The 'Futur' of Creative Professionalism Examined at ArtCenter

Published : Thursday, February 21, 2019 | 5:55 AM

[Updated] The rules of the game have been rewritten for professional creatives and a seminar at Pasadena’s ArtCenter promises to demystify the systems and structures of social media that are underpinnings to the new market for ideas.

As part of ArtCenter’s creative entrepreneurship program BOLD, the six-hour confab will focus on techniques that monetize content and build both personal and professional brands.

Content for the event was developed jointly between BOLD and The Futur, which defines itself as “an education platform where creative professionals learn business principles.”

The proceedings will be led by lifestyle photographer Bonnie Tsang and The Futur’s Chris Do.

BOLD symposium co-chair Yvette Roman was recently invited by Do and The Futur to chat about issues confronting creative professionals in the digital age.

Roman, like Do, is an ArtCenter alumna, a mid-career photographer whose trajectory has been waylaid by the overwhelming impacts of the iPhone camera and Instagram on what were once her professional stomping grounds.

With just under 1,000 followers on Instagram, she admitted, “I’m failing.”

Roman stressed the importance of talking about the impact of social media on hers and other visual crafts.

“I am told 95 million photos a day are uploaded onto Instagram,” said Roman. “There are thousands of ‘likes’ for photos that have nothing to do with the professional practice of photography and it is becoming very hard to distinguish yourself as a professional.”

How does somebody, Roman asked, “pull away from that noise and beat Instagram?”

Do remarked that her use of the expression “beat” Instagram was a curious one.

“I feel like Instagram was made for people like you,” he countered. “It needs people like you. You just need to play the game the way it has been designed.”

He noted that, while the photographs she has posted on Instagram are of a high quality, they don’t say enough about Roman.

Do not tell her story.

“Who are you?” was Do’s rhetorical query. “How do I know who you are? What do you stand for? That’s what an audience is buying into. That’s how young people with ginormous followings can leverage their influence to do other things and most definitely make money.”

Such will be the tenor and tone of discussion at the Feb. 23 event which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at ArtCenter’s Hillside Campus Ahmanson Auditorium, 1700 Leda Street, Pasadena.

Standard registration can be done here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/influence-social-media-monetization-seminar-w-bonnie-tsang-tickets-53666052608

Alumni Registration can be processed here: https://engage.artcenter.edu/event-registration-bold-x-thefutur

Chris Do’s interview of Evette Roman can be found here: https://youtu.be/bvg1BbZTt_0

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