It is important to know what type of resources are available in your community. If you are planning on making where you live a home and viable business location you must know what the community offers. These days a lot of people go through life without ever stepping foot in their local library, museum, government offices etc. I have recently been making frequent trips to my local library to kill time and find inspiration. It is not the largest, most extensive library out there, but it has a lot of good reference tools. In perusing the art section I found a couple informative books on photography, composition, printmaking and various crafts. Most of the books are beginner oriented and fairly out of date, but they have intrigued and inspired me to try new projects.
My newest visit awarded me with the Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines. I am treating the book like a text book, taking notes and reviewing the business principals it outlines. There is a lot of legal jargon that I don’t fully understand, but that is where the rest or the library can come in handy. If I have any questions on something like licensing I can cross reference it in the legal section (or just go online). I have also been told that there are business seminars put on by the local business groups and attended Art as Business seminars given by the Arts Council. These types of events are usually low cost and after normal business hours so they are easy to attend.
It may be easy to find a little work at local museums, utilities, non-profits, state parks or community
commissions. A lot of times these organizations are in need of revamping their identities which were last looked at decades ago. I have a friend that recently did a fantastic job redesigning our library’s ID. Jobs like these don’t always pay great, but in economic times like these any job is a good one and it is a chance to get your name out to the community.
Take the time to learn about your community resources and events. Rub elbows with some of the businesses, committees and so on, it could land you a couple of great gigs or you might just learn something.