Doctors and lawyers have practices. So do artists.
Introducing CREATIVE WORK, a program that invites you to treat your creative practice not only as the act of making art, but also As a vocation that
requires you to RUN THE WHOLE shOW.
You’re a serious creative. You know your craft and are pretty good at what you do (maybe even really good, if you’re not being modest).
But no matter how much you “just want to make art,” knowing and honing your craft isn’t enough.
There’s so much more you need to know and do to feel in control of your creative practice, generate and respond to opportunities, and build your audience and reputation.
You need a vision and cohesive approach for your creative practice that fits with who you are, how you best work, and the reality of your life now (with or without a day job) and in the future.
You not only need to be able to articulate what you do, but also why you do it (trust us, it makes all the difference).
You have to continuously figure out how to get out of your own way (Hello Fear, Anxiety, Limiting Beliefs, Creative Stab Wounds, Netflix + Jujubes) so you can make and finish work.
You must try and survive in a world in which, according to statistics, most artists are living with at least 30% less than what they need. Despite this, you have to stay focused and be productive.
Plus, to get your work into the world you’ve got to get past gatekeepers (publishers, curators, producers, granting bodies, etc.). But even that isn’t enough nowadays—or it might not even be a model that works for you in the first place.
So, you also need to know how to hang out your shingle in our 21st Century digital-dominated world and connect with your people in a way that doesn’t feel icky—that feels less like “self promotion” and more like sharing your work in a way that is an extension of your creative practice.
In other words, you have to do things that you probably haven’t been trained for (even in BFA and MFA programs).
Things that might make your noggin spin and kick up good ol’ Resistance. Not to mention challenge the notion of “artistic purity” caused by pervasive, yet harmful romantic stereotypes about artists toiling away in obscurity, being told not to “sell out”.
But what if you could learn to do the things that are part of having a creative practice—but sit outside of craft—and it transformed the way you work and gave you the tools to allow your creative practice to thrive for the rest of your life?
And what if it happened in a deep, nourishing way in a pleasing space around a big rustic table with a community of other folks who get it? What if it even felt like an incredibly useful, soul-satisfying treat too?
CREATIVE WORK is an intensely practical and highly-actionable 12-week program that more-or-less happens over the course of a season (March 8th to June 9th). It's designed for emerging and established writers and artists of all kinds to help reduce the barriers that get in the way of your success so that you can have a fruitful creative practice over the long term—and be seen.
Open to eight participants at a time (by application), and intended to be offered twice a year, this new, signature program consists of an opening reception (with drinks + appies), three beautifully-catered weekend retreats, nine evening follow-through sessions (with the option for out-of-towners to do them online), a one-on-one consult, and graduation (with bubbly + cake).
During each weekend retreat, through lessons, in-class exercises, and discussion, we’ll focus on different aspects of creative practice in an expansive and whole-life way. Throughout the autumn, the monthly retreats will build on one another, moving from the internal concerns of being an artist (purpose, vision, mindset), to the more external, including what it takes to make and finish the work (conditions,
project planning, systems), to sharing the work and connecting with your people (brand, website, newsletter).
You will use a customized journal to keep track of your progress, wins, and goals (among other things) throughout the program and as a leaping off point during the follow-through sessions.
Follow-through sessions will help you stay accountable and inspired. Time will also be allotted during each session to allow you to discuss something in your creative practice that you’re grappling with and your cohort will respond (i.e. “mastermind” style).
CREATIVE WORK is the program we ourselves wanted but couldn’t find. It might be your missing piece too and you probably won’t find anything like it anywhere else.
OUTCOMES + BENEFITS
During this program, you’ll do and learn a whole bunch of things that you can keep on doing and maintaining long after the program ends, including:
articulate your purpose—and understand how you achieve it so that it becomes the core thing that guides your creative practice and a filter for decision-making;
figure out how to describe your work and your value most effectively, which will make it easier to do things like write grant applications or proposals;
create a vision for yourself and your work over the next five years so you know where you want to go;
look for more alignment between your creative, personal, and professional lives;
learn about healthy mindsets that will help you in your creative practice;
learn how to identify problems so that you can reframe them and pull up your cognitive thinking socks.
learn how to review and assess your projects and set S.M.A.R.T. goals;
create a road map and action plan for your next project—an adaptable model that you can use for all your future projects—so that your priorities are straight and you can make it to the finish line;
track your time so that you can learn how to schedule effectively;
learn how to track and review your progress;
identify what makes you stoppable so that you can become unstoppable;
define what a healthy practice is for you on your own terms so that you can set yourself up for success.
learn what branding means for creatives—what it is and isn’t—and why it’s important, as well as reframe any resistance you may have to it;
begin articulating a vision for your personal brand that is authentic to both you and your work
learn about the various elements of visual brand identity and how to create a brand board, as well as copywriting so that you can create/improve your website;
learn about opt-ins and newsletters so that you can build your email list; and
start thinking about a strategy for using the Internet to share your work and connect with more people.
And bringing it all together:
create a one-page, dynamic and actionable snapshot that captures your creative practice in its entirety, including; your purpose and indicators of success, who your people are (from audience/fans to gatekeepers, to customers/clients/collectors to collaborators/partners/networks/ champions), the key activities and costs involved in making your work, the channels for getting it seen/to market, plus how you make money.
You’ll also benefit from:
an opening reception to meet your cohort and get your paws wet;
the structure of weekend retreats and follow-through sessions, which is meant to feel like boot camp that doesn’t boot you out;
the support, accountability, and motivation that the follow-through sessions will provide;
graduation because bubbly and cake (enough said);
being in the GOOD space, which folks say is a lovely, cozy, and extremely nurturing place to be;
being part of a community of like-minded artists and making new connections;
a one-on-one consult in order to go deeper on anything related to the program and/or to receive feedback on work you’ve done during the program (i.e. your brand board or your new website); and
access to a private Facebook group in which you can not only connect and share resources, advice, and wins with your cohort, but also the cohort before you, and the cohorts who will come after you.
Here are some of the other details you need to know:
Opening Reception | Friday, March 8 | 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Weekend Retreat 1 | Saturday + Sunday, March 9 +10 | 10am to 4pm
Weekend Retreat 2 | Saturday + Sunday, April 6 + 7 | 10am to 4pm
Weekend Retreat 3 | Saturday + Sunday, May 4 + 5 | 10am to 4pm
Follow-through Sessions * | Wednesdays, March 13, 20 + 27, April 10, 17 + 24, May 8, 15 + 22 | 7pm to 9pm
Consults | Saturday + Sunday, June 8 + 9 | various 90-minute time slots (with preference given first to out-of-towners)
Graduation | Saturday, June 8 | 7pm to 9pm
* Follow-through Sessions for out-of-town students will be scheduled as phone dates.
Each week, expect to set aside a minimum of two hours to engage with and work on the material covered in the program. However, the material is actionable anytime, so you may also choose a self-directed approach in terms of how much time you spend on the material and how often. There really is no end point. The work is, for the most part, meant to be ongoing.
We source fresh, natural ingredients that are delicious and nourishing, combining healthy with a touch of indulgence. We serve ethical, fair-trade Americanos and a range of teas. A healthy snack might be in the form of a Salted Caramel Energy Ball made with dates and almonds, and lunch might be a GOOD Bowl featuring tri-colour quinoa, roasted beets, arugula, diced apple, dried cranberries, toasted walnuts, feta, and apple balsamic vinaigrette. Baked goods range from cakes to cookies to loaves and bars. We can accommodate most special dietary needs, excluding serious allergies.
You’ll receive a journal at the start of the program, as well as a workbook at each weekend retreat. Notepads, pens, and sticky notes will also be provided (though you may wish to bring your own). Laptops or tablets will be required for our third weekend retreat.
Turn your three weekend retreats into a full on experience. We’ve structured this program in a way that is friendly to out-of-towners who are willing to travel and stay in Victoria one weekend a month for four months (with Follow-through Sessions happening online). If this is you, we’d be happy to recommend our top places to stay, in and near historic Chinatown, which is just a hop, skip, and alley away. We’re also happy to recommend places to eat and things to do while you’re in town that won’t take away from the experience of the retreat.
So, let’s talk turkey. Once again, you’ll get:
an opening reception with beer + wine and appetizers;
three beautifully-catered weekend retreats (36 hours total), including coffee/tea, sparkling juice, healthy snacks, nourishing lunches, and delicious baked goods;
nine follow-through sessions (18 hours total), including tea and baked goods;
three workbooks, a journal, and other course materials;
a 90-minute one-on-one creative consult;
graduation with bubbly and cake; and
ongoing access to a private Facebook group of folks who’ve taken the program.
The total cost of the program is $1,600 + membership (which starts at $10).
Now, if you’re like most artists, it gets freaky-deaky when it’s time to talk moolah because the ol’ wallet is usually pretty lean and spending money—especially on yourself—can be anxiety-inducing. If you’re going to spend money you need to know that you’re really, truly going to get solid value out of it. We get it (we’re the people who will regret cab fare if it was to an event that ended up sucking—but we’re working on it). To help you understand why this program costs what it costs and to recognize its value, we’ve included details on our pricing here.
Once you've been accepted in the program, a deposit of $400 + your membership (if you're not already a member) is required within 48 hours to hold your spot. The remaining $1,200 will be due by the time the program commences.
Alternately, you may make arrangements to pay in four installments of $400. Email money transfers are preferred but PayPal payments via debit or credit are also accepted.
If finances are a barrier for you, please still apply and indicate on your application form that you would need financial assistance. The amount of financial assistance available fluctuates (thanks in part to our Patron Members), but we do what we can to accommodate folks on tighter budgets.
Refund + Cancellation Policies
Students may receive a full refund up to five days in advance of the commencement of the program. No refund will be provided after that date, unless the program is cancelled.
If, five days in advance of the commencement of the program, the number of registered participants is six or fewer the program may be cancelled, in which case participants would be notified and refunded immediately.
Applications will be accepted beginning in January 2019.
Students will be accepted through an application process that will go like this:
Click the button below (when it is active) and you’ll be taken to an application form hosted by Typeform that will take 10-15 minutes to complete.
You'll then be contacted for a brief telephone interview to ensure that the program is a good fit for you.
You'll be notified as to whether or not you've been accepted into the program within a couple of days following the phone interview. (In other words, it’s on a first-come, first-served basis.)
The final application deadline, if the program has not yet filled, will be Sunday, February 17th at midnight. Again, there are eight spots available in total.
Have questions? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.