From Here to There — Pilot Season Coming Soon!

Stephanie Fleming
5 min readFeb 19, 2021

A new virtual career series for artists serious about their business by yours truly.

From Here to There’s pilot season cast of creatives! Each episode will feature a 1-on-1 interview and live Q&A hosted me, Stephanie Brown, via Zoom, and brought to us by the Stamps School of Art Design.

From Here to There — Hosted by artist and alumnus Stephanie Brown (MFA ‘18), brings current Stamps students and Stamps alums together for honest and accessible conversations about the alumni’s creative career path.

Designed to help Stampers navigate their art and design careers, these talks will reveal the “nuts and bolts” of how Stamps alums worked to find a home in their creative career. With a different alumni featured bi-monthly, this live interview will be followed by a Q&A with students.

BONUS: From Here to There participants will receive contact information for the alumni speaker, who will welcome follow-up questions via email and/or social media. From Here to There is a great way for students to start their professional networking journey — and get the critical information they need to design their present and their future for the real world.

Many are aware of my dedication to not only the arts but the business behind the art. I am a major advocate and “sing it from the mountaintops” proponent of cultivating the entrepreneurial skillsets of creatives in all industries. This mindset produced the article on “In-Between Artists” and what we (creatives), in my opinion need in our lives.

As a refresher, an In-Between artist is someone just 5–10 or even 15 steps ahead of you. Regardless of their age and your age, it’s important to glean from the paths of others in which we see ourselves in as we map out our own journeys. The sky is the limit for creatives, and my generation and those that will follow us are poised to do even more by breaking boundaries and challenging the “norms” our predecessors face and have faced in art and design industries.

Last year I came up with an idea to help connect creatives to their potential “In-Between artists”. I was dreaming up a show, a program, something virtual and conversational that would reveal the details on how creatives in the art and design world went from college to a thriving career. I was dreaming of something bold and transparent that would empower viewers to feel safe to ask any type of question. I pitched this idea to some dear friends on staff at University of Michigan and they helped me land a pilot series of this new program called, From Here to There.

Shawn Martinbrough presenting his work for some art and design students

I was inspired by the Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series offered by the University of Michigan. These events brought high profile artists to campus and as a graduate student I had the special opportunity to personally meet with some of these speakers and even have studio visits with them. It is thanks to this series that I met Zanele Muholi, Sanford Biggers, Hank Willis Thomas, Claudia Rankine, Art Spiegelman, Ja’Tovia Gary, Shawn Martinbrough, Ebony G. Patterson, Jessica Care Moore, and so many more during my two years in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Art Spiegelman’s Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker presentation

These programs illustrate some of the highest points of these artist’s careers or tend to focus on specific projects they had going on at the time. Don’t get me wrong, these programs are essential! These programs allow students to dream, feel inspired, and see themselves represented on such an honorable platform. However, from the speaker presentation to the Q&A, what these programs lacked was the intimate small details that mapped out how the artist grew to become who they are today. These speakers are almost so distinguished that it may be difficult for their accomplishments to feel personally attainable or accessible. How do we make these types of learning opportunities and presentations feel more relatable? This is super difficult to do in a short period of time and even more difficult when it seems “so long ago” to the artist. What I propose and believe is that we need programs like the Distinguished Speaker Series and something else, something more personal, something that can cultivate a mentor/mentee attitude.

The void I’m hoping to fill and create conversation around is asking early career artists and designers how they got there. What mistakes did they make? What obstacles did they encounter? How did they afford to move across country? What sacrifices did they make? What did they do as a student that influenced how they thrived after graduation? Who supported them financially? Who did not believe in them and how did they manage those emotions? How did they learn to negotiate their creative value to employers?

My hope is that these detailed questions and conversations will help current students and recent alums assess where they are now and help them determine what their next moves will be. The special guests I interview will offer their contact information and hopefully someone watching will find their future “in-between artist” or mentor. And if not, at the very least they will have learned that the struggles or questions they are having about their own careers right now are not happening in a vacuum and that there are plenty other people out there trying their hardest to navigate a creative career.

Not all artists go on to monetize their art practices. Some want to and have no idea where to start. Others take the time to discover the transferrable skills from art school into other creative design roles. All of these options and more are okay. And a little bit of all of these scenarios will be revealed in my new series, From Here to There.

Check out the cool people I get to interview for this pilot series below.
Special shout out to all 4 individuals who said yes and are taking the time to participate in this special project. I’m honored and excited to highlight their stories and connect them to others who may want to learn more from them!

All episodes are free, air live at 6PM EST, and require registration

Tuesday, March 9 — Rich Liverance — Animation Editor at Dreamworks Animation

Tuesday, March 23 — Yazmon Ector — Production Assistant at Nick Jr.

Tuesday, April 6th — Brianna Despenza — Associate Product Marketing Manager at Whirlpool

Tuesday, April 20th — Brian Vincent Rhodes — Writer / Director / Story Artist / Stand Up

You can also RSVP via Facebook by visiting the Events tab on my facebook page or Stamps School of Art & Design facebook page.

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Stephanie Fleming

I’m an exhibiting artist and learning experience designer. Questioning everything and sharing of myself. AKA Stephanie Brown in those art streets.