<em>Elaine Luther at SEA</em>

There I am, after the “My Life in Jewelry” session at the Self-Employment in the Arts Conference this past weekend! I also did my speech, “How to Start a Start a Non-Profit, It’s Easy! I’ll Show You How!” and did a panel, roundtable and a one on one session.

It’s such an honor to talk with college students and have the chance to advise them.

The very last session of the conference was a panel of returning attendees, who shared their thoughts on what this year’s college student attendees should do as they left the conference and went back out into the world.

Most, if not all, of the panelists, said that they got the most out of attending a one on one session.

Ping Wu, a fashion designer you may have heard of, she was on Project Runway, though I missed that season, she said that when she attended SEA 11 years before, she was looking for a sign that she should go in to fashion, and that she took as a sign the encouragement of the person she met with in her one on one.

The very enthusiastic and entertaining Ping also advised, “Leap off the cliff! and build your wings on the way down!”

You know how conferences are magical and are so much more than the sum of the sessions? As I talked to students outside of sessions, I gathered that they were definitely picking up the message of the conference: this is possible, you really can make a living in the arts, and this is what it might look like.

I think so much of the benefit of the conference is just seeing people who’ve done it, who are doing it, and being able to ask them questions and reflect on whether that’s the way you’d do it or not.

While the conference is primarily for college students, “grown-ups” are welcome too and attend every year. If you’re in the midwest, or can get here, put this Chicagoland conference on your calendar for next year.

At just $99.00 for students and $199.00 for non-students, it’s a real bargain. Click on the link below to go to the conference web page and learn more.


P.S. That awesome jacket I’m wearing was custom made by Lisa Polderman of PoldaPop Designs!

Here’s another pic of me in the jacket:


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