Wet Stuff : The Art of Painting a Business

Guest Starring Joe Cardillo of ABQ Creates

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Wet Stuff: The Art of Painting a Business
Episode 7
Guest-Starring Joe Cardillo of ABQ Creates, the Downtown Arts and Cultural District

visit ABQcreates.org 


KD, “Today I’m with Joe Cardillo of ABQ Creates and the local Coffee + Creatives group. ABQ Creates, a non-profit organization designed to help creative entrepreneurs in Albuquerque thrive, and the Coffee + Creatives group is a Facebook group that meets in the flesh every other Thursday in downtown Albuquerque at Breve Crepes and Coffee. Joe works to bring creative entrepreneurs together to share knowledge and opportunities with one another. Hi Joe, thank you for coming onto the podcast.”

Joe Cardillo, “Hey, thanks so much for having me. I’m excited to be here.”

KD, “What scope of creative entrepreneurs do you work with?.”

Joe Cardillo, “We work with a pretty wide range of creatives as an arts and cultural district, of course, people tend to think of artists, that’s one of the big categories, but we also work with musicians, coffee shops, craft breweries, restaurants, food trucks, people across a stack of creative things that really work on a variety of things and that’s true whether they’re just working on individual projects or they own a business with a space in the area.”

KD, “What’s the most important thing you want Creatives in this city to know?.”

Joe Cardillo, “Well you know I mean a lot of the work that we are engaged in—it’s focused on helping people grow their practice and their business if they have a business around it. And so, we’re focused on being responsive to where people are at and what they need. So rather than sort of throwing up a bunch of paint on the wall, to use the metaphor, and then letting people figure out which part of it is interesting to them, we’re sort of interested in being more directly engaged with people and just figuring out what are the two or three things you need right now. We know that maybe six months or twelve months down the line you may need this other thing but let's help you get the things that you need the most figured out. And that can include anywhere from how to access space, figure out how to lease a space, all the way to things like using social media to get a bigger audience and to make more money or commission paintings or music or that type of thing. It’s a pretty wide range and we deliberately take a wide focus because one of the things that I think Albuquerque does well in a lot of ways and we love to see more of is really collaborate if a musician and an artist and a software developer can find some way to work together usually there’s a much bigger opportunity for all three of them, so that’s an example of what we’re always thinking about is how can we tweak peoples brains and their opportunities a little so they can have more opportunity and of course get paid to do the thing they love to do so that’s the way we approach it.”

KD, “Nice so it’s connecting the right people, an avenue for people to make the right connections.”

Joe Cardillo, “Exactly and really kind of explore the value that is most useful to them you know an arts and cultural district is the sort of a bigger broader umbrella, and we’re state-chartered, and we have state cultures from the city as well as local non-profit organizations and arts organizations and that type of thing, and they’re all super supportive but we’ve also deliberately tried to take a very wide sort of range of understanding what people need just because someone runs a food truck that’s a tremendously creative enterprise people might not think of that as an art but it is it’s an amazing art and then on top of that there’s art that goes into designing a menu there’s art that goes executing that food consistently there are the brand and marketing side of it there’s a lot of opportunities I think in ABQ in particular but really anywhere to see what that creative bent is, and obviously we’re kind of excited about helping make that happen.”

KD, “Good yeah business is an extremely creative endeavor no matter what your business is That’s something I want artists to realize who feel they can’t do business because creative people often have this stigma when it comes to business that they can’t somehow operate on the same level that they make their art and that’s actually not true that’s a myth because they can use that same creativity and apply that kind of creative thinking to business problems to solve them .”

Joe Cardillo, “Yeah absolutely and I mean if you actually look at it you know that type of opportunity is huge there’s this massive opportunity for artists not only and creatives of all kinds not only to develop their businesses but to be of use to other businesses and business owners whether they’re small local medium-sized or bigger and you know there’s a reason why Google hires artists and musicians and puts them together with software engineers with Ph.D.s that’s not an accident they’re trying to figure out how to make that mix happen, and I think there’s a lot of opportunity in that kind of collaboration.”

KD, “In today’s economy and with the added challenge of ABQ’s ART project many of us are experiencing financial hardship and things seem destitute. What do you want Albuquerque’s Creatives to know regarding this economy and the effects of the A.R.T. project?.”

Joe Cardillo, “Yeah that’s a great question a lot of small business owners and local business owners are struggling in part because of construction around the rapid transit project and I don’t really believe in sugar coating it that’s tough you know it’s frustrating for a lot of folks and I have many friends who are local business owners and they’re having a tough time and they're in the red you know and they’re just trying to make ends meet until this construction project is done and they’re hoping that it’ll kind of pick back up I think the answer to that question is the answer that would have been there before the rapid transit project which is it’s really about partnerships it’s very difficult to survive by yourself as a creative and so people who are doing work to collaborate and to help people partner up and create a bigger opportunity bigger market whatever it might be that’s really critical so you know as an example Carlos Contreras who runs I’m a Star Productions has been hosting he’s been working with local businesses to kind of host live art music retail shopping entertainment experiencing brick light nights is one of those that’s up in the area on Harvard street they’re doing some of that here downtown at some of the breweries sort of partnering up and so for folks that are really trying to figure out how to stay viable you know I mean one for sure just to get money in the door finding some ways to collaborate and partner up with other creatives that are doing other things is helpful and also there’s a lot of I mean you kind of think of that as sort of a test I mean it’s a test market really it’s an opportunity to kind of develop a product and go, well look how would an audience of people who love craft beer respond to my art or my music are there some i mean maybe they don’t want to buy a six by six painting but maybe prints might work for them i mean there’s a lot of ways to kind of approach it but I think there’s a big opportunity there and i think generally most cities that have a deep stack of arts and culture also have good transit and so we need a good transit system I know people have different feelings about the art project I'm hoping it just gets done as quick as possible here now and we can kind of move onto like trying to regrow a little bit of those connections between these different areas so that business owners feel like yeah we can do that partnership stuff and more.”

KD, “We’ve mentioned a lot of the potential that we call opportunity. What is an opportunity?”

Joe Cardillo, “That’s such a great question because people use that phrase totally differently in totally different places and so I lived and worked in San Francisco for a little bit and if there’s anybody in your audience who’s a software person they’ll recognize salesforce.com which is this massive sales machine and even they can’t figure out what to call an opportunity. I look at it as any moment where you can see a potential value that could be explored, and so that value sometimes is money sometimes it's trading sometimes it’s the ability to see a partnership where there’s no immediate money but you can see that both of your products or your services or your art or your music or whatever it is could both grow and open you up personally as well as open up a market so I take a pretty broad viewpoint on that word and that idea.”

KD, “How can we produce opportunities?”

Joe Cardillo, “I think that the two pieces that really create good opportunity one is obviously we’ve already touched on the partnership and the collaboration aspect I don’t really believe in the myth of that lone genius by themselves at three am in their basement coding or painting or whatever I mean I’ve done that I’ve definitely as a creative person I’ve isolated myself and done that but there's still a lot of input that happens even if there’s no one around you in that immediate moment and i really think that partnership and collaboration is I mean we’re all inspired by something so the more we can think about what that input is and what kind of input we want that we don’t yet have that’s huge and I think the second part is just to realize and to practice having a mindset of experimentation everything requires practice and iteration I used to be afraid to edit my writing for example and I hated it and I think people in high school and college can relate to that but I've really come to love the practice of editing and i think editing and iteration are just so important to any kind of creative person because you’re trying to communicate a set of feelings and set of ideas and whether your model for that is a website or code or software or a mobile game or a painting or music or whatever it might be your job is to refine that to be as precise as possible to communicate with people you really want to be passionate about what you’re passionate about I think I really I think editing and iteration I just having a good mindset around experimentation is priceless it’s priceless for business owners as well as creatives who are individuals.”

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