of my work. the way an audience or a space palettes the music absolutely affects my own view of it. if people really like it, i like it more. if people seem to be indifferent or resistant, i question my process and my own favor of the work. but i find that an important refining process. if at the end of the day i still love the work, that’s very important. even if maybe everyone didn’t resonate with it.

How has your creative work changed as you’ve lived, worked, or performed in other places?

I have been able to understand what I really want to do and focus on the things I need to do in order to fulfill that goal. Spokane has provided me with a growing community and affordable rent to develop projects and see a direct impact in the community.
— Reinaldo Gil Zambrano

Do you think Spokane has a local style/sound/aesthetic? In music? In visual art? In writing? Do you attempt to connect with that or resist it?

Definitely, but I feel its artistic personality it is still in development so we will see in the next 10 years. I attempt to connect with the people and the makers respecting and supporting their work and contributing a small grain of sand to the larger picture with my work.
— Reinaldo Gil Zambrano
I think there is an Inland Northwest writing aesthetic that’s different from Seattle/Portland/Vancouver BC and different from Montana/Wyoming/“Western”. I think this group of artists includes folks down in Moscow and Pullman and Walla Walla and Ellensburg and elsewhere between the maritime PNW and the “last best place” Montana-type places. I don’t understand much else about this yet.
— Kate Lebo

Do you feel a sense of connection or disconnection to Spokane? To the arts communities in the area? Do you want people who interact with your art/work to know that you are creating in Spokane? In your discipline, are there any benefits or negatives with your work being associated with this place?

I do take pride in showing where I live and work, that’s why I have a tendency to incorporate “Spokane” in all the events and projects that I have been developing recently. I know many people in the art community but I am new to the city so I do not know anyone. There is something that connects us all and its passion for making things and creating dialogue. I do also take pride in my heritage and my Venezuelan roots and keep showing that into my work as well.
— Reinaldo Gil Zambrano
I am feeling a very good connection to people and place here in Spokane. I am creating a home for dance here and I believe that this is possible and desired. It will certainly take a while but it is happening.
— Vincas Greene