Lander artist launches online learning platform for creative professionals

(Lander, WY) – Multidisciplinary artist and writer Nick Thornburg has announced the launch of Creative Professional Academy, a new online learning platform that provides business and entrepreneurial training to those in the creative industries. An introductory course is available for free on Creative Professional Academy’s website, which covers topics such as the state of the creative industry, business practices and pitfalls, new technology and innovations in the creative space, critical thinking and its role in creative career decision-making, communication principles, marketing, and related lessons from the world of entrepreneurship. The development of the platform and its introductory course was funded by a grant awarded by the Wyoming Arts Council, the Wyoming Legislature, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Learners can register for the free introductory course at https://creativeprofessional.academy/.

Thornburg created Creative Professional Academy in order to address what he sees as a lack of accessible training opportunities for creative professionals. In launching the online learning platform, Thornburg hopes to provide business and entrepreneurial training specifically tailored to those working in creative fields—a much-needed resource given that many artists and creatives struggle with making a sustainable living from their work. “Despite belonging to one of the most profitable industries in the world, a lot of creatives still have a difficult time,” said Thornburg. “The primary reason for that is because of a lack of business acumen. They’re not being educated to meet market demands, and Creative Professional Academy was designed to fill that particular gap.”

Thornburg’s career has spanned film, television, and promotional work for notable clients like Tesla, DreamWorks, WarnerBros, Patek Phillipe, W Magazine, and the City of London. After moving to Wyoming in 2017, he used his entrepreneurial knowledge to make a career for himself in the world of fine art. But his extensive experience in the creative industry is what led him to found Creative Professional Academy. “I witnessed a lot of talented people floundering, and I wanted to do something about that,” said Thornburg. “As someone with a widespread background in the creative industry and as someone who actively studies the business of creativity, I was in a position to help others, so that’s what I decided to do. Creative Professional Academy is a passion project. Its mission is very important to me personally.”

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The support Thornburg received from the Wyoming Arts Council, the Wyoming Legislature, and the National Endowment of the Arts is proof positive that Wyoming’s creative sector is in need of Creative Professional Academy’s training material. “Those who live in largely rural areas, like Wyoming, often feel as though a creative career isn’t possible,” said Thornburg. “It’s certainly true that there are fewer opportunities here than somewhere like California. But the state of work and the overall economy is shifting in interesting ways, making it possible for more people to be able to make a creative career work for them. The courses we publish on Creative Professional Academy are meant to empower all creatives, regardless of background or circumstance. That’s our purpose.”

Additional courses on Creative Professional Academy’s website will become available for purchase starting in 2023, with new courses published on a quarterly basis. “I’m particularly excited to release our course on building a high-impact creative career,” said Thornburg. “Many creative professionals and artists want to make a positive difference, but they don’t have a clear idea of how to do that. Our course will cover methods to Identify pressing problems, develop solutions, and measure the impact you have on the world around you. It’ll help make you more effective in your endeavors.”

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Thornburg is a graduate of The University of Iowa with Bachelors of Arts degrees in Cinema & Comparative Literature and Theatre Arts and additional training through the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center. He works as a multidisciplinary artist, writer, and creative media developer based out of Lander, Wyoming. His work has been featured on the independent screen and stage, overseas at the Prague International Theater Design Quadrennial Exhibition, and at various institutions and exhibition spaces in the United States, including the Yellowstone Art Museum, the State Historical Museum of Iowa, the Wyoming State Capitol Extension, and the White House Visitor Center. He is the 2018 winner of the Spirit of Wyoming art competition in Jackson, a three-time recipient of Best in Show during The Nicolaysen Art Museum‘s annual art gala, and has been featured on Wyoming Public Television for his art and arts advocacy. His work is part of The Nicolaysen Art Museum’s permanent collection.

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To learn more about Nick, visit https://www.nickthornburg.com/.

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