A professional development workshop series for creatives.


Create Appalachia established its Arts@Work series in 2016 to provide professional development for artists and makers in the Appalachian Highlands. Topics include marketing, business communication and promotion, pricing, and client relations. The program also focuses on negotiation skills, entrepreneurship, and legal and ethical issues, including codes of fair practice for the arts. The workshops benefit creative small businesses, freelancers, and working fine artists and artisans, no matter their demographic.The 2021 series was designed particularly to meet the needs of creatives and creative entrepreneurs who have suffered setbacks because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Seats for each of the classes are limited, so be sure to reserve your spot earlyNew Arts@Work offerings will be added as we book them.

Arts@Work Series, November 2021-June 2022 

November 8, 2021 

John Wood

 “Protect Your Brand with a Trademark” 

December 9, 2021 

Kelly Porter

“Branding Yourself as a Creative” 

January 20, 2022

Ruth Livingston

"Public Speaking for Creatives"

January 27, 2022

 Jocelyn Mathewes

“Using Social Media to Promote Your Creative Business”

February 17, 2022

Aundrea Wilcox

“Small Business Resources for Creatives” 

March 29 & 31, 2022

Hannah Harvey

“The Story that Gets You Noticed” 

April 12. 14, &19

Katie Hoffman

“Creating a Basic Media/Marketing Kit” 

May 3 & 5

Kelly Porter

“Easy Desktop Publishing & Printing” 

*June (TBA)

Professional Panel

“Working with an Agent” 

*No admission for this Arts@Work panel. 

Tom Raymond

Instructor: Cher Cornett

Zoom Webinar
Thursday, September 30, 6 PM to 8 PM
$20 per ticket


Contracts & Copyrights: Legal & Ethical Basics for Creatives

For creatives, one of the most important elements of going professional is understanding the legal and ethical implications of creating work for others. “Contracts & Copyrights: Legal and Ethical Basics for Artists” will answer important questions about creating work for others and how to protect your intellectual property. Led by Cher Cornett, Associate Professor of Digital Media at East Tennessee State University, this interactive workshop will offer insight into how artists can protect themselves on issues of copyright and while making contracts with clients.  Cher will outline how to write client contracts and other legal agreements that protect the creative’s interests. This program is appropriate for all levels, from amateur to seasoned creatives.

As Cher herself explains, “being aware of the rules of professional and ethical fair practice in the business of creating and selling art and other creative products is crucial to your success as an artist. This workshop will familiarize you with some of the practical basics every creator of unique works should know about artists’ rights. I hope people will come with lots of questions and comments!” A community arts advocate; a former creative business owner; and an award-winning graphic designer and photographer; Cher is also an educator with over 25 years of experience. She understands these issues from a number of perspectives and can offer examples and advice based on her broad scope of personal knowledge and background. A question-and-answer session will follow the interactive presentation.

Admission to this event is $20. The session will be held on Zoom. Some scholarships are available on a first-come, first served basis. For more information on scholarships or to ask more questions, email


Create Appalachia is adding workshops to the Arts@Work Series for September 2021 to June 2022. To stay informed about upcoming classes and events, sign up for our once-a-month newsletter at and/or follow us on Instagram and Facebook at @createappalachia.  

Kelly Porter

Instructor: Kelly Porter 


TWO SESSIONS      $100
Thursday, June 3 
Thursday, June 10

Creating Your Marketing Tools: Easy Desktop Publishing (2 Sessions)

Two hands-on, intensive sessions. Equip yourself with simple, professional promotional materials to support your creative business.


Creatives who are just starting up are always on a shoestring. Every penny counts! It’s not always possible–or even necessary–to hire a pro. This workshop is designed to equip artists and creative entrepreneurs with basic content production skills. Kelly Porter will teach participants to make simple but professional promotional materials in support of their art businesses. (Think: brochures, printed tear sheets, and social media graphics, among other things.)

Sure, sometimes, you really do need to hire a professional. But sometimes you can make really good materials yourself–all you need is just a little bit of training and access to a place like our Center for Art and Technology, where you can DIY and keep those all-important dollars in your own pocket. We’re here for you!

Tickets will be on sale beginning 12 Am on April 19 and will continue until June 2 at 5 PM or until all seats are filled.

This workshop will involve 2 hands-on, intensive sessions. They will be held in person at our Center for Art and Technology. Here’s what Kelly will cover during each meeting:

Session 1: (Thursday, June 3) 

The basics of typography;

• Layout strategies for professional self-promotion materials;

• Getting photos and artwork into your documents ; and,

• What you can do yourself if you aren’t a designer, and when you really should hire a pro.

Session 2: Artist Statement. (Thursday, June 10

• Setting up your files for print and creating pdfs;

• Self-printing

• Online printing

• Local printing services and how to choose them


Kelly Porter is an associate professor of graphic design at East Tennessee State University. In addition to her 7 years of teaching, she has worked for 10 years as a designer and design researcher for Ryobi Power Tools, the B.B. King Museum, Mississippi Blues Trail, and Mississippi Delta Tourism Association. Porter has presented at UCDA, CAA, SECAC, and Pop Culture Association conferences and is published in the International Journal of Signage and Wayfinding. Porter received her MFA from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a BFA in Graphic Communication from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Create Appalachia strives to make the Appalachian Highlands a better place to live and work by supporting innovation and entrepreneurship centered around the arts and artisanship. We are working to sustain an environment that will generate new businesses, provide jobs in arts-based businesses, and highlight the important role that creativity plays in the region’s economic vitality.

The Arts@Work Series supports entrepreneurial and self-employed artists and makers who wish to develop their professional business skills. Topics include business strategy, marketing, communication and promotion, pricing, and client relations. The 2021 Arts@Work series was curated to meet the particular needs of small creative businesses dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We’re grateful for a generous grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission that allows us to keep admission to our January-June 2021 Arts@Work series affordable.

Tom Raymond

Instructor: Tom Raymond

May 20 and 27, 2021

Styling and Photography for Creative Businesses

Learn how to style, present, light, and photograph your pieces to maximize their appeal to curators and potential buyers.

Join us for this two-session, hands-on intensive workshop. Walk away with important knowledge for promoting your creative work!

  • Session 1: Thursday, May 20th, 6-9 PM
  • Session 2: Thursday, May 27, 6-9 PM

Optional individual consulting available. Information on request.


Tom Raymond of Fresh Air Photography and Cher Cornett , ETSU Digital Media Faculty

Why This Is Important:

Whether you’re a wildlife painter, an instrument maker, or an artisan baker, you need to be equipped with simple photography skills. Creatives must be able to promote their creative products in a number of contexts:

  • consideration by galleries and collectors;
  • online sales;
  • submission to exhibits;
  • publication; and,
  • use in promotional media.

These two sessions will teach you to style, present, light, and photograph your pieces, maximizing their appeal to curators and potential buyers.

Participants are encouraged to bring one piece of artwork or a packaged product to be photographed. (Sorry–no open or plated food. That’s a different workshop, and we’re working on offering it soon!) For this workshop, you should bring a two-dimensional, unframed piece artwork. The size should not exceed 3’x3′.

Session 1: Tom Raymond, an internationally known commercial, architectural, and editorial photographer, will take you through the basics of how to style, light, and shoot your art or your product. Bring a camera if you have one. If not, many of these techniques can be performed with a smart phone.

Session 2: Cher Cornett, award-winning photographer and graphic artist, will demonstrate some simple strategies for digitally editing your photos to maximize the impact of your images and prepare them for print or social media use. You will use the photos that you shot in session one as practice.

Read a profile of Tom Raymond here:

NOTE: We recommend taking the sequence as published here, but depending on demand for spaces, we may allow purchase of à la carte tickets to one of the sessions only. If you are interested in attending only one of the two, please email for pricing and information.


Instructor: Jocelyn Mathewes

June, 2021   TBA      $30

Using Social Media to Promote Your Art

How can an online presence serve and build your art or creative business? Whether you’re starting from scratch or seeking to enhance or expand your online presence, this class is meant for you. Prior to the class, you’ll be given a set of questions to help frame what your needs and goals. During the class, we will discuss the incredible variety of platforms available (both popular and up-and-coming) and discuss how best to make them work for a variety of situations. You should walk away from this class with a sense of what is may be the best fit and best investment of your time and energy online.

This interactive online program is designed to be immediately applicable to your business. Jocelyn will meet you where you are, even if you have no social media presence at all. Participants will receive a set of questions before the workshop begins, allowing you to gather the information you need and come to the first session prepared to apply the principles and practices covered during the session.

Jocelyn will work everyone through three intersecting points:

  • What does your business do/offer?
  • Where is your audience or client base?
  • Where do you enjoy spending your online time?

Using these three touch points, Jocelyn will make suggestions about how you might create or hone your online presence to best reflect your business and to attract the best audience for your work.


Jocelyn Mathewes (@jocelynmathewes on Instagram and Facebook) is a mixed-media interdisciplinary artist, living with her family in rural Appalachia in East Tennessee. After receiving her B.A. in Studio Art from Messiah College, she pursued a career in writing, graphic design, and photography. After a decade of work under her belt, several life events led her to change her path, choosing one that led into fine art. She participated in the Artist Residency in Motherhood from 2016 – 2019. Her work has been exhibited in galleries, museums, and community spaces all over the United States. She pours her passion for the arts into her local community, serving on the advisory board for Create Appalachia and coordinating artist meet-ups to foster growth and collaboration. In 2020, she created Eat/Art Space, a private pop-up gallery from her dining room in Appalachia (@eatartspace). Eat/Art Space showcases regional artists and regional food purveyors.

“As an artist, Jocelyn says, “analog film, alternative processes, textile arts, and mixed media are my method for contemplating the natural world around me and the interior physical world of the body. Overlapping frames, media, and conceptual imagery are all merged to create a single, unrepeatable image, expressing my deep interest in the chaos of particular humanity and place. I seek to bring things that seem distant or invisible that much closer to understanding.”

Partial Funding provided by a generous grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission.


Workshops will be recorded, and edited versions will be made available online to our subscribers and attendees.

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