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Realise Your Dream: Candy B’s Tips

May 1, 2012

Hello Cultural Leaders of Australia.

Bit of background:

Every year friends, acquaintances and a few strangers contact me and ask for some advice regarding the Realise Your Dream Award. I was a Winner in 2008 and traveled to  London and Manchester in November 2009 (Black Heritage Month- Boom!) I spent around 5 weeks seeing work, meeting Artistic Directors, Diversity Associates, Producers, Presenters and Artists from the UK’s Theatre, Hip Hop and Spoken Word scenes. I had a brilliant time and my experiences gained me connections and gave me the inspiration I needed to keep on the path. The best thing about the Award was that it was up to me to create the itinerary, the British Council of the Arts made a bunch of professional contacts for me but I chose the area and the people I wanted to meet.

Most Artists are also Entrepreneurs, we have had to self produce at least 80% of our careers and we’ve all invested our own bucks, blood and sweat into our Artistic endeavours. The Realise Your Dream Award finances a trip to meet, seed, root, develop and/or nurture relationships with the Creative sector in the UK. It also allows you to see how your work stands up in an International setting. I found it extraordinary how interested folks were in Aussie stories, also as a part of the African global diaspora I was absolutely in my element… yes it twas the bomb.

RYD: 5 Tips by Candy B:

1. Put you ART where your MOUTH is.

Find the words- get articulate (not academic or intellectual- unless that’s your thang) just cut to the heart of what you do and why you do it…. That sounds easy but we all know its hard because it’s so personal. You can do it!

2. Put yourself FIRST, that is- GET COMPETITIVE!!!!

Are you groaning, most Artists do… “I’m awesomely unique, I’m shy, I’m cool, I don’t compete- that’s why I’m an Artist and not in Advertising” right? I get it, BUT do you want the coin? Selling yourself and what you do is how you move from just good and awesome to KNOWN and SEEN and SOLVENT. Take a deep breath and step up…. I promise you don’t need to be an a-hole to put yourself forward, find out how you do it and go hard sister/son/z.

3. Choose 3 Giants/ Inspirations/ Nemesis’ from the UK in your field.

Who or which Creative company do you look to and say- “that’s me in the future, OR that’s where I wanna be, OR that’s me already, I could be them right now.” Research how they got there (funnily enough many many many UK and European Artists have been supported by the British Council of the Arts at one time in their career) think on a strategy. Basic path. Basic connections. Mix it up, look to some Indie style folks and some big-ass established companies.

4. Fully understand what Cultural Leadership means.

Say what? It’s not just about being a brilliant Artist? No. This is probably the hardest bit (although maybe some of youse have got this going on in bucketfuls!) You are gonna need to work out your leadership potential. What is the social impact of what you do? How are you gonna impact on the country and the UK/OZ connection? Think on it. Get on point… Feeling intimidated? Go back to Tip 2- GO HARD…GIT THAT OPPORTUNITY & GIT SEEN.

5.  JUST DO IT… If you don’t get through the first time GO AGAIN and push your professionalism to the next level.

Artists simply don’t have the opportunity to put all of the above into action very often. We constantly have to be brave- we’ve all chosen to take a step of the beaten path and follow our souls work NOW marrying that passion with the hard sell is crucial to longevity. So get brave, research and put your art where your mouth is fam.

LOVE LOVE LOVE CANDY B…. Just my thoughts yeah!











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