SPOTLIGHT ON THE ARTS, a program of California Lawyers for the Arts, provides teens with paid summer internships, workshops on conflict resolution, college preparation, career development, backstage tours of arts facilities, and field trips to live cultural events. In San Francisco, youth have worked with many great organizations including Intersection for the Arts’ Leadership Training Program, which hosts a high school intern from this program every Summer.
I have about eight years of acting experience. I started when I was seven at Marin Shakespeare Company. Figured out I don’t really like doing Shakespeare. Went on to Stapleton Theatre Company, which did musical theatre. I really loved that, but went on to ACT, got some more training there, American Conservatory Theatre. And then figured I just kind of wanted just to try exploring other stuff. Went into a whole bunch of music classes, started a band, did some other acting stuff. And then got really into comic books. Switch and Blade are the two first comic book characters I ever wrote, they are two twins that are aliens. One is kind of crazy, one is kind of timid. The dream is to have me and my friends have our own company, and get our income from making comic books. Basically what we want to accomplish is we want to make an enjoyable comic that gets our ideas out to the world.
So Monday, I came into work, Anthem said, “Well what do you want to do with your life?” And I said, “I want to be an art curator, and I want to own my own my comic book publishing company.” He said, “Well, how would you do that?” And I said, “Uh, I have no idea.” So he gave me the task to figure out how to do that, and actually I just whipped out a plan, the schematics, and the long term business plan for once we get, you know, enough donations and money from doing our first comics online, we can start actually printing, and then bring it to basically local comic stores, and seeing where it goes from there. I put in “How do you” in Google, “How do you start a comic book publishing company?” It actually showed up, and I just went through all the things I really liked.
I looked at some interviews from my favorite artists, and writers, and the advice they give for when you’re doing a comic book, and having a creative team, and how to work with that. I think it took me about three hours. Basically, you figure out what you want to accomplish, then you develop your comic book idea. Like, we need to have a good product obviously. You figure out the name for your company, the logo, and then if you become a business you need to register the name. You need to plan the design for the comic, you need to see how many issues you’re going to do, when those issues are going to go, how many numbers of pages in each issue, the production price, the printing costs for the comics. You need to find shops, newsstands, bookstores that will buy your comic, and sell it and give you a nice profit for it. You need to market your product; you need to get advertising, web ads, newspaper ads, flyers. You need to basically develop the book or comics, and then have a plan for future issues.
If you want to get investors – “Oh they have a good plan. I want to give them money.” – you develop the plan for where the money will go, the money that they will give you for printing, running a website maybe, advertising and salaries. You could always do every year, every three months or every six months, you have to refine your plan, and see how it will work with the new events or things that happen during your plan.
Intersection has already helped me by just giving that moment of “Well, how are you going to do that?” Because I never really got to that point. I kind of came up with ideas and plans, but I never really got to, “How would you do that?” And then I figured out, I could do that now, I could do that now, and make it go on so that it could be something in a couple of years.
Actually get to the point where you figure out, “How do I do that?” and learn how you do that. Because you may think, “Oh, I won’t be able to do that now,” but you will be. And that’s what I’m learning now.
Get your hands on this exclusive Art of Hustle® business owner assessment.
The ultimate self-employment cheat sheet.
Learn which key abilities will make it possible for you to double your income, without giving up your soul, creativity, or wellbeing.