I do a pretty good amount of design and web work in the arts industry. Like any distinct type of business, the arts has its own quirks, especially on the non-profit side of things. The power of personal references is clearly the defining thing that makes or breaks a lot of designers and when designing for the arts industry, that is no exception. Everyone seems to know everyone and as soon as you start wading into those waters, suddenly you are meeting people who say things like "Oh I’ve heard of you…" and you aren’t quite sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, especially from actors and dancers (so hard to read)! So the moral of all this: if you are going to work in the non-profit arts community, do good work with a good attitude and your name will travel and pretty soon you will have some incredibly loyal repeat clients, who end up feeling more like friends.
One such repeat client (friend) is Ripe Time, a NYC based theatre company that produces some stunning work. I have done a few projects with them, including a postcard for their Shape Shifting event in January 2011 which is in my design portfolio. Just yesterday I put the finishing touches on a 6"x11" postcard for their upcoming production, Septimus & Clarissa. The show will be running at Baruch College from September 7 to October 2. More info available at www.ripetime.org.