We want to know how you got to where you are today, and where you're going from here. Tell a tale of a time you were a "starving artist." What have you struggled with? What's held you back? How has NOT knowing people affected you, or how could knowing the right people, or more people, help you further your career?
We want to share your story on our site! Whether you're just getting started or a seasoned professional, we'd love to share your experiences with others - as so many of us face similar challenges, and we at Tolli are excited to tackle them in the most effective way we can. Sign your story however you'd like - whether you want to share your (first) name or keep it anonymous with a pseudonym.
Your input is vital to making others aware that creatives NEED a way to meet others and inspire collaboration and connection that otherwise may not have ever happened. Your stories will also help us shape the user experience of Tolli so that it works for every creative in every industry.
I'm still in the starting out phase of my career, having gone to school for theatre and then getting a couple jobs to pay bills and keep myself fed while my wife finished school. I've been trying to do film and stage shows, or really anything I can get my hands on, ever since graduating. I've had some success here and there, but it's pretty rare that something lines up for me on its own. I've tried four different times in the past year to get involved with, or started a film, to have it fall apart largely because I didn't have someone who could do job 'x' or didn't know someone who had 'x' equipment, or couldn't replace someone when they left the project. Being able to reach out to someone with the right skills, the right experience, the right equipment, or to have someone looking for those same things that I might be able to help with, would make me ten times more effective in trying to pursue this career. It would let me hear about opportunities I wouldn't otherwise, and give me other artists to work with when I have something of my own to make. Being in an area that's necessarily overflowing with other people who share in the same goals can make it difficult to find others to work with, even if they're only a few blocks away.
I am not what many would consider a conventional artist as I have a professional background in social services and mental health after receiving a B.S. in Sociology. That degree and experience along with the desire to be able to afford art supplies after I paid my rent is what ultimately brought me to Alaska. Since moving here I have been able to dabble and create with mediums that I would have never afforded otherwise. I do, however, struggle currently with the “who you know” aspect and the lack of acceptance of black arts in my community. Due to political incentives, programming and our tourism economy, there is typically a limited style of art that is showcased in public arenas. I have extremely lofty goals as both an entrepreneur and an artist and I do not come from a family where either of those professions have been considered “acceptable”. Because of this I find that I am missing many of the hidden rules and languages of being an artist, networking, and collaborating with a purpose. I come to the table extremely ambitious and open-minded, but it seems that maybe I am hopeful in the wrong directions and within the wrong communities. Despite such, I am still doing my damnedest to keep this creative hope alive and feel that knowing the right, like-minded people would aid in my success tremendously.
I'm a comic book illustrator and cartoonist going on my junior year as a graphic designer at Flagler College. I draw all the time as a kid but now I've been working for the past three years on improving my skills, building a portfolio and getting my foot in the door for a career. Instagram has helped me to gain support and introduce my work to new people but it has only gotten me so far. I want to find other ways to network and collaborate with creatives that are in similar situations. I'm pretty happy with my art but I always want to make better art which is hard to do in larger capacities with trying to balance school and work. My hope is that I can inspire other creatives, experienced and new, and improve gradually as I make my work better and better so I can hopefully make a career out of this some day!
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