Goodbye “Starving Artist,” Hello Artist/Entrepreneur

Once the tryptophan wears off, have a look at an article I wrote for today’s New York Times, “Transforming Art Into a More Lucrative Career Choice.” It features a few examples of business-minded artists who are abandoning the “starving artist” stereotype and instead building remunerative careers based on their artistic talents. In some cases they are starting young; Alexander Niles, the young man in the photo, is only 14.

If there are any artists in your midst as you gather with family and friends around the Thanksgiving table, please encourage them to explore ways to put their art in first position rather than putting it aside while they search for a money gig.  Creative thought is about the only thing that can’t be outsourced, which puts artists in prime position to flourish in these difficult times.

Thought leaders like Dan Pink (“A Whole New Mind“) and Patricia Martin (“RenGen“) have been writing and speaking about this for a while now.  If you haven’t read their books,  it’s about time.

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Farewell to My NYT Blog

Today is a sad day. I’ve announced on Shifting Careers that The Times has decided to cancel the blog.  This post, “Laid Off From My Non-Job,” describes what happened and how I feel about it.

Amid the sadness, there are quite a few things that I’m happy about. I am pleased that The Times allowed me to speak honestly about how I felt about the decision.  My editor agreed with me that the subject would be good fodder for discussion; and in light of the blog’s subject, it would be extremely odd were I not to address it. As the paper itself reported earlier this month, when companies blog about good times, it is a smart move to be as transparent as possible about the difficult times as well.

When people are laid off, one instinct is to hide. By sharing my news the way I did, I pretty much denied myself the opportunity to hide. And because I didn’t hide, good things have already happened. My inbox has been filling up with words of support from friends and colleagues. I’ve even received a job offer. I’m sure it will continue to be an interesting day.

Next time you run into someone who has been laid off, encourage them not to hide. And make sure to show your support.

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Slash Careers Gain International Attention

Slash careers are gaining international attention in Europe and Canada. This recent article in Canada’s Globe and Mail, Bored with your job? Get slashing, talks about adding a slash career to one’s existing gig as a good way to shake things up and avoid burnout. A recent International Herald Tribune piece, The job-changer’s bibles, cites One Person/Multiple Careers along with the classic What Color is Your Parachute as the two professional reinvention must-reads.

On the home front, there was an interesting story in St. Louis Magazine profiling some unusual slash careerists: an office furniture salesman/photographer/reserve police officer, a costume vendor/property sales administrator, and a writer/soap maker/rickshaw pedlar/teacher.

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Call for Canadian Slashes!


A Canadian journalist is working on an article about slash careers and is seeking to interview people in Canada. If you have an interesting slash career and would like to be interviewed, please contact her ASAP by email at kira@vermond.ca.

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A (New) Slash Community Grows Online


I just discovered yet another online hangout for slashes, a page on Squidoo called “Slash” Careers: The Man of Many Hats. It’s run by Aaron Klieber, whom I don’t know (yet), but I’m thrilled to see another place pulling together resources for all things slash.

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Today’s Wall Street Journal Covers Slash Careers


Today’s Wall Street Journal has a nice feature on slash careers, written by Toddi Gutner. It includes the stories of two people from the book — Dan Milstein (computer programmer/theater director) and Karl Hampe (consultant/cartoonist) — and has a nifty slide show with photos of Dan and Karl.

I know it’s been a little quiet over here at heymarci.com. All my blogging energy is going to Shifting Careers at the New York Times. There’s plenty of slash talk over there (as well as daily postings about other ways to think smart about our careers), so if you’re not reading it, please do visit and sign up for the RSS feed.

Also, if you’re interested in being part of a greater community of slash types, join the “slash careers” group on Facebook.

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Slash Careerists Gathering on Facebook

This is a guest post by Vanessa Carr, who has been working with me on Facebook and some other technology projects

There has been a great response to Marci’s call for slashes on her Slash ‘/’ Careers group on Facebook.

One stand-out site was that of Katreen Hardt, an actress/freelance journalist living in Germany. Katreen boldly foregrounds her slash identity on her homepage with a colorful grid of images—half popular magazine covers for issues to which she’s contributed writing and half stills from movies she’s acted in (which include Henry Fool and The Book of Life—beneath an equally bold title: Katreen Hardt, Freelance journalist and actress.

Katreen homepage screenshot

Part of what is effective about her site is its simplicity. From the homepage, you can navigate to one of four sections: about (bio), portfolio (writing), showreel (acting), and contact. On her about page, Katreen summarizes each of her slash components, highlighting a few of her most significant accomplishments.

Read more »

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Slash Careers on the Today Show!

Today was an exciting moment for me and for anyone else who has been following the growing interest in the slash effect. The Today show did a segment on slash careers this morning and they featured two especially inspiring people from the book, Deborah Rivera, an executive recruiter/chef-hotelier, and Rashid Silvera, a high school teacher/fashion model. You can get a glimpse of each of them in their dual lives, and see photos of some other folks from the book on this video clip.

Also pictured in the segment were Bonnie Duncan, a dancer/teacher/puppeteer, Alex von Bidder, a restaurateur/yoga instructor, and Bob Alper, a rabbi/stand-up comic.

Baby boomers juggling more jobs
Baby boomers juggling more jobs

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My New Blog at the New York Times

Big news about my blogging. Since last week, I’ve been blogging for The New York Times (that’s why it’s been so quiet over here!). The blog is called Shifting Careers, and it will be the daily complement to my twice-monthly Shifting Careers column. (If you haven’t been keeping up with the column, you can read all the past ones here.) I’m posting almost daily to the blog, so be sure to subscribe to the blog’s feed here to stay current.

While I get up to speed on the NYT blog, Heymarci will go a little quiet. But I expect to begin posting again soon, with a slightly different focus. So stay tuned, and keep it on your feed if you subscribe.

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Slash "/" Careers on Facebook

I have joined the growing numbers of authors on Facebook! If you’re already a Facebook member, check out the conversation that is getting started on my new Slash “/” Careers group, where people in all stages of slash careers are invited to share stories, tips, and questions. If you’re not on Facebook, consider checking it out. I was surprised to see how many people I know are already on Facebook, and it’s been fun/interesting connecting with people in a new way.

I’m hoping the the Facebook page turns into a rich discussion of slash living that so many people have been asking me for.

I am also looking for a handful of savvy slashes from the Facebook group to feature on the Heymarci Blog. If you have a website, blog, portfolio, resume, or video that showcases your “slash” identity in an innovative way, please consider sharing it on the Slash “/” Careers group discussion board – or just stop by for a little slash inspiration. I hope to see you there!

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