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Building a Successful and Professional Artist Career: Insights from Craig Dobbin

Episode Summary –

Building a successful career as an artist is a multi-faceted journey that requires taking proactive steps toward creating a professional portfolio. From pursuing opportunities to forging connections and cultivating relationships, it means pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone to achieve your goals. By networking with peers, mentors, and industry professionals, you may discover unexpected paths that lead you toward achieving your vision. Asking for what you want, building connections, and nurturing relationships can be the catalyst for the next big opportunity that propels you toward success.

“Stop being afraid of hearing a ‘no' and start asking for what you want. You'll be amazed at how many times you'll get a ‘yes' when you take the chance.”

Developing the ability to ask for what you want, even if it means facing unexpected outcomes, is a crucial trait in the art industry. Approaching situations with openness and a willingness to learn can lead to better opportunities. It's important not to assume you know everything and take time to observe and understand the dynamics of a situation. Identify where your skills can fit in and add value while being open to feedback and actively seeking ways to improve your abilities in order to achieve your goals.

In this episode, Craig Dobbin takes us on a personal journey through his career as an artist. He shares valuable insights that artists at any stage of their career can benefit from, including tips on cultivating high professionalism, unlocking creative potential, and pursuing your craft with greater confidence. Whether you're just starting out or are looking to take your career to the next level, tune in to learn how to build a successful and professional career as an artist.

Let’s jump in!

Key Learnings from the Episode:
[08:56] Craig talks about getting comfortable with No and asking for what you want to get ahead.
[09:49] How Craig moved from graduating from a music program to making a living.
[12:24] The power of building connections, nurturing relationships, and putting yourself out there.
[18:42] The importance of delivering on time and how to cultivate your ability to deliver within deadlines.
[21:47] How Craig navigates the creative and the business side of his artistry career.
[27:52] What does working from your happy place mean to Craig?
[30:24] Craig’s advice to young people in the composing niche and art in general.
[32:44] The power of delivering on time: good work on time Vs. great work that is late.


About Craig Dobbin –
Craig Dobbin has composed music for a wide variety of entertainment genres for more than 30 years–from the popular PBS shows Jay Jay the Jet Plane and Betsy’s Kindergarten Adventures to CBS' NCIS-LA and the world-renowned Discovery Channel Shark Week. An accomplished recording artist with his contemporary jazz group 3RD FORCE, Craig enjoys composing for a wide range and depth of projects.

His compositions have been featured in commercials for such major clients as Samsung, Visa, McDonalds, Mobile Strike, Netflix, Marvel, Exxon, State Farm, among many more. Recently, Dobbin composed music for the feature films Searching for Home: Coming Back from War and unMASKing HOPE on PBS. With NCIS Los Angeles coming to an end after 14 seasons in May 2023, Dobbin is set to begin work on a new feature film, The Tasting.

How to connect with Craig Dobbin:
Website –
LinkedIn –
Instagram –