Working from home during the pandemic, I decided this would be the time to reenter the art world after ten years of working in education. I knew it was the time to start, but I didn’t know where to start. On social media I kept seeing posts by Shoebox Arts and Kristine Schomaker, and that many artists who I admired were connected to both. I started with “Call and Response,” a free opportunity for artists to be randomly paired and connect with art over distances. Through “Call and Response” I got to know Kristine Schomaker and understood how Shoebox could mentor me as an emerging artist.
The past two years (okay, is it two? Three? I’m not sure, time is a construct lol) I’ve been able to set and reach goals in my art practice and my art career that I wouldn’t have without the support of Shoebox Arts. I have been able to develop and take risks as an artist. I have learned tools that help me connect both on social media and in person. Through the Shoebox Speaker Series, I’ve had the opportunity to learn from and speak to a myriad of artists, gallerists, storytellers, curators, and many other valuable speakers in the art world. With the help of Shoebox Arts I was able to realize my dream of having a solo show, one of the greatest experiences of my life. I’m grateful to Kristine and everyone at Shoebox Arts for their mentorship and support, and I am excited to see where their guidance takes me next!
~Monica Marks, Artist
Shoebox has fulfilled more than I expected when I signed up 5 years ago. It’s more than a public relations company – though it achieves PR through social networking and connections; and more than career advice – though it achieves that through studio visits by Kristine and speakers at monthly meetings; and more than art management – though it achieves that by targeted recommendations for artist calls and opportunities. For me it has become an essential community that supports my growth as a professional artist. In the 5 years since I’ve been with Shoebox my work has leapt forward in ways I hadn’t considered before. Kristine’s mentoring for me to grow into my goals as an artist is vital. Kristine Schomaker is a knowledgeable, insightful and creative resource in the art world of Los Angeles, and that has been a great asset in navigating my path as an artist. Through the Shoebox Speaker Series Kristine has introduced me to gallerists, curators and other artists that I wouldn’t otherwise know, and that enhances my understanding of the L.A. art scene.
The Shoebox community was my anchor through the pandemic and beyond. The Zoom gatherings keep the connection to other artists alive. Virtual visits with curators, gallerists, art writers and fellow artists expanded my views of what’s out here and made the increasingly daunting Los Angeles art world feel understandable, even approachable. Checking in with Kristine and Sheli each month has been valuable by encouraging me through moments of doubt and celebrating any good news. I look forward to each studio visit and appreciate their feedback on my work in progress.
~Pam Douglas, Artist
Initially, I retained the services of Shoebox as I realized how alone I felt “after” the pandemic. I appreciate the collegiality of Shoebox and fellow artists. And here’s the real twist. As a former marketing executive, I thought I had the business side down and yet, I could see I took short cuts and the impact. This engagement has been worth every cent and I’m forever grateful…plus they’re a fun group. Shoebox is amazingly attentive to every detail of the artist’s business life. I now have “checklists” to consider for my artist statement, website, newsletters, pitch proposals, collateral, social media and even visiting galleries. This is a very thorough and thoughtful engagement. After spending time in the studio, I sometimes find myself taking short-cuts on the business side, such as newsletters, social media, photography and more. It’s been fantastic having fellow artists be supportive, uplifting and resourceful. Every brand, and artists are a brand, needs a strategic consultant in their corner. As fellow artists, Shoebox has your back and provides great guidance. It’s well-worth the money spent; incredibly valuable. I’m so appreciative of the second set of eyes from Shoebox.
~Vicky Hoffman, Artist
Educator, artist, guidance counselor and cheerleader all rolled into one. Kristine has helped me get much further along in my art career than I would have alone and has been especially helpful to me navigating through these months of Covid. I consider myself very fortunate to be one of the beneficiaries of her knowledge and experience in the arts community. She counseled me as to which galleries may be a good fit for my work, on how to improve my website, helped me improve my social media skills, keeps me apprised of any relevant workshops or lectures, introduced me to new contacts—(both gallerists and other artists), provided me with the opportunity for a solo show of my work at Shoebox Projects and invited me to participate in her own fantastic traveling exhibit, “Perceive Me.” She also improved exposure of my work by helping me secure interviews in Beautiful Bizarre Magazine and Diversions LA. It has been a pleasure working with her. Thank you, Kristine!
~Debbie Korbel, Artist
My participation in the LA art world has dramatically increased since I joined Shoebox a little over a year ago. I have achieved new goals and I now know what I need to do to raise the bar. I gain insight through the monthly meetings and I especially value the brainstorming that goes on in our studio visits.
~Samuelle Richardson, Artist
If you are a mid-career or emerging visual artist looking step-up your professional game, I highly recommend reaching out to Kristine and the Shoebox team. Being a part of the Shoebox community has been instrumental in helping me better understand and navigate the LA visual art scene.
~ Justin Prough, Artist
I am frequently complimented on my social media skills and forgoing false modesty , I believe that to be a true fact. But whatever I have mastered in the art of social presence, it was under the tutelage of Kristine Schomaker and her staff at Shoeboxpr. But social media is only a component of the Shoebox experience . What I have found most gratifying is the sense of community Kristine fosters. Be it the monthly artist support groups, the workshops offered or the encouragement one receives from Kristine concerning your art career in general , that sense of integrated community is what I find so empowering. Kristine understands that an artist will grow and that their needs will evolve. To accommodate this evolution, Shoebox offers a variety of services; one can realistically benefit as a member of the Shoebox community throughout their career in artmaking. The greatest benefit from my experience with Shoebox has been the awareness of what sort of artist I wish to be and how best to attain that goal. With Shoeboxpr I was given the tools and the encouragement to do that. The life of an artist is often an isolated experience, fraught with self doubt, with Shoeboxpr by your side, the road becomes considerably less formidable.
~Leonard Greco, Artist
I hired Shoebox PR to promote my December 2015 solo show at LA Artcore. They surpassed my expectations. I wanted media write-ups, and they delivered: The Creators Project on Vice.com, AEQAI, Diversions LA, WeChooseArt.com, and NELA Art News. On top of that, they got me tremendous online buzz. I could not have been happier. But then, there were unexpected bonuses such as people coming to my studio to document my process, help arranging a photographer for my show, and on and on and on. I was in the middle of putting together an interactive installation – to have someone else there beside me taking care of publicity details was such a gift. And to have someone who I trusted, and who gave more than promised, well, it was like winning the lottery. Shoebox PR’s director, Kristine Schomaker, is a warm, vivacious person who gives her all to the art community and her artists. She keeps her finger on the pulse of the L.A. art scene by staying right in the middle of it. (In her fabulous brightly colored wigs she’s easy to spot at openings everywhere across town.) To be able to harness that commitment and drive towards promoting my show was a thing of beauty. I can’t thank Kristine, and the rest of the team at Shoebox, enough for all they did to help make my show a success. I wholeheartedly recommend Shoebox PR.
~Dani Dodge, installation artist
Kristine Schomaker in 2015 helped the organization I work for raise over $4,000. Kristine is helpful and very knowledgeable when it comes to connecting people with the spirit of art. Mrs Schomaker donated her time and curated one of the most beautiful art walls for our 2015 end of the year art benefit show. Kristine also brought together a good sampling of the Los Angeles art community to our space here in Culver City. I am extremely grateful for her great eye of community, of artistic voice and her spirit of collaboration.
~Veronica DeJesus, Washington Reid Gallery Director and Artist
There are many services provided for the artists working with Kristine Shoemaker and the staff at Shoebox PR but one feature that has made a big professional difference for me is the monthly studio visits and the timely review of my identified objectives. I am held accountable for the professional goals I need to accomplish. These meetings with Kristine and team where we discuss developing work, review studio practices and determine a progress report are all an effective method to help me accomplish “scary” tasks I would otherwise avoid. In addition, the consistent presence I have on social media has instigated exhibition opportunities I would not have had. That persistent public presence has proven to be an open door to new people and potential collectors.
~Catherine Ruane, Artist
For me the most valuable Shoebox service is the regular studio visits from Kristine and her colleagues. They are educated, experienced, articulate and supportive, offering the artist clarity, honesty, encouragement, and the wisdom of seeing things in my work that I hadn’t been aware of. Getting their articulate, considered, outside point-of-view helps maintain focus and decide where to dig deeper and what to let go of as I move my body of work ahead.
~Jeff Iorillo, Artist
“I love working with Shoebox Arts, they make me see my limitless potential in creativity and provide the creative tools to reach my goals in my art career.”
~Ruby Vartan, Artist
I would like to recommend Shoebox Arts to my friends in Taiwan, Japan, China and all over the world. Los Angeles is a city for artists even though it’s a challenge. Shoebox Arts makes these challenges easier by providing connections with galleries, museums, curators and many artists. I am getting to know the art world in a much shorter time with Shoebox than on my own. During the pandemic, Shoebox is preparing us for the new art world. We have many meetings via Zoom, artist conversations, online exhibitions and they are encouraging us keep doing art.
~Chung-Ping Cheng, Artist
Call and Response has been a wonderful, life-opening experience. For the first time in decades, I’ve regularly written poetry; for the first time forever, I’ve actively honed photography skills to make images worthy of being paired with another artist as art. It has also been a great way to meet new people and expand known relationships during the pandemic. I’ve participated in 11 of 12 collaborative opportunities so far, and plan to continue. Like so many things Shoebox Arts and its founder, Kristine Schomaker, have done, it is step through an open door into a fresh-wide-open in the art world.
~Genie Davis, Writer
This has been one of, if not my favorite event that I have ever been a part of. I love the way this event was able to bring artists together from all over the world in order to create an event that people all over the world will love. My partner is amazing and I love her work and I love you guys for giving me her partner. I would love to do another one when the time is right for me to do so. ~Myles Brown, Artist
I’ve participated in Call Response for five sessions. Along with the opportunity of connecting with other artists, the experience has enabled me to explore my own creativity. The artists that I’ve partners with have challenged me to create unique art pieces that are often surprising! I also look forward to the Zoom presentations and virtual gallery where the body of work is incredible. During this pandemic the Call Response program has given me a purpose.
~Ann Storc, Artist
This group, facilitated by Kristine Shoemaker, has been affirming, challenged me in good ways, and full of positive uplifting artists. Of the half a dozen or so call and response rounds I participated in, with artists from Japan, London, Germany, and closer to home, I enjoyed each interaction. I met other artists, some of whom I am still in touch with either through Instagram, Fb, or email, and some of whom I am planning collaborations with in the future.
Because I had such a great Call and Response experience, I also have been participating in their peer mentorship program. My peer mentor and I have been very busy, so we mainly touch base through email once a week. But it has been helpful, and I hope for her as well. I couldn’t recommend these 2 experiences more actually.
~Sean-Michael Gettys, Artist
Shoebox‘s Call and Response was like the kiss that awakened Sleeping Beauty… I had just taken part of a group show at Quotidian when Covid hit, and it completely paralyzed me.
I decided to participate even though I had no idea what it would be like or what it was about.
The partners I was randomly assigned inspired and energized me, to the point that over several rounds I made over 20 new pieces, some of which later were shown in group exhibits and one was even published in a book. So, thank you Shoebox!
~Dwora Fried, Artist
Shoebox Labs is truly a must-do for all emerging artists. The program is packed with a multitude of important information that I will be continuing to use for many months to come. I highly recommend this program. ~Lori Markman
Kristine gathered us into an accountability community that seems to have lit a fire for most participants. I have learned so much from her organization, generous sharing of resources, and specific feedback to our efforts. I feel my own work has gotten stronger as a result. I am so happy I took a leap of faith and applied! ~Debra Vodhanel
Kristine Schomaker’s Shoebox Lab has been a game-changer for my fine arts career and also for my motivation. Prior to starting the Shoebox Lab program I felt lost, vacillating between not knowing which marketing/communication/organization tools to use and floundering with the ones that I did pick. Kristine simplified everything and took the guesswork and ambiguity out of how to make a business out of art. Through well-organized information, explanations, suggestions, tools, feedback, and studio visits — Kristine takes a lifetime of hard-won knowledge and distills it down into easy and actionable methods to make making art — successful. ~Daniela Soberman
Kristine is very knowledgeable about the LA art scene, and the workshop is great for meeting other artists who are interested in progressing in their careers; the workshop is very helpful for artists who need some focus on the business side of being an artist. ~Lucas Novak
I would highly recommend Shoebox Lab: the workshop for artists who are at the beginning
of their careers or indeed midway.
The workshop explains how you can achieve a greater sense of success in the business side of
art making. It is done by identifying your goals and identifying the routes you can explore to fulfill them.
I really appreciate how the course is paced. There is a good balance between discussing
business topics one session and making online studio visits the next. The course topics are
covered thoroughly by the very informative Kristine Schomaker. You do not feel inundated by
the information given as it is delivered in an accessible way, with time to ask questions and to hear each others experiences. Learning from each other in an inclusive safe environment makes for a very positive experience.
It has been very beneficial to meet other artists. For me it is a very solitary profession, and can often be hard to make friends with others in the artistic community. This group gives you the opportunity to connect, to share experiences and to practice showing and describing your work to others and gain valuable feedback.
I now know I have a group of colleagues that will be a fountain of knowledge and support
going forward. It will be a pleasure to meet them in person for our group show. ~Kathryn Pitt
I am very glad I signed up for Shoebox Lab. It has been a lot of work, information to absorb and commitment of time but it has been invigorating to make new connections and be a part of a positive environment.
All of the information Kristine provided about best practices and what is currently going on in the art world has been very useful, even when it is about something that doesn’t exactly fit with my goals. The conversations amongst the group, sharing their experiences, ideas and suggestions is a bonus I hadn’t thought about when I signed up. I appreciate getting to meet a wide variety of artists at different points in their career and see their work in depth.
During the pandemic I had been working on many of the class topics and struggling through on my own. Shoebox Lab was like a boost of energy to keep the momentum going and get me to focus on my creative goals and not other peoples!
I was so blown away by the Artist Thrive questions, I would love to have talked about that more. That really impacted me and made me rethink my mindset on some issues.
I had been wanting to sign up for the Shoebox call for artists for a while. The combination of being in class, having worked on my goals and feeling encouraged really helped me engage and apply for things that were a good fit.
Lastly, it has been great to get to know Kristine a bit and I really value the energy and honesty to bring to the class. ~Julie Williams