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As co-founder of Third Wunder, a digital marketing agency based in Montreal, I tackle projects, builds and campaigns for our clients.

In my spare time I'm the proud co-organizer of the Montreal Girl Geeks and have been known to rock a moustache when campaigning for Movember.

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Why Not “The Arts”?

November 29th, 2009 by Liesl received 3 Comments »

As an Arts graduate (got the MA just in case the BA didn’t quite drive it home), you’d think I’d be more prepared to answer the question, “Why web? Why not ‘The Arts?'”

For someone else, I can see how when looking over my bio my career path may seem more “road less traveled” than corporate ladder. And it is in contemplating a thorough answer to “Why not The Arts?” that I decided to start this blog. Because I know from personal and professional experience how much Arts grads in general, and theatre grads in particular, are capable of bringing to the web industry. I think we bring a unique perspective to the process, so I thought it was high time I should help to prove, discuss and document it.

So, Why not “The Arts”?

The Simple Answer:

My love of theatre always stemmed from a greater love of all media, so I never think about my journey as ‘changing course,’ per se. To me, it has always seemed a perfectly logical extension of my interests and skills. I get excited to read about updates to Google’s search algorithms, CMS trends or usability just as much as I enjoy reading Wired, AdAge or Direct Marketing. Partly because I genuinely enjoy my work, but also because an arts education prepares you to be passionate about you do. That’s what’s great about us arts types, we really dig research and when we get into something, there’s just no stopping us.

The Fun Answer:

I’ve worked for Arts institutions before. Some people really enjoy the environment, many of them are friends and former co-workers. But it wasn’t for me.

I realized that one of the reasons I started my own theatre company was because I enjoy making theatre like I enjoy scuba diving. A fun, expensive hobby that I love talking about, planning over the course of months and years, and executing at my own pace in my own time. But just as I wouldn’t want to put in a full workday under the sea (for a start, my dive computer would probably explode), it is a little known fact that working in Arts institution can also cause a wicked case of the bends…

Symptoms of high nitrogen levels in the arts careerist

Symptoms of high nitrogen levels in the arts careerist

For me, the only cure was a hyberbaric, high pressure web work environment, replete with bigger budgets and great accountability. For some, it’s law or medicine or other agency work.

As I mentioned earlier, I love all media, which is precisely why I’ve studied and worked in the fields that I have. But as I see it, much of the truly innovative, exciting things that are happening in media right this minute are in the digital space. And I want to be a part of that.

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Posted under: Career, The Arts, Theatre

3 Responses to “Why Not “The Arts”?”

  1. Angela says:

    I can’t say I disagree with you…before Google went public they were specifically looking for web marketing candidates with degrees in the Humanities instead of an MSc in marketing (whatever that means…how you can academically teach something that changes so much, I don’t know)…

  2. Jamie says:

    House: Cuddy thinks it’s idiopathic. “Cuddy” and “idiop” being the relevant parts of that sentence.
    Chase: Well I’d say TB, but Cuddy’s already ruled it out.
    House: And you’d be just as big an idiop as her.

    although I do feel like i’m vaguely selling out becoming a screenwriter. thoughts? :)

  3. admin says:

    Angela: I didn’t know that was officially part of their hiring strategy, it speaks volumes for how important a broad, analytical, research-friendly and engaged education is for innovators. It’s interesting to see how the education system is trying to cope with advances in web technology & culture, I know the journalism program here at Concordia is trying to incorporate more of a focus on online content, but that graduates are still struggling to adapt without taking a lot on themselves (which is the ultimate point of education, I guess).

    Jamie: Well-played… Well-played. Although it was missing a reference to Cuddy’s rack and/or backside… BTW, did you see the House cameo on the Fail blog? Classic!

    Oh, and you aren’t selling out by studying screenwriting. Whatever you end up doing, being able to craft what is essentially a brief/blueprint/functional requirements document adeptly will ALWAYS serve you well. Whether you’re making movies, viral spots or taking over the world.