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THE
CREATIVE
CAREER
Cheryl	
  Platz	
  
Designer,	
  Actress,	
  Artist	
  
Twitter,	
  Instagram,	
  Vine:	
  
@MuppetAph...
LOVE YOUR
ART, LOVE
YOUR LIFE.
YOU ARE MORE
EMPOWERED TO
CREATE THAN ANY
PRIOR GENERATION.
Internet,	
  cheap	
  materials,	
  gender	
  equality,	
  fre...
The End of
the Single
Career Era
Are	
  you	
  an	
  artist?	
  An	
  architect?	
  A	
  
sculptor?	
  A	
  performer?	
  ...
The End of
the Single
Career Era
Are	
  you	
  an	
  artist?	
  An	
  architect?	
  A	
  
sculptor?	
  A	
  performer?	
  ...
MY STORY:
ART, TECHNOLOGY,
AND A WINDING
PATH
Youth	
  &	
  Choices	
  
A Tale of
Two Majors
I	
  almost	
  applied	
  to	
  art	
  schools	
  instead	
  of	
  technology	
  schools,	
  but	
  
...
The Art in
Gaming
4	
  years	
  in	
  the	
  video	
  game	
  industry	
  
as	
  a	
  producer	
  and	
  designer	
  
Lots...
Interaction Design:
Creative Problem
Solving
On	
  a	
  daily	
  basis	
  at	
  Amazon,	
  I	
  may	
  be	
  
drawing	
  s...
Getting Started
in Seattle
Theater
My	
  first	
  “break”	
  out	
  here	
  came	
  in	
  the	
  form	
  
of	
  Daphne	
  f...
Unexpected
Productions
My	
  theatrical	
  home	
  of	
  7	
  years:	
  improvised	
  
comedy	
  and	
  drama	
  on	
  a	
...
NERDprov
Improv	
  comedy	
  group	
  born	
  out	
  of	
  a	
  mutual	
  
love	
  for	
  geeky	
  things	
  and	
  a	
  d...
Seattle
Experimental
Theater
All-­‐female	
  staff!	
  
Productions	
  include	
  “Where	
  No	
  Man	
  Has	
  
Gone	
  Be...
What keeps
me going?
•  Like-­‐minded	
  friends	
  and	
  peers	
  
•  The	
  feeling	
  of	
  bringing	
  joy	
  to	
  o...
1. DON’T WAIT FOR
THE PERFECT
MOMENT…
OR PERMISSION.
The	
  morals	
  of	
  my	
  story?	
  
2. YOUR PATH WON’T
LOOK LIKE ANYONE
ELSE’S PATH.
BE INSPIRED, NOT
INTIMIDATED.
The	
  morals	
  of	
  my	
  story?	
  
3. KNOW YOUR VALUE.
DON’T GIVE YOUR WORK
AWAY WITHOUT A GOOD
REASON.
The	
  morals	
  of	
  my	
  story?	
  
LOOKING
FOR
ANOTHER
STORY?
Celene
Ramadan
(Leeni / Prom
Queen)
“Get	
  out	
  of	
  your	
  own	
  way	
  and	
  do	
  the	
  best	
  work	
  
you	
 ...
Christa
Charter
“There	
  is	
  nothing	
  to	
  prevent	
  you	
  from	
  holding	
  your	
  own	
  
book	
  in	
  your	
...
Daisy Church
http://Daisychurch.com	
  
	
  
Animator	
  for	
  Adult	
  Swim	
  and	
  casual	
  games	
  
Now	
  works	
...
HOW DO YOU
MAKE A LIVING
AS AN ARTIST?
Choose
Your
Own
Adventure
Find	
  an	
  audience	
  that	
  will	
  fund	
  you.	
  Now	
  is	
  a	
  very	
  exciting	
  ...
Build an
Avocation
The	
  classic	
  “day	
  job,	
  night	
  job”	
  dichotomy.	
  
	
  
Pursuing	
  your	
  passion	
  i...
Find an
Employer
Working	
  for	
  a	
  company	
  as	
  an	
  artist	
  or	
  designer	
  lets	
  you	
  
focus	
  on	
  ...
THESE PATHS AREN’T
MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE. BE
CREATIVE IN SEEKING
CREATIVE OUTLETS.
While
You’re Here
Remember:	
  don’t	
  compare	
  yourself	
  to	
  
these	
  women;	
  be	
  inspired	
  by	
  them.	
  ...
YOUR
CREATIVE
CHALLENGE
Closing	
  Thoughts	
  
#1: Find
your joy.
Art	
  is	
  subjective	
  –	
  to	
  be	
  healthy	
  and	
  
successful,	
  you	
  need	
  to	
  find	...
#2: Start
your
notebook.
Ideas	
  will	
  fly	
  through	
  your	
  head	
  for	
  a	
  
fleeting	
  moment.	
  Have	
  a	
 ...
#3: Cross-
train.
Is	
  there	
  another	
  branch	
  of	
  art	
  or	
  
creativity	
  you’ve	
  always	
  been	
  curiou...
#4: Find
new
inspiration.
Browse	
  a	
  community	
  of	
  creators	
  –	
  like	
  
Kindle,	
  Etsy,	
  Behance,	
  or	
...
#5 Embrace
technology.
Ask	
  yourself	
  how	
  technology	
  can	
  make	
  
your	
  artistic	
  life	
  better	
  or	
 ...
#6 Find
your Desert
Island
Creativity.
Say	
  you’re	
  trapped	
  on	
  a	
  desert	
  island,	
  
with	
  only	
  a	
  p...
A last
thought
about
working in
the arts
from Amy
Poehler
“You	
  have	
  to	
  care	
  about	
  your	
  work	
  but	
  
n...
GOOD LUCK.LOVE YOUR ART, LOVE YOUR LIFE.
Cheryl	
  Platz	
  	
  (cheryl@cherylplatz.com)	
  
Senior	
  User	
  Experience	...
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The Creative Career (Girls Unlimited April 2015 Keynote)

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Redmond's Girls Unlimited program hosts annual workshops focusing on career options for young women in the area. In 2015, I was invited to return for my second Girls Unlimited keynote talk, this time focusing on my career in the arts - both in interaction design and in acting. The talk ends with a number of calls to action that are applicable to any beginning artistic career.

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The Creative Career (Girls Unlimited April 2015 Keynote)

  1. 1. THE CREATIVE CAREER Cheryl  Platz   Designer,  Actress,  Artist   Twitter,  Instagram,  Vine:   @MuppetAphrodite     Facebook:   http://facebook.com/TheCherylPlatz     Blog:   http://blog.cherylplatz.com  
  2. 2. LOVE YOUR ART, LOVE YOUR LIFE.
  3. 3. YOU ARE MORE EMPOWERED TO CREATE THAN ANY PRIOR GENERATION. Internet,  cheap  materials,  gender  equality,  freedom  of  self-­‐determination….  
  4. 4. The End of the Single Career Era Are  you  an  artist?  An  architect?  A   sculptor?  A  performer?  A  writer?      
  5. 5. The End of the Single Career Era Are  you  an  artist?  An  architect?  A   sculptor?  A  performer?  A  writer?     …It  doesn’t  matter.       You’re  a  creative  person,  and  all  of  these   modes  of  expression  can  be  tools  in  your   toolbox.  Whenever  you  choose.  
  6. 6. MY STORY: ART, TECHNOLOGY, AND A WINDING PATH
  7. 7. Youth  &  Choices  
  8. 8. A Tale of Two Majors I  almost  applied  to  art  schools  instead  of  technology  schools,  but   couldn’t  deny  the  seduction  of  the  tech  boom.     I  found  a  school  that  let  me  do  both  –  Carnegie  Mellon  had  a   technology  program  that  also  let  me  study  visual  design  and  art,   along  with  a  strong  student-­‐run  theatre  program.  I  did  everything   from  hacking  museum  exhibits  to  3D  anmimated  shorts  and   occasionally  drawing  comics.  And  TONS  of  theater.  
  9. 9. The Art in Gaming 4  years  in  the  video  game  industry   as  a  producer  and  designer   Lots  of  creativity:  storytelling  and   writing,  level  and  system  design,   etc.    
  10. 10. Interaction Design: Creative Problem Solving On  a  daily  basis  at  Amazon,  I  may  be   drawing  storyboards,  sketching  ideas,   designing  screens  and  flows,  designing   voice  user  interfaces,  writing  voice  UI   scripts,  producing  videos,  or  programming   hardware  prototypes.  Past  jobs  have  let  me   design  everything  from  phone  interfaces  to   cars  and  huge  server  systems.  
  11. 11. Getting Started in Seattle Theater My  first  “break”  out  here  came  in  the  form   of  Daphne  from  Scooby-­‐Doo.   Launched  several  years  of  working  with  Jet   City  Improv  and  various  scripted  theater   companies.   I  took  voice  lessons  for  2  years  to  break  into   musical  theater  in  the  area.  
  12. 12. Unexpected Productions My  theatrical  home  of  7  years:  improvised   comedy  and  drama  on  a  weekly  basis   Redmond-­‐based  teaching  artist  for   introductory  improv  classes   Daytime  gigs  including  video  work  and   corporate  performances   http://unexpectedproductions.org  
  13. 13. NERDprov Improv  comedy  group  born  out  of  a  mutual   love  for  geeky  things  and  a  desire  to   perform  at  conventions.   Performed  at  Bumbershoot  2012  and  2013,   GeekGirlCon  2012  and  2013,  Emerald  City   ComicCon  2010  –  2014,  The  Dammit  Liz   Holiday  Special,  and  independent  shows   around  the  state.  
  14. 14. Seattle Experimental Theater All-­‐female  staff!   Productions  include  “Where  No  Man  Has   Gone  Before”,  “The  Journal”,  The  Doctor”,   “The  Wolf  and  the  Witch”,  and  “Wedding   Horror  Stories”   We  have  been  in  the  black  every  year,  and   pay  everyone  on  our  shows.   http://seattleexperimentaltheater.com  
  15. 15. What keeps me going? •  Like-­‐minded  friends  and  peers   •  The  feeling  of  bringing  joy  to  others   •  The  childlike  joy  of  playing  with  friends   •  The  bewitching  thrill  of  storytelling   •  Curiosity  about  new  experiences   •  The  satisfaction  of  teaching  others   •  Knowing  I’m  always  learning  and  improving   But  no  one  ever  told  me  I  could  do  all  of  these  things.     I  just  did.  I  saw  opportunities  and  seized  them   unapologetically,  without  concern  for  whether  it  was   “right”  or  “too  much”  or  “good  timing”.  
  16. 16. 1. DON’T WAIT FOR THE PERFECT MOMENT… OR PERMISSION. The  morals  of  my  story?  
  17. 17. 2. YOUR PATH WON’T LOOK LIKE ANYONE ELSE’S PATH. BE INSPIRED, NOT INTIMIDATED. The  morals  of  my  story?  
  18. 18. 3. KNOW YOUR VALUE. DON’T GIVE YOUR WORK AWAY WITHOUT A GOOD REASON. The  morals  of  my  story?  
  19. 19. LOOKING FOR ANOTHER STORY?
  20. 20. Celene Ramadan (Leeni / Prom Queen) “Get  out  of  your  own  way  and  do  the  best  work   you  can.  Realize  that  while  art  is  important  it  is   not  the  end-­‐all-­‐be-­‐all.  The  most  important  part  of   art  is  that  it’s  truthful.     Choosing  art  is  choosing  honesty,  a  certain  level   of  openness,  a  very  humble  life  and  finding  joy   and  celebrating  in  the  immediate.”   -­‐  From  Crosscut  magazine,  April  17  2015   Local  musician   Creator  of  “Midnight  Veil”  music  video   movie  (funded  on  Kickstarter)  
  21. 21. Christa Charter “There  is  nothing  to  prevent  you  from  holding  your  own   book  in  your  hands,  whether  it’s  digital  or  in  paper  form.   There  is  not  a  damn  thing  to  stop  you.  You  just  have  to   decide  to  make  it  happen  and  do  a  little  bit  every  day  until   you  get  to  the  end.   It’s  not  easy.  Sometimes  it’s  the  worst  thing  ever.  But  the   payoff  will  be  the  greatest  feeling  you’ll  ever  have.”     Former  Xbox  Producer   Turned  her  experiences  into  a  successful   self-­‐published  series  of  video  game  mystery   novels,  in  addition  to  other  series   Twitter:  @trixie360   http://trixie360.com   (caution:  some  adult  content)    
  22. 22. Daisy Church http://Daisychurch.com     Animator  for  Adult  Swim  and  casual  games   Now  works  as  an  artist  and  illustrator  in  San   Francisco.  Does  original  2D  art  for   conventions  and  galleries  
  23. 23. HOW DO YOU MAKE A LIVING AS AN ARTIST?
  24. 24. Choose Your Own Adventure Find  an  audience  that  will  fund  you.  Now  is  a  very  exciting   time  to  be  an  indie  artist:     Kickstarter  (reward-­‐oriented  pledging)   IndieGoGo    (open-­‐ended  project  funding)   Patreon  (monthly  artist  patronage)   YouTube,  Vimeo  (earn  advertising  revenue)   Comic  Conventions  (direct  sales  to  fans)     You’ll  end  up  wearing  many  hats:  creator,  CEO,  marketer,   HR,  producer,  secretary,  accountant,  saleswoman.      
  25. 25. Build an Avocation The  classic  “day  job,  night  job”  dichotomy.     Pursuing  your  passion  in  your  “free  time”:   -­‐  Refreshes  your  mind  for  your  primary  work   -­‐  Gives  you  a  source  of  money  for  supplies  and  food   -­‐  Provides  inspiration  and  social  engagement   -­‐  Is  totally  acceptable  and  not  “selling  out”     But  it  also:   -­‐  Really  complicates  your  taxes   -­‐  Requires  really  strong  time  management  skills   -­‐  May  always  make  you  wonder  “what  if”  
  26. 26. Find an Employer Working  for  a  company  as  an  artist  or  designer  lets  you   focus  on  the  work.     You’ll  get:   -­‐  Valuable  experience  and  bigger  exposure  more  quickly   -­‐  Mentors  and  training   -­‐  Tools,  supplies,  and  space   -­‐  Someone  to  handle  the  parts  you  don’t  like     But  you’ll  sacrifice:   -­‐  Creative  control   -­‐  The  ability  to  choose  your  projects   -­‐  Ownership  of  your  work  
  27. 27. THESE PATHS AREN’T MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE. BE CREATIVE IN SEEKING CREATIVE OUTLETS.
  28. 28. While You’re Here Remember:  don’t  compare  yourself  to   these  women;  be  inspired  by  them.  There   is  no  timeline  or  single  recipe  for  success.   Find  other  women  your  age  who  are   inspired  by  the  same  things  you  are.   Exchange  contact  information.  Creative   people  frequently  collaborate;  start  now.   If  you  get  an  idea  for  a  project,  WRITE  IT   DOWN!  Don’t  let  that  moment  get  away.    
  29. 29. YOUR CREATIVE CHALLENGE Closing  Thoughts  
  30. 30. #1: Find your joy. Art  is  subjective  –  to  be  healthy  and   successful,  you  need  to  find  joy  in  the   process  of  creating  that  art.   What  part  of  the  process  makes  you   happiest?  What  tools?  What  types  of   projects?   Chase  the  joy,  not  the  accolades.  
  31. 31. #2: Start your notebook. Ideas  will  fly  through  your  head  for  a   fleeting  moment.  Have  a  system  for   capturing  them  before  they’re  gone.  A   notebook,  voice  notes  on  your  phone,   even  text  messages  to  yourself.  Don’t  let   inspiration  pass  without  noticing  it.  If   you’re  a  visual  artist,  sketch  like  there’s   no  tomorrow.    
  32. 32. #3: Cross- train. Is  there  another  branch  of  art  or   creativity  you’ve  always  been  curious   about?   Learning  a  new  process  can  unlock  new   insights  about  what  you  already  know.   Try  writing  if  you’re  an  painter.  Singing  if   you’re  a  writer.  Dancing  if  you’re  a   designer.  Painting  if  you’re  a  composer.   Or  stay  closer  to  home,  and  try  a  new   medium,  technique,  or  software   program.  
  33. 33. #4: Find new inspiration. Browse  a  community  of  creators  –  like   Kindle,  Etsy,  Behance,  or  YouTube  –  until   you  find  a  new  artist  you  appreciate.   It’s  easy  to  get  stuck  –  develop  your   method  of  seeking  new  inspiration,  so   you  can  fall  back  on  it  in  tough  times.   Inspiration  doesn’t  have  to  be  creative,   either  –  see  a  marketing  technique  you   like?  A  great  website?  Take  note.  
  34. 34. #5 Embrace technology. Ask  yourself  how  technology  can  make   your  artistic  life  better  or  easier.     Faster  creation  of  pieces?  A  new  creative   medium?  Broader  inspiration?  Or  is   technology  helping  you  on  the  business   side  –  Marketing?  Budgeting?    
  35. 35. #6 Find your Desert Island Creativity. Say  you’re  trapped  on  a  desert  island,   with  only  a  pencil  and  paper  or  a  music   player.  How  do  you  keep  your  ideas   flowing?     Developing  a  connection  with  a  bare-­‐ bones  approach  to  creativity  will  help  you   in  those  off  moments,  on  subways  and  in   waiting  rooms.  Don’t  let  environmental   conditions  prevent  you  from  expressing   yourself.  
  36. 36. A last thought about working in the arts from Amy Poehler “You  have  to  care  about  your  work  but   not  the  end  result.     You  have  to  care  about  how  good  you  are   and  how  good  you  feel,     but  not  about     how  good  people  think  you  are     or  how  good  people  think  you  look.”  
  37. 37. GOOD LUCK.LOVE YOUR ART, LOVE YOUR LIFE. Cheryl  Platz    (cheryl@cherylplatz.com)   Senior  User  Experience  Designer,  Amazon   Performer  &  Instructor,  Unexpected  Productions   Performer  &  Digital  Media  Manager,  Seattle  Experimental  Theater   Performer  &  Cofounder,  NERDprov   Twitter,  Instagram,  Vine:   @MuppetAphrodite     Facebook:   http://facebook.com/TheCherylPlatz     Blog:   http://blog.cherylplatz.com  

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