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This week is going to be really exciting because I am chairing a panel as part of Vibewire’s e-Festival of Ideas. For those of you not familiar with Vibewire, it’s an Australian youth media and arts organisation. Its flagship project is Vibewire.net, an online media portal for people under 30 featuring articles, blogs and forums. Other projects have included ElectionTracker, which sent young journalists around Australia on the campaign buses during the 2004 Federal Election; Interface, an anthology of critical thinking and ideas; sQuareOne, a Sydney community project incubator; and the Reelife Short Film Festival.

This week, though, it’s all about the e-Festival. The panel I’m chairing is called ‘The Creative Entrepreneur’s Toolkit: A How-To Guide for Young Artists’. Here’s the blurb:

Picasso once said “every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” For many young artists the problem is not simply how to nurture one’s talent or to find inspiration, but also how to fund the process. Vibewire is collaborating with talented people in the know to bring you The Creative Entrepreneur’s Toolkit, providing advice for young creatives on how to support one’s self in their industry of choice without burning out creatively or going bust financially. We’ll be looking at how to secure grants, how to reconcile your creative vision with a commercial reality, and what to do in those tough moments where inspiration is lacking and the bills are piling up. It will be an opportunity for you to learn from the mistakes and successes of people who have been there and done that.

Guests include musicians Laura Imbruglia and Gotye; Sonja Basic, General Manager of Propelarts, Western Australia’s peak body for youth arts; Leigh Mangin, manager of Carclew Youth Arts Centre‘s Arts and Education Program; fashion designer Natalie Wood; video installation artist Sam Smith; Alice Angus, artist and Co-Director of UK artist studio Proboscis; Alvin Tan, Artistic Director of Singaporean theatre company, The Necessary Stage; Melinda Bufton, careers consultant specialising in creative conundrums; and fashion blogger Gala Darling.

I will be talking to the panellists about how they stay motivated and avoid burnout, how they manage the business side of their work, sources of funding for artists and other Art of Work-type topics.

There will also be five other panels:

  • e-Participation: Fad or future?
  • 2018: New frontiers in digital arts
  • Reworking Feminism: What does gender equality mean in the 21st century?
  • Reaching Off the Screen: Film, audiences and social change
  • Are You Being Heard? Youth voices in local government

If you’ve got a burning question for one of the panellists, all you have to do to join the conversation is sign up for Vibewire.net membership here and hit the forums. Because it’s an online festival you can participate wherever you are in the world. I’d love to hear what you have to say, so sign up now!

The Vibewire e-Festival of Ideas will run from Tuesday 8 April to Saturday 12 April, Eastern Australian time.

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Prospect360, the brainchild of Melbourne public relations consultant Greta Donaldson, is running a series of four seminars for people who want to break into the media industry. They’ve just wrapped up seminars on sports journalism and news media, but if you’re quick you can still get tickets to their upcoming sessions on fashion journalism (April 13) and production (April 27).

I went to Prospect360’s debut event, the Prospect360 Coffee Catch-Up: Mixing it with the Big Wigs, in November last year. I’m a sucker for a panel discussion, and this one had a great line-up with people from public relations, radio, television, magazines, communications and event management there to talk about their own careers and what goes on in the hiring process in their industries. The audience was made up largely of students looking for work experience opportunities, though, and I found much of the advice was pitched very much at a beginner’s level. (Which is ideal if that’s where you’re at in your career, but I was looking for some more specific advice.)

It looks like they might have ramped up proceedings in this new batch of events (along with ramping up the price). The fashion seminar, for example, goes for three hours and includes a tour of a photography studio, a panel discussion with four prominent fashion journalists and editors, Q&A session, a separate session about job application tips, and an insider’s view of a fashion shoot. At $99 a pop that’s a pretty good deal if your passion is fashion and you want a leg-up in the industry.

For more information visit the Prospect360 website.