By: Kelley Lauginiger | All photos by Vic Brazen (@wnwmedia)
At Acceptd, we’ve interviewed lots of artists over the past year or so. No matter their disciplines, everyone divulges a similar story when discussing their unique formula to success in the arts: you have to stay busy.
Strategically using all the time in the day to create culture they’re passionate about including touring the world performing live music, performing on stilts as part of a circus troupe, teaching students to sing and perform, or writing and performing stand-up comedy, each craft requires dedicated, hard work. You can’t be lazy or expect anything to come to you if you want to be successful in the arts. Sure, you could make it a hobby or a part-time gig, but if you want it to be your life, you truly have to earn it.
It’s fair to expect a high school student’s eyes to instinctively roll when given life tips from adults two to three times their age. But take it from someone who is 24, successful, and living her dreams: busy is key. Karina Rykman tours the country as a professional bassist with the eclectically talented keyboard and piano virtuoso, Marco Benevento’s band, while simultaneously booking NYC concert cruises from her tour-bus while out on the road.
“You get one life. One chance to do what it is you want to do,” Karina said about staying busy and working on simultaneous projects. “My main advice is kind of cliche but its true: follow your heart, do what you love. But, just don’t wait. Go do it now!”
We all want to be accepted, loved, admired, popular….and the list could go on and on, right? We want to fit in with others and basically…be liked! It’s a ton of pressure to wake up every day and have to think about whether your clothes, hair, intelligence, talent, etc. will stand up against the judgy eyes of other kids. And that’s just if you’re a normal average teen! What if you’re a singer, dancer, artist, actor, or musician? How do you fit in with other students and at the same time, stand out?
If the thought of going to school in Hollywood makes you (or your parents) feel excited, overwhelmed, or all of the above: have no fear! You’re not alone. Read on to learn why studying music in L.A. at Musicians Institute may be the best choice for you. Read more
You’ve heard of Fender and Gibson. Your dad used to play a Rickenbacker. But have you heard of Prisma Guitars? These unique, handcrafted instruments are one-of-a-kind made from upcycled wood. And not just any wood; the wood from old, defunct, and recycled skateboards.
“Sometimes we sit all day and pull grip tape off the boards ’til our fingers basically start bleeding,” Nick said. “In the beginning it was taking six months to make a guitar. Now, I can do it in a day.”
“I take some of these boards out, and there is blood on them, or a huge chip in them from where the skater was mad and hitting the ground with their board,” Nick said. “Visually, (once we work on them) you can see the pressure cracks, or where someone broke it, or holes, but when you touch it…it’s not there. So that way, you get the story. It’s like people-watching, but just with skateboards.”
We talked to Nick about entrepreneurship in the arts, how he got where he is today, and what advice he has for other creative spirits who are considering taking a risky leap of faith towards a big reward.
It’s easy to be a Monday hater. But, you can’t give up on Sunday! Sunday is a built-in reset button. It’s a day society actually expects you to rest, recuperating from getting knocked around by life all week. Sure, another week starts tomorrow, but Sunday is there for you. Like a mother who just wants what’s best for you, it also expects you to be productive.
Don’t be an April fool. That is behind us! Myths about what it means to pursue the artist’s path have been around for as long as, well, artists have been creating. From their perfectionist tendencies and eccentric personalities to the moody temperaments and emotional chaos that must inspire (and also eventually derail – I’m looking at you, Van Gogh) their forms of expression, these stereotypes persist despite the diversity of artists working today and the many insights into their lives and process that they willingly reveal. Here are a couple whopper myths we’ve seen over the years: Read more
Nestled in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Brandywine Valley, West Chester University is a picturesque and historic community that offers small-town charm with cosmopolitan flair. The West Chester University School of Music offers students an opportunity to perform weekly under the direction of world-class teachers and musicians. With 16 undergraduate programs and over 24 ensembles to choose from, you can find your perfect fit.
This week, we sat down with Professor Randall Scarlata, Associate Vocal Professor and an acclaimed vocal performer, to learn more about his life as a singer and a professor. Read on to learn more about Randall’s accomplished career, his advice to aspiring musicians, and the highlights of his time working with students at West Chester. Read more
It’s been a potpourri of artist interviews on the Acceptd blog, and it smells like Spring! Fresh perspectives are blooming, and we’re living for it. Today we talk to Joan Pinnell, freelance graphic designer and Assistant Director, Communications and Outreach (assistant-imagination-person) at Northwestern University’s Transportation Center in Evanston, IL (just north of Chicago).
Joan has catalyzed her creative, ambitious spirit into an innovative career in the education sphere, at one of the most renowned schools in the country. Read on to learn her story, and what advice she has for young artists interested in a similar future. If you’re eager for education and your creativity is matched by a thirst for knowledge and lifelong learning, this interview is for you!
Careers in the arts cover a lot of ground. While there’s someone to fluff up wardrobes between acts, there’s someone who first created the costumes, and of course someone who orchestrated and wrote all the music. There are singers, dancers, and acrobats; wildly powerful writers, and photographers whose imagery takes your breath away. There are the ticket takers, the planners, and the audience to cheer them on. There are truly infinite opportunities to work and be involved in the arts!
One thing we hear all the time from parents and skeptical art students is that an arts degree “won’t get you anywhere.” While we can say this is not true, and remind you how many jobs are available for artists, we know the best way to get this point across is to show you firsthand. Today we’re sharing a real-life example of someone who studied the arts in college, and has made a career in the business sphere using his arts background. With no further adieu, Senior Production Manager at Boardriders, Inc, Dave Kowalski. Read more
Interview performed by Acceptd Digital Marketing Coordinator, Amy Overturf.
Last week, we shared an interview with NHSO Fellowship recipient and viola player, Gabrielle Skinner. This week, we’d like to introduce you to James Keene, another New Haven Symphony Orchestra Harmony Fellowship recipient. James is a versatile soloist, chamber musician, and music pedagogue. After attending Interlochen Arts Academy, he received his B.M. from Rutgers University, and he received his Master’s Degree in Violin Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory. James currently works as a violin teacher & performer. Read more