I am a visual artist who, instead of making more objects in the world, chose to create an artist-run company to help make life better for artists as an art practice. “Getting Your Sh*t Together” (GYST, pronounced “gist”), or GYST Ink for short, was born as a way to provide resources and support services to artists via our website and other venues. As artists, things are always changing, so we never completely have our sh*t together, hence the title includes “Getting” your sh*t together as this is an ongoing process.
Here is a list of things that you can find at GYST.
1. Free Resources on our website at http://www.gyst-ink.com. Over 400 pages of vital information for artists such as how to get a business license, bartering and trading laws, approaching galleries, ethics, legal and business issues and much more.
2. All of the information on our website is now in a paperback publication for those of you who like to read in bed and mark up your book with notes. Getting Your Sh*t Together: a professional practices manual for artists.
3. If you are teaching professional practices or want to, but are not sure you know everything there is to know, we have Getting Your Sh*t Together: A manual for teaching professional practices to artists.
4. We have created two versions of software to keep track of just about everything in your art life. GYST Pro and GYST Basic, will archive all your artwork, keep track of where it is, track your exhibitions, keep track of collectors, inventory, create printable checklists for exhibitions, and so much more. You can download either for a free 30 day trial to see if it is the right software for you at http://www.gyst-ink.com.
5. GYST Radio is chock full of interviews with curators, DIY artists, nonprofit organizations and other resources that might be helpful for artists of all kinds. They automatically become iTunes podcasts which you can download for free.
6. I teach a workshop in the city of Los Angeles usually once a year. It is a 9 week class on everything I know about thriving as an artist. I have experience in more than being an artist which includes founding and running nonprofits, curating, public art, DIY projects, fundraising and grant writing, showing internationally, founding businesses and publishing. This year the workshop will take place in the summer of 2012 at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena. If you are on our mailing list, you will be the first to know about the details.
7. GYST also will scan your slides or images if your one of those artists who has your art life in slide form. This way, you can then upload those images to your GYST software or other program and apply for grants online. We will also assist you in formatting your images for online applications for a small fee.
8. If you have old VHS tapes or cassettes, we can digitize them for you.
9. We also have the GYST Blog, where we list lots of opportunities for artists as well as informative articles and information.
10. Our newsletter Artists’ At Work also keeps you informed of software updates and other opportunities.
11. I also write for The Huffington Post Arts and you will find helpful articles for creatives.
12. We also moderate 4 groups on LinkedIn for artists and arts administrators and faculty. These groups are great because you can post a question or discussion topic, and you will get an answer back. We have experts lined up to help answer those questions, so it is a good place to learn about the skills needed to be a professional artist, whether you are a gallery based or DIY artist. A. Getting Your Sh*t Together (http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Getting-Your-Sh-t-Together-4249192?trk=myg_ugrp_ovr) B. Teaching Professional Practices to Artists (http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=4249481&trk=myg_ugrp_ovr) C. Public Art for Artists (http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=4266711&trk=myg_ugrp_ovr) and Hybrid Careers for Artists (http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=4253624&trk=myg_ugrp_ovr)
13. I also have a TEDx Talk on hybrid careers and the future of art careers called “The Making of a Hybrid (Artist)” at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IehUM7XxJNU.
14. Can’t find a place to show your work? Checkout our list of arts organizations on our site, as well as our Pinterest pins at http://pinterest.com/gyst/
I invite you to connect with GYST and get to know other GYSTers who are well on their way to making things happen on their own terms. We believe that artists can be successful on their own terms, in their own way, just by being smart about the process. Come join us!