Saturday, May 10, 2014

Five Year Plan

Chelsea Cunnigham
Five Year Plan


During the span of the next five years, my main goals are to finish the SNC's MFA program, have a publishable manuscript, and get my self-made business off the ground. This business would include the services of translation of documents (Japanese to English and vice-versa), copy-editing, content editing, proofreading, and in-design and cover design of books. I've been researching websites online for similar business and have been writing up business plans accordingly.
To get to each position of what I want to specialize in, I need to brush up on my Japanese, which I'm hoping that the current trip will help with. I also have access to Japanese classes at the community college and online communities that will allow pen-pals to write back and forth to each other, which will help strengthen the understanding and fluency of the language. I am also seeking tutoring work at the community college, internships, and volunteer or menial work through craigslist or my online business. As for my artwork, I'm still debating how I want to display it alone. I enjoyed Kath's talk about their art stores in Truckee and putting artwork in there on consignment. That's something I've considered, and there are different mediums I want to try out while trying to figure out my place in the art world.

Below, the five years are broken up a little better:

Year One

Graduate with two BFAs
Go to Japan and look for possible opportunities in teaching there
Join the MFA program
Go to the MFA residency in Ireland
Get self-made business up and running by the end of the year

Year Two

Continue with MFA and have a major portion of a publishable manuscript done
Have self-made business either fully sustainable/get hired on under a publishing or copy/editing
Send in at least five publishable short stories to magazines
Maybe try to have some of my things hosted in various art stores for sell to get my name out there

Year Three

Graduate MFA program
Send in publishable manuscript until published.
Be able to have a sustainable job by this point that will allow me to survive on my own, as well as
be able to pay off my student loans
Continue with submitting my art to different stores for sell

Year Four

Hopefully someone will have taken in my manuscript by this point for publication
Continue with the second part of the manuscript/ send in more short stories (another five would be
manageable) to magazines
Continue up the pyramid of money making, hopefully in the copy/editing field, or put my degree to
use and maybe teach at the Community College as an adjunct

Year Five

Be mostly done with the second part of my manuscript (or done) and send in for publication if I have
an agent by then
Hoping by this point that I can get my name out in the real world enough so that I can get a pay raise at
work, or be able to send in for grants to help pay off my loans or to travel
Still try to host my art around stores, or maybe try to make art work as a second career so that I can sell
my work or host it in a gallery.

Graduate Schools

Graduate school wasn't initially in my five year plan, but I've just been accepted into SNC's MFA program for Creative Writing. The reason I chose SNC as my graduate school is because it takes the form of low-residency and it's in a field that I enjoy. I can work as I wish and attend school eight days per semester. The last three years working for my Bachelor degrees have made it nearly impossible for me to be able to work anything but on-call. The first semester will have the students working abroad in Ireland, and the rest of the time at Sierra Nevada College. At the end of the two years, not only will I have a degree that will allow me, at bare minimum, to teach at the community college, but I will have a publishable manuscript that I hope to have happily finished and sent off to do just that—be published.


A few years ago I submitted a twelve page manga and picture to Sac-Anime. The comic ended up in the back of their program and the picture won second place. As a small contest, I'd like to resubmit another twelve page manga and art piece to their bi-annual contest. For the manga, the content (save the cover) needs to be in black and white. It can only be twelve pages long and the content cannot be fandom (meaning I couldn't do a manga based on Star Wars since it's copyrighted material). For the picture it must either be digital or hand colored. Again, the content must be original, and it can be no larger than 8 ½” x 11” (at least for hand colored, which is what I'm interested in). I'd like to submit there because the Anime/Manga style is what I prefer, and I'd like to see if I can do better than the first time I submitted.
A venue I'd like to install in would be in Truckee's Artisan's Market Place or one of the little shops in there like Kath was talking to us about. I used to work in a family owned retail shop here in South Lake and often we would take artwork in on consignment. Looking back on it now, I regret not putting my own art for sale. I believe that this kind of advertising is important to bring in different demographics of people. It's easy to advertise things online, and is something I'd like to do, but there are many who don't have access to the internet or don't know how to find art related shops online. In a store the artwork becomes tangible and viewable not from behind a computer screen. Customers can touch the art and view the art in ways that the computer fails to allow. As for the requirements, that would be left up to the one who manages the product lines in the store and I would have to speak to each of them directly.
The aspirational venue I'd like to get into is the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco. This museum accepts anything from editorial cartoons to Anime, and is very well known in San Francisco. The location is also ideal because it's home to a rather large art university and is a popular tourist city. They also offer volunteer work and internships. Rental of the museum is offered on a variety of levels, including workshops and educational shows. I couldn't find the requirements for this venue, but there is a name and phone number to access that information.


So far I've been doing a fair amount of freelancing. I've done several artistic freelance work, and wrote an article for Fate Magazine that has just recently been accepted for publication. I'm in the process of researching to create my own online business for the services of copy-editing, proofreading, and content reading. I've also been seeking internships and volunteer work so that I have the experience to apply for copy-editing jobs. My ideal job would allow me to work from home so that I could have time for studio work on art, writing, and if I can, translation work. One job that I've written a cover letter for is because of the flexibility of work they are seeking. They offer positions for writing jobs, editorial jobs, proofreading and content reading jobs, and all do it within an area of expertise. Also, since I'm going to be in college and will have to take off several days for school, I want a job that's going to be flexible without running the risk of being fired.

Grants/Residencies/Sales Platform

For a sales platform I would like to host artwork for sale on sites like Deviantart, Etsy, and Artfire. I feel like this would be the online version of if I tried to sell art through consignment in places like the Artisan's Market Place. I know advertising is key, so something like Adwords (which is Google's advertising program) would help get my website and portfolio site out there for others to see. Craigslist is a little on the low end, but not a bad idea for other kinds of advertising. As for residencies, there is one in Dublin, Ireland that offers a residency for a period of one to three years. The residency is called The Fire Station. The requirements upon application are: covering letter, a current CV, documentation of work (Jpeg images and showreels), Residency work plan, Artist statement, and an image list. (  

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