CreateUp Project Interview Series: A discussion with Maxime Antony to understand key competences in the artistic domain 

Фев 28, 2024

Good governance

Within the Erasmus+ project Createup, we had the pleasure of interviewing Maxime Antony, a photographer and entrepreneur-artist. This research aligns with the goal of gathering valuable insights on the topic of artists’ employment and their ability to go solo. The project addresses the broader issue of unemployment among young artists and how the labour market is evolving towards a more multitasking environment.

The very concept of multitasking pertains to the skills necessary or sufficient for a young artist to sustain themselves without losing sight of their dreams, goals, or projects. It seeks to answer the question: How can I pursue my passion while having all the necessary tools to avoid compromising my career?

ALDA’s mission, among others, acknowledges the significance of the world of young Europeans and the challenges of today’s job market. Within the systemic issue of competition among peers, the study promoted by the European Commission Entrecomp identifies a set of essential skills that can facilitate an artist in understanding and embracing the role of an entrepreneur. This role, once emerging, now dominates certain sectors of the European labour market and is a prevalent status even within the artistic realm.

Maxime Antony kindly participated in our interview to share his insights on what he believes are the key competencies needed to embark on an artistic career, drawing from his personal professional journey

The Interview

  1. Tell us about yourself, describe in more detail what you do and why you started, what was it like for you to work in this particular artistic field?

After I passed my A-levels, I did an audiovisual BTS and a Multi-technique licence on a sandwich course.

Then I was immediately hired on a permanent contract as an assistant and afterwards video technician in a leading European audiovisual service provider specialising in sports and events (Tour de France, Roland Garros, Olympic Games, etc.).

I resigned in 2017 to try out a rival company. Then I resigned again in 2018 to set up my own business this time, as an auto-entreprise. In the end, that’s what I’d been looking for all along: to be my own boss, manage my own time and, above all, expand my activities.

But having said that, I needed to get a feel for what it was like to work as an employee before I set off on my own.

I wouldn’t have had the same relationship with life and my business without those years of experience as an employee. It shaped me and taught me the concept of work.

  1. How did you work in your field and become an entrepreneur in France? Have you worked in another country and found differences?

Becoming an auto-entrepreneur in France is quick and easy. Then you have to approach new customers and know how to manage the accounts and everything else. I’ve learnt to do that bit by bit.  

I’ve never worked abroad before, but I’d like to try it soon.

  1. What skills do you need to succeed in your field?

It’s a balancing act to succeed with so much information. You have to be diligent, orderly, curious, look around, make the right calculations, have foresight, but above all you must never forget your motivations, your ambitions, your goals and your dreams, and you must constantly challenge yourself to move forward. The most important thing is to listen to yourself, to believe in yourself and in your creative and entrepreneurial abilities.

  1. What have been the main challenges you have faced as an artist in your field? And who or what has helped you?

I’ve always done photography to a greater or lesser extent, I had the ideas but not the technique. So I

had to find the time and the funding to do a fast-track course at the Gobelins photography school in Paris, from November 2021 to February 2022.

Since then, I’ve felt that my technical shortcomings have disappeared and that I can finally develop my creative ideas around this medium.

What’s more, this course has enabled me to meet some fabulous people (teachers, lecturers and students),

Following the course, a collective of five photographers called ‘L’Inconnu(e)’ was formed.We’ve been joining forces for a year now, and it’s great to be able to support each other as photographers.  It’s a fairly solitary profession, so it’s good to have a group of people working together and helping each other through the process.

  1. How did you acquire the necessary skills? Where did you learn them?

As far as these skills are concerned, my experience as an employee helped me. I was very observant of how the company operated internally, despite its large international scope.

As for the rest, I learnt everything on my own, bit by bit. The customers came in crescendo, which allowed me to take the time to understand everything. Then it was out in the field hands in the soil and in the heat of the action, that I learnt and acquired these skills.

  1. Would you like to have learning opportunities at the start of your career? Would you consider taking an online course like the one we’re going to develop?  If so, what skills do you think would be most useful for you or other young people in similar situations?

Indeed, taking online courses when I started my business would have been a great help to me

if only to reassure me that I was going in the right direction. Courses on administration, finance and resource mobilisation seem relevant to me. Secondly, exchanging and/or working with other people to ask questions, improve and then create new ideas. Never remain alone in your projects. A teacher once said to me when I was 19/20 years old: «On your own you go faster, with two you go further»

I was proud to be a loner and to be part of the first part of his sentence, and therefore to go fast. Until one day when I realised that it was much more interesting to go further, so I surrounded myself well to live in this second part of the sentence and to live more solidly in what I now undertake. That’s what sharing is all about, it’s useful, and also very beautiful in my opinion.

  1. Where do you think such a course or platform should be promoted to reach the young people who need it?

On the Internet, on your website, seems to me to be a good option at the moment. In addition to the courses, perhaps offer opportunities for discussion, testimonials, round tables, meetings and workshops. Classes are good, but practice, movement and sharing are even better. Sharing is even better for learning and moving forward.

The interview with Maxime Antony sheds light on the essential competencies required for success in the artistic domain, particularly when pursuing an entrepreneurial path. Maxime’s journey, transitioning from an employee to an entrepreneur-artist, emphasises self-belief and constant self-challenge as crucial elements in navigating the challenges of an artistic career. Maxime’s personal experience also highlights the significance of practical learning. 

As the interview suggests, CreateUp’s proposed online courses and platforms for discussion, testimonials, and workshops can play a vital role in providing learning opportunities and fostering collaboration among young artists seeking to navigate the multifaceted landscape of the artistic labour market.

For more information about the Create Up project, click here.