“Personally, I think the biggest obstacles for emerging artists are usually self-doubt and the difficulty of building a support network. Almost every creative person will have those moments where they aren’t sure if what they’re doing is even good or worthwhile, so it’s about pushing through that – getting feedback from fellow creatives, constantly developing and expanding your skills, and just straight up perseverance.”
– Cass Looveer from RAW Perth
Independent Arts Organization
RAW is an independent arts organization that was founded in the United States in 2009. Their showcases currently run in over 60 locations across the U.S., Australia and Canada. RAW aims to support artists by providing them with tools and resources to further their creative careers. They want to encourage artists to promote themselves independent of a gallery or agency. The showcases include Indie talent in visual art, film, fashion design, music, performance art, hair and makeup artistry, and photography. RAW is a fun and alternative way for artists to share their work both to their local community and the world at large. Read on to find out more about RAW.
Tell us about RAW Perth
RAW is an independent arts organisation for artists, by artists. We focus on spotlighting independent talent to the public. Every second month in Perth we hand-select and showcase approximately 30 artists in film, fashion, music, visual art, photography, performing art, hair and makeup for a one-night creative explosion!
What do you look for when featuring an artist?
We hand-pick artists based on work we find beautiful and intriguing and inspiring. Everyone in the RAW family is an artist in their own right (whatever medium that may be!), so we look for art that gets us excited – the things that we see and can’t wait to show each other, and eventually show the rest of the city. We don’t really have any restrictions or specific themes, so it means there’s an incredibly wide variety of creatives with different styles and opinions, all as part of our RAW family.
What are the main blocks to an artist’s success and what would you recommend to overcome these?
Personally, I think the biggest obstacles for emerging artists are usually self-doubt and the difficulty of building a support network. Almost every creative person will have those moments where they aren’t sure if what they’re doing is even good or worthwhile, so it’s about pushing through that – getting feedback from fellow creatives, constantly developing and expanding your skills, and just straight up perseverance. Building a support network can be tough because while arts communities are constantly expanding it makes it even more difficult for a single person to break through the crowd and get recognition, and find the right people to help them along with their career. Just meeting and working with as many people as possible in those first few years of your career can be so helpful with this (as well as being easy to work with!), making friends who are going to push you along, help connect you to others for different projects etc. I’ve seen RAW be incredibly helpful for both of these things – it’s generally a really organic, encouraging environment so it’s very welcoming for new artists as well as opening them up to new audiences, networks and opportunities.
What is the main message that RAW is trying to share?
We aim to provide independent artists within the first 10 years of their creative career with the tools, resources and exposure needed to inspire and cultivate creativity. RAW ventures to provide the platform for these artists be seen, heard, and loved.
RAW is a fun and alternative way for artists to showcase both to their local community and the world-at-large.
We are not your average art show. We are loud, colorful, creative, and all about our artists. We are RAW.
RAW currently operates in over 60 cities across the United States, Australia, Canada and the UK!
How do you suggest artists deal with criticism?
Good question. It’s different for everyone, I suppose, but the main thing to me is just evaluating it – is it valid? And if so, take it on board: what can you improve on? From there, develop/change what you think you should be changing. At the same time, it’s definitely important to stick to your own artistic vision and style.
What are some of the benefits of living a creative life?
So much! I think generally it’s great for mental health and well being, as well as helping you be able to problem-solve and think outside the box more often and more effectively. Most creative people live and breathe it – whatever their medium is – so it’s essentially a way of staying motivated, happy and inspired. There’s so many talented people creating beautiful things around us, so being creative opens you up to that and allows you to contribute and be a part of it.
What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
Keep going! Half of the battle is usually just sheer determination. Make friends with other creatives as much a possible, hone your craft however you can, and make sure that you love what you’re doing/creating and are passionate about it.
How can artists get involved with RAW?
Head to www.rawartists.org and submit your work! It’ll be sent straight to a Showcase Director and we’ll check out your stuff and hopefully book you in for a show.
What have you got planned for the future of RAW?
We’re about to launch RAW New Zealand soon! And on top of that, we’re just stoked to continue working with new artists, developing the ones we already have relationships with and finding more ways to support them and grow their careers.
Independent Arts Organization
*Permission to use RAW Australia Press Images by Cass Looveer