ST: Seminar Professional Skills for Media Artists [ART 4710 J01]

Class Meets: Tuesday 1:00PM to 3:15PM
Location: VAC Room 124
Professor: Sean Clute,
Class URL:
Office Hours: Monday 10AM-11AM / Tuesday 11:30AM-12:30PM or by appointment

Course Description:
This seminar addresses the rapidly changing professional landscape of the creative economy and digital media. Students identify and learn how to articulate personal soft and hard skills relevant to positions in emerging technologies. Topics covered include creating statements of intent, goal setting, portfolio development, digital asset organizational methods, utilizing online resources, digital identity management, and other techniques desired to enter a competitive workforce. The course will provide examples and access to local and national industry leaders. BFA/BA in Media Arts students as well as other students interested in professional skills for the digital age encourage to enroll.

Identify and articulate personal digital media skills
Learn how to research, create, and present a digital identity for career success
Develop strong print, digital and online media portfolios
Discover diverse industries for prospective employment
Gain familiarity with professional communities, organizations and memberships
Establish personal and professional goals for that emphasis your passion, skills and experience

Grading Summary:
Weekly Homework | 30%
Portfolio | 20%
Final Project | 30%
Participation | 20%
I take attendance. For each class (after three absences) I drop your final grade by one (ex. A to B)

Making Your Life as an Artist – Andrew Simonet
Job Hunting on the Internet – Bolles
The Back Door Guide to Short Term Job Adventures – Landes
What Color is Your Parachute – Bolles
Enhanced Occupational Outlook Handbook 5th Edition – Farr/Shatkin

Connecting to the Class Server:
We have a class server (an external storage device) in which all assignments must be uploaded
To access the server:
Finder/Go/Connect to Server/Connect
press [command k] when in the Finder

If the server address is blank type in “smb://” and press connect

You can always email me at
You can come to my office hours (see above)
For technical help you can file a report with IT here:

MARS Hours:
MARS is open to you when no class is present. You must get your ID activated at security to use.

Schedule Details:

Class 1 (Jan 17) – Orientation | Artist Life

Each of you will be interviewed by me in front of the class

Introduction to the class:
Go over syllabus
Class website
Required reading

Homework I:
Download book: Making Your Life as an Artist – Andrew Simonet
Read Making your life as an Artist, chapters 1-3

Answer the following questions.
Create a .pdf and label it LastnametFirstname.pdf
Put on ART/_CluteProfessional/Assignments/HomeworkI

Chapter: The role of the artist
What are your favorite two statements and why?
What makes you an artist?

Chapter: Our Punishing Lives
Do you suffer because you are an artist? Why? How?

Chapter: Our Skills
What are your strongest skills as an artist?
What is one example that proves you have the above skill?
What is your mission as an artist?

Write Your Life Plan
Create a .pdf and label it LastnameFirstname_LifePlan.pdf
Put on ART/_CluteProfessional/Assignments/HomeworkI

Write a life plan
Breakdown what you would like to accomplish in the next five years
Under each year make a category for professional, recreation, other
Do not hold anything back no matter how ridiculous or impractical!

We will share next class

Class 2 (Jan 24) – Life Plan

Discuss Book
We will talk about the chapters and your answers to homework

Discuss Life Plan
Pick three highlights/themes from you list and share

Homework II:
Read Making your life as an Artist, chapters 4-5

Answer the following questions.
Create a .pdf and label it LastnametFirstname.pdf
Put on ART/_CluteProfessional/Assignments/HomeworkII

What is your five year plan post-graduation?

What kind of artist are you (ie. What do you make)?
Why is it important to make work?

Write 10 Adjectives
Create a .pdf and label it LastnameFirstname_Adjectives.pdf
Put on ART/_CluteProfessional/Assignments/HomeworkII

Find a quiet place alone
Find the feeling you get from creating art
Write down the words that describe this feeling

Write Your Artist Statement
Create a .pdf and label it LastnameFirstname_Statement.pdf
Put on ART/_CluteProfessional/Assignments/HomeworkII

Write an artist statement
Write three paragraphs
First paragraph explain what you do (example of favorite work)
Second explain why (include influence, mentor, education)
Third explain why does this matter? (what you hope to achieve)
Resource for writing a statement

Class 3 (Jan 31) – Statement

Discuss Book
We will talk about the chapters and your answers to homework

Share Adjectives
Share your #1 adjective that describes your feeling making work

Share Statements
Share statements, get feedback, rewrite

Homework III:
Read Making your life as an Artist, chapters 6-7

Answer the following questions.
Create a .pdf and label it LastnametFirstname.pdf
Put on ART/_CluteProfessional/Assignments/HomeworkIII

What will you do for money after you graduate?

If you had more time what would you like to do?

What did you think of the book?

Rewrite Statement
Create a .pdf and label it LastnameFirstname_StatementII.pdf
Put on ART/_CluteProfessional/Assignments/HomeworkIII

Rewrite your artist statement based on feedback from your peers

Create a Resume
Create a .pdf and label it LastnameFirstname_Resume.pdf
Put on ART/_CluteProfessional/Assignments/HomeworkIII

Create a resume
First list all of your experiences (work, voluntary, showings, screenings)
Place all items in categories
Follow example as a model for your resume

Class 4 (Feb 7) – Resume I

Guest: Career Services
Beth Walsh and Ellen Hill will be meeting us

Homework IV:
Create a Cover Letter
Create a .pdf and label it LastnameFirstname_Letter.pdf
Put on ART/_CluteProfessional/Assignments/HomeworkIV

Create a cover letter
Find one position (that truly exists)
Write a cover letter for that position
Include the address for this position at the top of the letter
Include the adjectives that you came up will in an earlier assignment
Include aspects of your artist statement
Highlight one part/experience from your resume
Include your strengths and why you would be the best person for the job

Print out 10 copies and bring them to next class

Class 5 (Feb 14) – Resume II

Guest: Career Services
Beth Walsh and Ellen Hill will be meeting us

We will share resumes

Class 6 (Feb 28) – Resume/Letter

We will project your resumes and comment as a class

Share Cover Letters
We will trade cover letters

Homework V:
Create a social media presence
Create a bookmark and label it LastnameFirstname_LinkedIn.webloc
Create a bookmark and label it LastnameFirstname_Twitter.webloc
Create a bookmark and label it LastnameFirstname_Facebook.webloc
Create a bookmark and label it LastnameFirstname_Vimeo.webloc
Create a bookmark and label it LastnameFirstname_Youtube.webloc
Create a bookmark and label it LastnameFirstname_Flickr.webloc

Put on ART/_CluteProfessional/Assignments/HomeworkV

Create a professional social media presence
Each site should look current
Each site should look professional
Connect with other professionals on your site/s
Have a good profile picture
Select at least 10 artworks to share
Label each artwork
Include a brief description of each work

Class 7 (Mar 7) – Presence (Social Media)

Critique Cover Letters
We will critique your cover letters

Critique Social Media Sites
We will critique your social media sites

Homework VI:
Create a Website
DUE March 21

Create a bookmark and label it LastnameFirstname.webloc
Put on ART/_CluteProfessional/Assignments/HomeworkVI

Create a website using a free online CMS. I will be showing you WordPress (my personal favorite). But there are others out there you can use.

Chose a theme that is visually compelling and works with your artistic style

Create a page for your artist statement

Create a page or link to your resume (.pdf is best)

Create a page for upcoming events and include a couple

Create a page for documentation:
Include at least 5 works
Include a title for each
Include a short description for each
You can link to your other media sites (Flickr, vimeo, youtube, etc)

Class 8 (Mar 14) – Career Fair

We will attend the 2017 Spring Career Fair in SHAPE

Class 9 (Mar 21) – Presence (Website)

Critique Websites:

Discuss Print/portfolio:

Homework VII:
Create a Print based Portfolio

Create a .pdf and label it LastnameFirstname.pdf
Put on ART/_CluteProfessional/Assignments/HomeworkVII

Create a print portfolio as a .pdf
Create an appearance that is visually compelling and works with your artistic style
Include at around 10 works
Each work should have a title
Each work should have a short description (ie. photography, graphic design, etc.)
Use the same font choice for the text
Be prepared to talk about the works in your portfolio
Find and/or purchase a binder
Print works in color (print lab or UPS store)
Bring binder to next class

Class 10 (Mar 28) – Presence (Print)

Critique Print Portfolios:

Homework VIII:
You will research various support systems
DUE April 11

Create a .pdf and label it LastnameFirstname.pdf
Put on ART/_CluteProfessional/Assignments/HomeworkVIII

Think about your mission and artist statement. With that in mind, you are to research organizations and people that will help you realize your goals.

Research Organizations
List the names of five organizations that help people of similar interests
List what the organizations do
List when/where/how often the groups meet
Write how to become active in the organization
Put one organizational meeting in your calendar and plan on attending

List the names of five funders (individual or organizations) that give grant money
List the application due dates
List the kinds of information needed on applications

List three artist in residence programs that fit your type of work
List the location of the AIRs
List the due dates of the AIRs

List three mentors that would be good to talk to about your work
Contact one of them and ask if you can briefly Skype, coffee, etc.
(if you do not hear back from that one contact another, etc.)
This cannot be a person you know
Talk about art, work, life, etc…
Write a paragraph report on your meeting

Grad school
If you plan on attending grad school then:
Make a list of five schools that would be interesting
Make a list of why they would be a good fit for you


List three places you would like to work
Create a cover letter for those places
Put them in the mail

Class 11 (Apr 11) – Guest: James Leonard | Research

Guest James Leonard:
We will read tarot cards with James; to learn about our future

Present Research:
We will present our research

Homework FINAL:
DUE May 9 (note the individual times)

You will incorporate all learned aspects of the class into a final portfolio and professional interview.

I will be looking at both a print and online portfolio
Print: Bring to the interview
Print: include at least five images
Print: images must be high quality
Print: images should be organized in a good quality folder
Print: additional information (contact, info sheet, bio, etc.) will be rewarded
Online: you must have an online/static webpage
Online: site must include bio/statement, documentation, contact
Online: site must clearly link to at least one social media site
Both: there must be consistent design that makes your resume and cover letter

You will email me a .pdf resume before the interview
You will bring a copy of your resume to the interview
See grading rubric (handout) for resume

Cover Letter
You will email me a .pdf cover letter before the interview
You will bring a copy of your cover letter to the interview
See grading rubric (handout) for cover letter

The interview will be 15 minutes. You must be on time and have all materials.
See grading rubric (handout) for the interview

Homework Interview:
Interview Practice
DUE April 25, May 2

You will do a practice interview. Will will interview it the order posted on the website.

Be prepared to answer questions for 20 minutes
Bring a copy of your resume
Bring a copy of your cover letter
Bring a print copy of your portfolio
Have website URL ready to view

Class 12 (Apr 18) – Interview I

Class 13 (Apr 25) – Interview II

Class 14 (May 2) – Wrap Up

Final Meeting (May 9)

Final Interview:
1:00-1:15: Jared
1:15-1:30: Kris
1:30-1:45: Kali
1:45-2:00: Ashley
2:00-2:15: Forrest
2:15-2:30: Kimberly
2:30-2:45: Lucas
2:45-3:00: Ian
3:00-3:15: Brendan