Lee’s Summit Arts Summit hears lesson of Six Hats

rpulley@lsjournal.comOctober 4, 2013 

Artist coach Robin Blakely shared her “Six Hats” with artists and writers attending the Arts Summit sponsored by the Lee’s Summit Arts Council Oct. 2.

Gary Fruits, vice-chair of the council, announced that the Lee’s Summit Symphony will play again at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, that “mini-grants” are available through the council and the Summit Art Festival held this weekend downtown features 90 artists.

“You’ll see some remarkable things in downtown Lee’s Summit,” Fruits said.

The meeting of about 30 at the Emaline Ballroom included representatives of the Summit Theatre Group, Lee’s Summit Symphony, writers and visual artists.

Fruits said Blakely has helped many professional artists and creative people overcome roadblocks in their careers. She hails from Chillicothe, then spent years in California before landing in Lee’s Summit where she has her consulting business Creative Center of America and is an author.

“On the side, she assured me should she can teach me how to draw, even though I can’t draw a stick man,” Fruits said.

Blakely told the audience she developed her ideas to help artists and writers balance the demands of creative life with practical business decisions and move their careers forward. She said she also helps non-profits, professionals in other fields and small businesses identify problems and strategies for success, the principles are the same for creative people, whatever their field, she said.

Her Six Hats method is an analogy for the conflicting tasks and roles an artist plays.

The first three, which she labels the Creative Hat, Bookkeeping Hat and Traffic Hat, often conflict.

“They hate each other,” Blakely said.

The Creative Hat, she said, might have a great idea, but will be opposed by the Bookkeeping Hat, which might be telling the artist to concentrate stay with a familiar path to make money, or the Traffic Hat, time management, will be demanding that the artist forget that new inspiration to accomplish the day’s “to-do list.”

The other three hats, Public Relations, Marketing, and Sales, she said, don’t have animosity, in fact hardly even recognize the others exist.

In her system, Public Relations is raising awareness, Marketing is engaging people who area aware of the artists work or products to buy, and Sales is the customer service end, meeting deadlines, making sure there’s product to sell (like posters) at the proper season (say Christmas or for an art festival).

Having an awareness of when to put on and take off each hat, to reach balance, is the key to success, she said. Her talk went more in depth for the importance of social media and the Internet and marketing.

The head, the artist, which wears the hats is the boss, she said.

Bookkeeping can keep the Creative Hat from being over indulgent, buying something that’s unnecessary, but when wearing the Creative Hat the artist also needs to assert themselves to buy the necessary tool for their art.

“This is devastating if it’s not working for a small company or a writer or artist,” Blakely said.


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