Interview with Unite Magazine

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Our director of career services sat down with Joey Amato, the Publisher for Unite Magazine in Nashville. Unite is a bi-monthly LGBT magazine in Nashville highlighting the LGBT community, bringing news as well as entertainment to the Nashville market as it tries to expand across Tennessee.

Chatting with Joey about his experiences with Nashville’s creative community provides great insight to our students to help educate and foster professionalism in today’s market.

Question: How important is general professionalism to an artist? How important has it been in your career? 

JOEY: I will not work with anyone who is not professional and punctual.

Question: I can’t think of any creative who gets excited about math or numbers. How important is math and financial literacy, as a professional or freelance artist?

JOEY: Having a good business acumen is very important…not necessary understanding how to read financial statements, but understanding business in general.  This is especially true if the artist wants to start his or her own business.

Hiring Artists

QUESTION: When making a hiring decision, the candidate’s ability, creativity and talent are usually a priority.  However some companies measure other characteristics such as reliable, hard working and punctual. How do these more general characteristics factor in to your decision making when selecting candidates for creative and artistic positions?

JOEY: I don’t care how good an artist is…if they aren’t professional and punctual, I will not work with them.

QUESTION: How important are a candidate’s grammar, presentation and overall communication skills when making a hiring decision or choosing someone to join your team? 

JOEY: Being that I publish a magazine, these characteristics are absolutely necessary.

Artist as marketers and freelancers

QUESTION: Some young or amateur artists believe that in order to be successful all they have to do is create. In your opinion, what is the difference in being artistic and being a professional artist? 

JOEY: It comes down to whether or not they want to be creative as a hobby or as a career.  Artists like Romero Britto, Peter Max and Thomas Kinkade understood the BUSINESS behind the art.  That is what made them successful.

QUESTION: How important is it to an artist to know how to market and sell work, not just have the belief that if they build it we will come? 

JOEY: Extremely important…just the way I know who my market is for UNITE magazine.

QUESTION: How type of a role does organization and workspace, researching for inspiration and connecting with other artist play in being a successful freelancer or artist? 

JOEY: It is important to work or at least research other artists to get an idea of what else is in the marketplace.