Art Career Day Conference builds community for emerging artists

ZURI SMITH, Channels Staff

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This year, the seventh annual Art Career Day Conference will be held from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., April 29, at the Fe Bland Forum on West Campus. The conference will be hosted by Art Without Limits, an organization committed to providing emerging artists with skills and guidance needed to succeed.

“I think it’s important for people [and] artists to give back to each other,” said Julie McLeod, Art Without Limits Director. “It’s important for me as an artist to give other artists a fair shake in this world.”

The conference aims to educate students ages 13 to 25 on how to get into the artistic fields that they are interested in. This includes careers in fine arts, music, graphic design, writing, photography, film, media and performing arts.

This year, the conference is expanding outreach to include young artists from the San Luis Obispo and Ventura Counties.

McLeod said that it’s important to have conferences like these because a lot of young artists just try to make it work on their own without any outside help, and that’s where they go wrong.

She said the reason why most young artists feel like they have to do everything by themselves is one of the primary reasons why they don’t succeed in their fields and they feel like they have to pursue another career to make money.

McLeod said that it’s important to “run your art form as a business” and that hopefully, this conference will open up doors for those who attend.

During these five hours, there will be guest speakers, discussions, live entertainment and free lunch provided. The discussions will center around the artists, their work and how they have turned their passions into careers.

At the event, young aspiring artists will be able to talk with other professional artists to get ideas on how to be a successful artist. McLeod also wants attendees to know that the professional artists are there as mentors and resources.

She said artists need mentors and other people who are either going through the same thing or have had a similar experience, and that it’s important to build a community so that artists can uplift each other.

“[The artists] need to know how to network, make it happen,” McLeod said. “You can make it work as an artist.”

Sign in begins at 10:30 a.m. The event is free, although a $25 donation is suggested for attendees ages 25 and older.

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