Kristine Schomaker is something of a Renaissance woman – public relations pro, project space owner, magazine publisher, and artist.
As a working artist, Schomaker started Shoebox PR in February 2014 after realizing there was a huge need for artist marketing services.
“There are more artists than there are PR companies. I have a degree in Art and Art History. As a former instructor, I wanted to continue supporting artists any way I could. As an artist myself, I knew there was a need for artist support. I created my company to help artists in areas they aren’t able to.”
She notes that being an artist today is more than just creating the work.
“Today artists have to be entrepreneurs. A lot of artists don’t know where to begin. I come from an administrative background as well as my education history so it was natural for me to become a teacher, a supporter for artists.”
Shoebox PR is not a traditional PR firm, but rather more of a support network for artists.
“We help artists run their social media accounts, we do PR for their solo exhibitions, we help artists create community and build bridges in the art world that will help them persevere in there career,” she relates.
Her company also does social media promotion using Shoebox PR’s network of art influencers, and researches and filters calls for art/grants/residencies.
“We offer career consultation and guidance, studio visits, consult on artist statements, websites and more.”
Schomaker has success stories which include feature stories in major arts publications such as Juxtapoz, Hi-Fructose, Beautiful Bizarre, Huffington Post, LA Magazine, Konbini, Creators Project and here on Diversions LA among others.
Along with assisting artists with coverage from other publications, Schomaker has also begun her own, Art & Cake.
“I felt there was a need for more writing on art. There are a few great local art publications, but there aren’t enough for all of the artists. I wanted to add to the art world conversation. I wanted to support the lesser known art establishments, alternative venues and artists. Along the way, I realized I am also able to support art writers who deserve more attention and need more space to write,” she attests.
As an artist, much of the services she provides are tied to how she herself would like to be treated as an artist.
“I am a multidisciplinary artist working to crush stereotypes and demythicize ideas of beauty. My current work is part of a new cross-platform project called “An Ode to a Lost Love” whose leitmotif addresses the de(con)struction of self in relation to society’s perception/projection/reflection of beauty,” she explains. “This work focuses on the complexities of gender identity, body image, and the societal privileging of women’s physical beauty over character and intellect.”
The series already includes painting on canvas and mannequins, sculptural installation, digital animation made in Second Life, and narrative photography and video.
“I am a cultural producer who reaches outside of the studio to extend my creative energies and pursuits to my community. Shoebox PR, Art & Cake and Shoebox Projects are all an extension of my work as an artist.”
And speaking of Shoebox Projects, Schomaker has created her own gallery/workshop space as another avenue for artists to promote and show their work.
“I’m lucky that I had the perfect space in my loft,” she says. “Artists are finding new ways to create, show, and sell. I started Shoebox Projects in November 2016 with month-long residencies. They’ve all been exceptional and fun.”
With so much going on, it may be hard for Schomaker to fit everything she’s doing into a “Shoebox” – but she’s certainly succeeding.
- Genie Davis; photos: Kristine Schomaker