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Old 03-05-2014, 03:47 PM
 
808 posts, read 1,179,308 times
Reputation: 2074

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Quote:
Originally Posted by WriterSJR View Post
Further explanation: the characters in my novel I described in my original post as "artsy," are professional folks who have careers in the arts - photography and dance. Their friends are art teachers, writers, musicians and singers.

Hope that makes more sense.
Colorado Springs does not really have "professional folks who have careers in the arts" in the way New York City, LA, SF, even Chicago might. Colorado Springs has "professional folks who have careers in some sort of service industry who indulge their passion for the arts on the side." It also has "people of independent wealth who dabble in pseudo-professional arts endeavors."

My wife and I are pretty well involved in the arts in Colorado Springs and the only "professional folks who have careers in the arts" are either Professors at Colorado College (the "arts income" is really based on a professor's salary) or a very small handful of paid Executive Directors of local arts organizations like the Symphony or the Fine Arts Center.

We're "friendly" with the one young (early 30's) couple who are probably the most influential in the local arts scene. One spouse (the artist/gallery owner) supports the art endeavors as a mortgage broker. The other spouse (the concert pianist) supports the art endeavors selling life insurance. Its just not a city where people support themselves with careers in the arts ... sadly. The "art" photographer (mid 30's) we know here is really talented, but "makes a living" taking generic pictures of kids at Walmart or wherever. The former professional avant-garde dancer from NY (early 30's) we know here has tried to get various projects off the ground in COS and finally decided to have a kid and focus on that rather than turning COS into a place that financially supports avant-garde dance. The spouse of this "dance professional" has a professional income, not related to the arts.

I'm super-hopeful your novel will capture something great and interesting (and I applaud you for writing it) but for the sake of verisimilitude, I suggest you be careful as to how you frame Colorado Springs as a city in which people (who are not independently wealthy) are running around town as successful professional artists, art photographers, dancers, etc. Hopefully, I've misunderstood your description of your characters and their friends, because virtually everyone here who is "artsy" also has a day-job, or a spouse with a day-job, or is independently wealthy and doesn't need a day job. A place like Santa Fe (where rich Europeans fly into town to buy $100K paintings) probably supports dozens or hundreds of professional artists, etc. but Colorado Springs? Not so much.

Also, your "rich artist" probably lives in a place like the Cheyenne Canyon neighborhood, but really could live anywhere, including Manitou Springs, though these characters do not sound like Manitou people.
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Old 03-05-2014, 04:08 PM
 
20,349 posts, read 37,885,022 times
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Speaking of "dancers" in the context of art, I'd like to nominate a place in the book for our local burlesque troupe, Peaks-N-Pasties, who are true gems.
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Old 03-06-2014, 02:20 PM
 
7 posts, read 4,033 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smdensbcs View Post
Colorado Springs does not really have "professional folks who have careers in the arts" in the way New York City, LA, SF, even Chicago might. Colorado Springs has "professional folks who have careers in some sort of service industry who indulge their passion for the arts on the side." It also has "people of independent wealth who dabble in pseudo-professional arts endeavors."

My wife and I are pretty well involved in the arts in Colorado Springs and the only "professional folks who have careers in the arts" are either Professors at Colorado College (the "arts income" is really based on a professor's salary) or a very small handful of paid Executive Directors of local arts organizations like the Symphony or the Fine Arts Center.

We're "friendly" with the one young (early 30's) couple who are probably the most influential in the local arts scene. One spouse (the artist/gallery owner) supports the art endeavors as a mortgage broker. The other spouse (the concert pianist) supports the art endeavors selling life insurance. Its just not a city where people support themselves with careers in the arts ... sadly. The "art" photographer (mid 30's) we know here is really talented, but "makes a living" taking generic pictures of kids at Walmart or wherever. The former professional avant-garde dancer from NY (early 30's) we know here has tried to get various projects off the ground in COS and finally decided to have a kid and focus on that rather than turning COS into a place that financially supports avant-garde dance. The spouse of this "dance professional" has a professional income, not related to the arts.

I'm super-hopeful your novel will capture something great and interesting (and I applaud you for writing it) but for the sake of verisimilitude, I suggest you be careful as to how you frame Colorado Springs as a city in which people (who are not independently wealthy) are running around town as successful professional artists, art photographers, dancers, etc. Hopefully, I've misunderstood your description of your characters and their friends, because virtually everyone here who is "artsy" also has a day-job, or a spouse with a day-job, or is independently wealthy and doesn't need a day job. A place like Santa Fe (where rich Europeans fly into town to buy $100K paintings) probably supports dozens or hundreds of professional artists, etc. but Colorado Springs? Not so much.

Also, your "rich artist" probably lives in a place like the Cheyenne Canyon neighborhood, but really could live anywhere, including Manitou Springs, though these characters do not sound like Manitou people.


Thank you for your reply and your advice to "be careful how I frame the city in which people are running around town as successful artists."

Perhaps I wasn't clear in my description. "Professional" in this context meaning - professionally trained, perhaps elsewhere. "Career" in this context - they work in the arts field.

I knew a photographer who lived in the Springs area and traveled all over the state for his work, a singer and a few musicians (with non-arts day jobs) and someone who taught ballet and choreography. Even if a singer and a musician has a day job, they still consider their real job as a musician, etc. a career in the arts. Ditto for the ballet teacher. She is still working in the arts field, as opposed to the construction field. Perhaps others may not see it that way, but as a novelist, I definitely do, and so do my artist friends.

I didn't mean to imply that the characters would be similar to artists in a city like NYC - which is my hometown. Rather, these characters are professionally - trained folks who work in the arts - albeit in low-paying arts jobs, or as second jobs.

And btw, the one wealthy character does not work in the arts, but rather, he plays piano as a hobby.
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Old 03-06-2014, 02:21 PM
 
7 posts, read 4,033 times
Reputation: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
Speaking of "dancers" in the context of art, I'd like to nominate a place in the book for our local burlesque troupe, Peaks-N-Pasties, who are true gems.

Haha, thanks, I'll keep that in mind.
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Old 03-08-2014, 12:12 AM
 
574 posts, read 627,822 times
Reputation: 941
I bought my house in Colorado Springs from a couple who were full-time professional artists. I suppose they were moderately successful as artists (they had a professional-looking web site and were selling their work all over the country), but they were heavily in debt.... the settlement statement for the house showed payoffs for IRS tax liens and the like, the house had deferred maintenance issues, and the neighbors told me they thought these folks were deadbeats. My guess is that careers in the arts don't pay much no matter where you live.

Anyway, my suggestion for where artsy people might hang out is Agia Sophia in OCC.

Agia Sophia Coffee Shop - Colorado Springs - Best Atmosphere and Coffee
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Old 03-08-2014, 02:48 AM
 
5,016 posts, read 6,713,973 times
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The arts sometimes doesn't pay as a main career, but sometimes it also pays better than anything else - look at Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, the big name actors, etc.
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:09 AM
 
7 posts, read 4,033 times
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I think that making money with a full-time career in the arts varies. I'm a writer and I know successful authors and struggling authors. Same in music and dance. Can't really generalize. And, some folks are quite happy to create their art and work another job simultaneously. That doesn't diminish their true passion. :-)
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