SELF-RELIANT ARTISTS NETWORK

Are you operating as a lone warrior in the art and culture scene? Have you been active for many years as a self-employed and independent DIY artist, handling nearly all tasks yourself? Artists entrepreneurs can enrich each other and collectively achieve, inspire, accomplish, or progress much further than alone.

Welcome to our network of self-reliant artists in Germany. We are independent, professional freelance artists and art-entrepreneurs who have been working in the field of media production and performance for over 12 years. Committed to our craft, we thrive solely on our artistic activities without relying on financial support from governmental institutions, grants, inheritances, or similar sources. This independence liberates us from the the constraints, pressures, expectations, and trends of state-funded/ public media. Our focus lies on cultivating professional relationships and working directly with private clients and providing artworks directly to our audience, cultural consumers and recipients.

We create art with passion and aspire to contribute our part in positively changing and enriching the lives of others. To ensure that our visions are executed as sincerely, genuinely, and honestly as possible, our focus lies on working directly with private clients and directly providing to our audience or cultural recipients.

MARIA GOJA

Singer | Music Producer | Composer | Vocal Coach & Singing Teacher

Maria, trained from an early age in violin, piano, vocals, and later on percussion, is active as a solo artist since 25 years.
Over the years with Shredy Jabarin she build her solo brand and independent career in the private sector as an artist-entrepreneur.

During her Music Ethnology study at University until 2007 (Master of Arts degree), she studied diverse music cultures from India, Middle East and West Africa and through temporary employment at the Berliner Festspiele, gained insider’s understanding of the German public Culture Industry. Since over 20 years she performs as a Solo vocalist and for projects like Wittmann & Zeitblom, Gemma Ray, Tanger Trio & Ensemble Mondaine, appeared in movie productions like “Drei” (Tom Tykwer) and “Deutschland 09” (Wolfgang Becker) and various TV Shows. She composes Soundtracks for Theater (“MissFire” directed by Shredy Jabarin/ Arab-Hebrew Theater Tel-Aviv 2012, “Sometimes At Night” The Box Collective NY 2013) and Films (“Song of Solomon” 2020, “Disconnections” 2015, and more). As a singer she performed on stages like Berliner Ensemble, Konzerthaus, Nikolaisaal Potsdam, B-Flat, Admiralspalast, Columbia-Club, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Kaffee Burger, Die Glocke, Teatro Köln and many others.

SHREDY JABARIN

Artistic Director | Writer | Filmmaker | Actor | Performance Coach

Shredy studied Acting, Storytelling and Psychodrama in the Faculty of Art – the Theatre and Cinema Departments at Tel-Aviv University. For many years he worked as an actor and performer in theatres and films all over the world, with artists like Natalie Portman, Leonardo Dicaprio, Ridley Scott, Jeanne Moreau, Julian Schnabel, Freida Pinto and on stages like Die Schaubühne (Berlin), Nowy teatr (Poznan), The Cameri Theater (Tel Aviv), Festival d’Avignon… He got nominated for Ofir Film Academy Award for the best actor in the main role category “For my father.”

Later he started writing and directing theatre and video productions. In Berlin he initiated various projects with other actors and is passing his knowledge to artists by teaching acting and performance. Today he writes and directs music videos, media productions and online content, working independently in the private sector. He also guides aspiring artists to navigate their way in the complex art and culture industry.

BACKGROUND

Especially in Germany, the artistic scene is heavily dependent on state funding. It is not the quality of artistic creation or the competence of the artists, but rather the recognition by public institutions and media agencies that is considered the measure of success. While there is nothing inherently wrong with receiving state or publicly funded commissions in art, the systematic dependence on these has become a problem in the art scene, as artistic ideas and visions are adapted to the conditions of funding and subsidies, rather than the other way around. This has led to an infrastructure that primarily produces non-autonomous, dependent artists.

VALUES

We create out of passion and a sincere desire to make a positive impact. Due to the conditions of the German art scene, independence has become one of our most important values. It is important to us to remain true to creative visions and to implement projects that are compatible with our artistic standards and human values such as empathy and dignity. We see free thinking and self-determination as fundamental prerequisites for implementing projects as honestly, with integrity, and as authentically as possible. To be self-reliant, responsibility, willingness to take risks, resilience, and reliability are also indispensable.

VISION

Self-sufficient, independent, professional artists come together to grow collectively in an entrepreneurial sense and to increase individual success. Through regular exchanges, they inspire, support, and empower each other to achieve goals or implement joint projects. We believe that each individual can bring their creative vision into the world without being dependent on external financial support or having to compromise on integrity or dignity. We help each other find ways to make this possible and to live as best as possible from our artistic activities.

WHAT ARE “SELF-RELIANT ARTISTS”?

In this context, we define self-reliant artists as individuals in the art scene who are highly mentally and financially independent and self-sustaining. Autarkic artists bring experience as practitioners in their artistic field (e.g., as performers) and are not only active as educators. They rely on their own resources, expertise, creative abilities, and entrepreneurial action, as well as the ability to recognize like-minded individuals and engage in constructive exchanges with them to support and grow together.  On the material level the artist realizes their creative projects and livelihood almost entirely without external financial support like public funding, institutional sponsorship and without relying on inherited wealth or family-based privileges that would elevate him regardless of their competence level. They work directly for their private clients and offer their artworks directly to cultural consumers or recipients. From time to time, they may also receive commissions from public institutions, with ‘the state’ being the client in this case. Ultimately, substantial financial independence is crucial, as entrepreneurial initiative holds significantly more importance for self-sufficient artists compared to those dependent on external, state-sponsored funding.

Q AND A

Who is the network for?

Independent, professional artists who are experienced in actively practicing their art (e.g., as performers), rather than solely teaching, and have been surviving as “solo warriors” in the German art and culture scene for years. They are eager to connect with like-minded individuals because they are aware of the immense potential that a network like this can offer them.

Who can join the network for independent artists?

Our network is open to all professional, independent artists who have been working financially independently for several years. We welcome artists who are not only active as teachers but also bring experience as active artists in their respective fields, such as performers. We embrace practioneers of all forms of art, including musicians, painters, sculptors, designers, filmmakers, writers, dancers and performance artists, among many others. 

Why Self-Reliant and Not ALL FREELANCE ARTISTS?

Self-sufficient artists are not only authentic entrepreneurs and professionals in their field, but they regularly demonstrate a high degree of entrepreneurial initiative through their financial independence. This lifestyle makes them mentally independent individuals with a variety of other emotional and intellectual attributes that make the crucial difference for us: free thinking, authentic creativity, genuine empathy, resilience, and consistency, to name just a few.

Is Every Independent Artist a Self-Reliant Artist?

The term “self-employed artist” can be confusing. Some may operate formally as self-employed individuals but are constantly reliant on work within (often publicly financed) institutions that provide them with all necessary resources, thus not truly working independently, because it does not give them free choices to create the conditions of their artistic work, resulting in a lack of true autonomy. Some also hold side jobs or receive money from the jobcenter between their institutionally bound commitments. Such artists, who rely on public funding or work for public media companies or institutions, we define as “formally self-employed artists” with external support.

On the other hand, self-reliant artists embody true financial independence and are “authentically self-employed artists” who are financially independent of public funds or institutional jobs. For further information on this, refer to the previous question.

What is the benefit of such a network?

Together, as artists, we can achieve, inspire, accomplish, and ultimately progress further than we could alone. We see incredible creative potential in bringing together diverse, creative individuals who enrich each other.

For self-sufficient artists, there is no infrastructure in Germany. Under these conditions, it can be of great advantage to join forces with like-minded individuals and create unforeseen opportunities for mutual support within a network.

What does it cost to join the Network?

Currently, we are a small group and able to handle all organizational requirements on our own. However, if we expand in the future, there may be a need for financial resources to sustain the implementation of this idea. At present, being part of our network requires willingness to get to know each other, collaborate, and meet regularly (approximately once a week) either online or in person.

How can I become part of this?

Are you an independent artist? Do our ideas resonate with you and do you consider yourself a like-minded individual? We look forward to getting to know you and warmly welcoming you! Simply send us an email with some information and a link to your website, and we will contact you as soon as possible. In an initial video call, we can get to know each other, exchange ideas and address any questions. If all this sounds good to you, we would be happy to arrange a personal meeting.

FRAGEN DIE UNS AUF DEN SOZIALEN MEDIEN GESTELLT WERDEN

IS EVERY INDEPENDENT ARTIST A SELF-RELIANT ARTIST?

The term “self-employed artist” can be confusing. Some may operate formally as self-employed individuals but are constantly reliant on work within (often publicly financed) institutions that provide them with all necessary resources, thus not truly working independently, because it does not give them free choices to create the conditions of their artistic work, resulting in a lack of true autonomy. Some also hold side jobs or receive money from the jobcenter between their institutionally bound commitments. Such artists, who rely on public funding or work for public media companies or institutions, we define as “formally self-employed artists” with external support.

On the other hand, self-reliant artists embody true financial independence and are “authentically self-employed artists” who are financially independent of public funds or institutional jobs.

Why are self-sufficient artists so rare in Germany?

Being self-sufficient, truly independent, and autonomous as an artist is not ingrained in our culture or mindset. The cultural scene is heavily influenced by public funding due to unfavorable conditions in the economy and politics.

While there’s nothing wrong with receiving state or publicly funded commissions in art, the systematic dependence on them has become problematic. Many producers and artists are dissatisfied with not being able to realize their artistic ideas as they wish. Due to the conditions attached to public funds, they often feel compelled to discard, alter, or limit their ideas. Yet, it seems unimaginable for them to forego this and create alternatives. One main reason for this seems to be the lack of a real reference for an alternative way of life characterized by independence and focus on the private sector.

What does a reference to that look like?

In an environment that promotes independence and genuine accountability, artists earn their living through their own businesses primarily in the private sector, networking with each other out of their own initiative, and growing together by exchanging experiences, skills, and resources, supporting each other, and collaborating. And so they can – independent of the state – live off this and remain truly free, authentically creative, and above all, true to their conscience and dignity.

How is it for you to be self-sufficient as artists?

We have been working like this for a very long time and can’t imagine being dependent on public funds and structures anymore because it has become impossible for us to compromise our freedom or truth. Of course, we also gladly accept commissions from the public sector, provided that these projects inspire us and align with our artistic standards and human values. Ultimately, we do what is close to our hearts and enriches the lives of others, and we have found a way to make a living from it. Being able to live as artists in this way is incredibly fulfilling and just feels right.

WHY DOES IT NEED A NETWORK THEN?

Entrepreneurs – whether as artists or otherwise – can enrich each other and collectively achieve, inspire, accomplish, or progress much further than alone. Even as self-sufficient artists, one deviates from the norm in Germany and is largely left to their own devices in the bureaucratic environment, but especially for self-sufficient artists, there is a complete lack of infrastructure. Therefore, self-sufficient artists must create this infrastructure themselves. Under such conditions, it can only be enriching to join forces with like-minded individuals.

Contact Us

Email Address

contact (at) vocalcoaching-berlin.de

PHONE

+49 (0) 176 34352558

LOCATION

10777 Berlin
Germany

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