Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Creative Roundtable

Once a month I meet with a group of creatives and we discuss the business of being creative. Being creative is easy. It's the business of being creative that's intimidating. It's a closed group and is intended to provide security (as we've been together for almost three years, have built great relationships and can safely say anything).

The disciplines of our group range from writer, graphic design, proof reader/prop stylist, interior design/prop stylist, artist rep, photographer and concert pianist. Collectively and individually, the group has made my photographic business better.

This month, we did something different. We met at the Phoenix Art Museum. Imagine what it would be like to go to an art museum with some of the most talented people you know. It's inspirational.

One of my favorite conversations of the night revolved around Dada art and whether an artist was even aware of the Dada Art Movement and Surrealism or just copying something he'd previously seen. My guess is that people often copy. It was just nice to be with people who had an understanding of art and art history. It was nice to be with smart people who could understand why I get pissed off at "artists" who don't know the difference between art and decoration.

We looked at and discussed some thought provoking art. This was a great experience that allowed us to be visually stimulated as well as get to know each other that much more. Oddly, as we strive to be more professional with our art, I've come to know that it's the relationships that we build that truly advance us.

We closed down the art museum, walked down the street, caught the train and went for coffee.

What was nice is the train allowed us time to talk about what we
had just seen,and how GREAT the art was. The train took us from pleasure, to business. We chatted as we rode and then as we got to Lux, the topic turned to business.

Tonight's business topic was our rate. It seems that clients have been asking creatives to cut their rate. I thought it was survival of the fittest as long as you aren't more fit than th client. Tough discussion.

You know it's great night when you can close out two places. Lux either didn't like what we were discussing or wanted to send their server's home. They dimmed their lights, we left and we caught the train back to the museum.

I don't care if you are an art director in Chicago or a graphic artist in Arizona. I encourage you to get involved with the creative community and do things that you normally don't do. It will help you get out of your own head and see things in a way that others do. In short, your horizons will be expanded.


  1. I wish I hadn't missed this one! Great photos! I love the one of Joey with the tree and the Chuck Close with the legs. Do those belong to my husband?

  2. Great pictures. Great posting, Tony! What a great memorial to not only the evening we had, but to the spirit of our group as well. I'm going to send this page to the writer's who I'm pursuing to join my new writer's round table. It really captures the essence in a way I wouldn't have; nay, couldn't have!