Q&A with Whitney White, Founder of Artists’ Lounge Detroit

1. Whitney, tell us a bit about Artists’ Lounge Detroit.

Artists’ Lounge Detroit will be a co-working art studio for all types of artists. We offer creative work space and access to various studios at the price of a membership. Painters, poets, crafters, dancers, musicians, photographers, filmmakers and other artists are welcome to work in our studios.

2. What gave you the idea for your business and how did it start?

I’ve always been pretty creative. I’ve been writing poetry and doing arts and crafts since I was a kid, but I didn’t start painting until I turned 25. I had never painted before so I had to research everything from what type of brushes to buy to the type of paint to use. It would have been nice to talk to other artists or watch them work. That’s when the idea for Artists’ Lounge Detroit came about: one venue for all types of artists to work, collaborate, and grow.

3. What’s your favorite thing about your job?

My favorite thing about my job is being able to use all aspects of my skills and personality. I love that I can drop everything and be creative or put my tedious side to work on logistical details. One moment, I can design an ad or social media post or paint new artwork to feature online, and the next moment, I can work on logistics; I can tweak the new budget or put a strategic plan in place for staff.

4. What are your keys to making yourself productive?

The main key I use to make myself productive is to remember why I’m doing what I’m doing. I wanted a place like the Artists’ Lounge around for me as a budding artist, and after talking to other artists, I see that they want a place like this too. So, I remember to dedicated time to doing what I love.

5. Tell us one long-term goal in your career.

A long term goal in my career is to build Artists’ Lounge Detroit to become a premiere venue for local artists to work and showcase their talent. I also want visiting artists to come to Detroit, and say, “I HAVE to visit/work at Artists’ Lounge Detroit while I’m here.” Then, maybe there will be ‘Artists’ Lounge [Insert Your City Here] venues around the country.

6. What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through the course of your career?

The most valuable lesson I’ve learned during the course of my career is, don’t deviate from YOUR plan. Don’t deviate from YOUR dreams. You can get caught up listening to what people think you should be doing with your life or looking at friends and thinking they’re way of ahead of you, but none of that is for YOU. Everyone’s dreams are unique to them, and no two paths are exactly the same. Sticking to your path will make you so much happier throughout your journey.

7. What advice would you give to others aspiring to succeed in your field?

For those who want to succeed in the art world, I say, put yourself out there. Put your art in shows, big shows, small shows, anywhere (avoid scams!). When you see a call for artists, submit your work. As an artist, you’re usually a one person operation, so talk to people about your art, show them your art, put it on display in your home, wear it on a t-shirt! Be about your life’s work at all times, and always enjoy what you’re doing. You have to be your own advocate.

8. What are your favorite things to do outside of work?

Outside of work, I like to create art, poetry and paintings, which can sometimes tie into work. When I’m not creating I like to have a good time, laugh with friends and family, or I like to watch a really good film.

9. Name a few influential books you’ve read and/or websites you keep up with that you’d recommend to readers.

I love NPR! I listen to NPR almost everyday and keep up with their website. They are not only a great news source, but are a great source for arts and culture as well. I like the their Tiny Desk concerts that feature various musicians. Readers should definitely check it out. I always end up hearing great new artists I’ve never heard before.

Posted in Art