Aiming high

COVID-19 Awaits NYC AIM Apprentices

Never has washing your hands had such symbolism making opportunities for apprentices.

Be Heard

This is an interesting time for NYC AIM and other apprentices. It’s been a long time since one issue was so consuming for so many people. This is the chance for the voice of an apprentice be heard.

Share Your Feelings

What are your feelings having to do with the Coronavirus? This is a unique opportunity to share your feelings in a video with a built in audience.

Make a Difference

So get your opinions on tap and make a difference in media of your point of view.

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Media Projects You Can Do

Digital Media Projects You Can Do

In the past the apprentices we worked with would decided on a special digital media project they would work on, followed by actually implementing it. At the time we were working in a studio in midtown Manhattan where we could do both video and a variety of computer generated products and services. But you don’t need a fancy studio to be successful with digital media projects for your business or passion career.

Create Your Own Blog

We suggest from the onset that you create your own blog. It is going to be most effective if your blog is a part of your website. This means new pages of content and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). A part of the way that blogs are used these days is as a method to develop your ambassadors. This is done by first befriending your audience and then asking them to help you promote.

Many Projects to Pick From

Our students worked on a variety of kinds of topics including (1) creating a website, (2) developing a vlog, (3) putting together a PowerPoint presentation, (4) making a music video, (5) filming a public service announcement, (6) writing a play/movie script and (7) designing a personal logo. These projects are all things you can do too. Why are we telling you about these? They are presented to possibly inspire you to do your own media work. Why wait around? Do.

Create a Website

Creating a website can be a great way to hone your skills. There are many options for doing this. Just about every web host has a web builder and of course there’s always PowerPoint.

Develop a Vlog

This can be a fun one if you have the performing bug. Try to do a new installment every day, or every other day, or at least weekly. The mere act of regularly doing vlog posts will help to lead to building your audience.

Put Together a PowerPoint Presentation

This can actually involve a lot of creativity and planning. You want to think in terms of what is the purpose of the presentation? Who is it being shown to? And is it fulfilling its purpose?

Make a Music Video

This is a great way to not only work on your videography skills but can be helpful in developing editing skills.

Film a Public Service Announcement

It’s important to “give back.” Pick a cause you believe in and figure out a way through video to help that cause fulfill its mission.

Write a Play/Movie Script

This can be a terrific exploration of learning about how to tell a story.

Just a Few

These are just a few of the kind of projects you can do to evolve you skill set. A big thank you goes out to Manhattan Magician who shared his media expertise with us, as well as the group at Media Administration who inspired us to keep going with our “How To” approach.
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Updates On NYC AIM

No New Apprentices

We now work with people digitally for various media activities involving PhotoShop, Final Cut Pro and more. We have all the products and services (including Movie Process’ Distribution Wing) of a regular production company but only online. Lately we’ve been receiving messages from those wanting to have a New York City Apprenticeship in Media (NYC AIM). Unfortunately at this time we are not taking on any new apprentices as well as doing any Media Administration workshops. Our focus from this point forward is going to be on online education such as collaborating on eBooks.

Persistance Can Pay

What then are options for those wanting to get into the film or media industries? One of the best ways to get your break is to become an intern for a company you would like to work at. I have a friend who got her start through doing this. They told her that no internships were being offered. She persisted and got an internship with a major studio. Persistance can pay if it’s done with some sensitivity.

Creating Opportunities

When doing an internship for a large company or studio, the downer is that you will likely receive low pay or even no pay. Sometimes it is a good idea to keep on going. The aim is to get your foot in the door and create more opportunities for yourself once you are in.

You Could Go Far

At the start of your internship there will likely be menial activities for you to do. But be tenacious and keep moving forward. If you have strong passionate motivation and are a people person, you could go far and maybe get into Media Administration.

Maybe Teach Yourself

Yet another way is to teach yourself like they do at Movie Process. A big free resource for this is YouTube. You can find a solution to just about any area that you want more information on.

You Can Educate Yourself

That’s what my brother and I did which has paid off. The process of teaching myself began a few years after I had, had an apprenticeship and had made some contacts. But I knew I needed more. So I taught myself by opening a business. It was profitable all 12 years of its existence and I was constantly having to teach myself new things because technology kept evolving.

Start Your Own Business?

Starting your own business is risky. But if you are able to define the solution you provide for those with the problem, you could succeed!
Aiming high

The Aim of NYC AIM

Now on the Web

From the very beginning the “aim” of NYC AIM was to fulfill “New York City Apprenticeships in Media,” also known as the acronym NYC AIM. What started as a live and in person experience has since been moved to the web so that more people are able to participate.

The Original “Total” Program

The orginal idea of NYC AIM was to create a “total apprenticeship experience,” meaning that all areas were covered. These areas included learning via NYC Workshops as well as a place to live as explored in NYC Housing Lottery.

NYC Triple Header

For 12 years NYC AIM shared with Video Film Web in Midtown Manhattan. In many ways, and all evolved together. At one time they were known as the NYC Triple Header.

Evolving Together

NYC Aim itself started it all by being launched in December of 2011, followed a few years after that by NYC Workshops in October of 2013, with NYC Housing Lottery trailing several years after that beginning in January of 2017.

Online Education is the Place to Be!

By 2018 it was clear that NYC AIM needed to find its home online. And as of August, 2019, there is even an internet program of online courses that has been added through the new website, USA eLearning. USA eLearning teaching materials are all digitally based and include online courses, email courses and PDF eBooks.

Any Age is Welcome

So where is NYC AIM to go to from here? The plan is to focus on online education with folks from all over the USA now participating. One thing that became clear to us from the very start, was that the apprenticeships went to people from ages 18 to 60 or more.

No Boundries Holding You Back

The feedback was that in an often agist world it was refreshing to have an organization that catered to all ages, because learning knows no boundries when it comes to age.

Not Just for those Over 50

In fact, it was one of the older apprentice participants who started the site, which by the way you don’t have to be over 50 in order to participate. You can of course be any age.

Provided for Artists of All Kinds

The NYC Triple Header of NYC AIM, NYC Workshops and NYC Housing Lottery continue to work together with a slightly different overall mission. The mission now is to help artists of all kinds by providing online education and information about artist housing when available.


John Yianni Stamas’ NYC AIM: a Movie and Marketing Project

A New Take on an Old Idea

John Yianni Stamas has finished phase one of a project that he had been developing for years and continues to this date. It is his movie and marketing system that follows some aspects of what Hollywood uses but at a much less costly rate. Congratulations Stamas! For more information on this undertaking please visit Media Administration.


Is Being a Solopreneur Really Possible?

Not All of Inner Circle Thumbs Up

Although all the members of my inner circle are not thumbs up about it, I am venturing forward none the less. It’s an idea that I have waited years to implement as a solopreneur. My dream has been to have an organization as well as a magic show based on that organization. So this begs the question that since when making important decisions I have a round table of confidants, does this mean I’m not a solopreneur?

Becoming a Solopreneur Can be a Good Decision

I think truly being a solopreneur in the ultimate sense of doing entrepreneurial activity with absolutely no input from others might technically be possible, but I believe it’s not the smart way to go. If you are an introvert or are seeking solitude for whatever reason when doing business, putting on the hat of being solopreneur can be a good decision.

Managing Online Freelancers

Though, I feel that it is unrealistic to think that you can do it all on your own. Hey, if you’re into being a multitasking phenomenon more power to you, but in the end you’ll make more money if you don’t do all the work yourself and rather manage online freelancers. The suggestion is to have online freelancers do most of the work and then you tweak the results to make it client ready.

Midtown Studio

That’s what I do and it has been working out really well. Yet, despite relying on others is a part of my business model, I still consider myself to be a solopreneur. The flip side of this approach is the methodology I used when having my incorporated company for 12 years in a media studio in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, NY. Although we always made money, I found the approach a bit overwhelming.

Managing People Live

I had, what for me, was a lot of folks in person doing what needed to be done. At any given time in the studio I’d have live 7 or so individual freelancers. One of the reasons that I shut down the organization was because managing people was not what I wanted to do. Though I should mention that the people who worked with me were awesome!

Cyber Delegation

When I discovered online freelancers this became a good solution for me, because I could delegate the work via the internet and then the next time I’d hear from the person who I emailed tasks to do, it usually was for the reason of a job well done.

Use Yourself as Your Initial Guinea Pig

If you don’t have a background of being a manager (either virtually or in person), the secret I’ve discovered to being a solopreneur on the web is to first do the work yourself that you are eventually going to assign to online freelancers.

Making an Income

Make notes regarding your workflow and process then divy up the tasks. You can create step by step documents for each of your freelancers which you email to them. It goes without saying you should be certain that the cost of doing business (freelancers, apps, etc.) is less than what you charge clients. You should have a decent margin.

And Finally…

So what is the answer to the question “Is being a solopreneur really possible?” In my abridged definition I would have to say “yes.” What about you? Are you an ArtisticPreneur and Solopreneur? What’s you definition of a solopreneur? We’d love to hear from you!


John Yianni Stamas asks: “Are You an ArtisticPreneur or Solopreneur or Both?!”

Are you a small business owner who wants to be more artistic? Or may you’re an artist who wants to have the tools of an entrepreneur? Do you consider yourself to be an ArtisticPreneur or a SoloPreneur? Keep reading for some insights!

Defining a SoloPreneur as a Subcategory of Being an ArtisticPreneur

Hi. John Yianni Stamas here. As many of you know, we sometimes take on NYC AIM Apprentices (online). On a few occasions we’ve had apprentices ask us “What is a solopreneur and how do I become one? And of course, because of our association with, we answer:

“Being a SoloPreneur is a subcategory of being an ArtisticPreneur.” In other words how we see it is that an ArtisticPreneur is a type of entrepreneur that can then be broken down into many facets, one of which is to be a SoloPreneur.”

That said, one definition of being an ArtisticPreneur/SoloPreneur might be:

“Someone who works by her or himself and whose primary contact with others, including clients and vendors, is done digitally.”

There are several other definitions of SoloPreneurs as well.

How Do I Get Clients as a SoloPreneur/ArtisticPreneur?

When an Apprentice asks about becoming a SoloPreneur, what they are generally most interested in is how a SoloPreneur is able to get clients and make a living. Of course there are quite a bit of ways of getting clients, but an interesting we came upon was featured in a Harvard Business Review article ( entitled “How Successful Solopreneurs Make Money.” In the piece the woman who transcribed the interview asked the woman she was interviewing about ways to get new clients. Featured in the article was an innovative way to do so:

“But what she did that was fascinating was that she used the podcast as a way of getting to know the people she wanted to get to know. And, amazingly, more than 25 percent of the people who have been guests on her podcast actually hired her for consulting services as a result, not because she was pitching them hard, not because she said, Oh, this is a quid pro quo. Now you have to hire me. But she was able to use the podcast as an entry point to a relationship, which she then cultivated over time, developed it, added value in free ways, you know, offering things like suggestions about ways that people could improve their websites. And then a lot of those people wrote back and said, That’s amazing, Fei. Could you do that for me? And she’s built a very successful business.”

How Delegating Tasks Can Make a Difference for ArtisticPreneurs/SoloPreneurs

Another post that you might find useful is called “7 Tips To Become A Successful Solopreneur” as seen on the website entitled And one of the tips given had to do with the importance of delegating tasks also known as automating your business:

“As you develop your business, you will come across things you don’t enjoy. Creating automated systems will increase your productivity because your system will run itself. You also will create more time to invest in your strengths. You can use automation for social media posts, newsletters, invoice reminders, templates, and more!”

Another Definition of SoloPreneur

Another take on defining what a SoloPreneur is can be found on the website

“A solopreneur is not an entrepreneur. As a solopreneur, you’re everything in your business – quality control, operations, business development, accountant, human resources, driver, office assistant, cleaner, etc. You’re responsible for making sure everything works & you’re responsible for the successes and the failures. You’re not interested in becoming a large corporation or selling the company down the line.”

More on Automation has another take on automation, this time in regards to your marketing.

“Marketing automation. If you don’t automate your marketing, you’ll have to do everything manually, including putting up social media posts and blog posts, doing search engine optimization, sending emails and so much more.”

ArtisticPreneur or SoloPreneur or Both?

In the final analysis it doesn’t really matter whether you define yourself as being an ArtisticPreneur or a SoloPreneur, both terms are fine. What matters is what you DO to make your creative business happen. Are you an artist who is looking for more fans? Or are you a small business who wants to get more new customers and clients? Regardless it all goes back to the concept that you are somehow solving a problem.

What Problem do You Solve as an ArtisticPreneur or SoloPreneur?

People often ask me how can you be an artist and solve a problem? One answer is that you could do a business that solves a problem for other artists. Or, let’s say you do comedy and want more fans. The problem you’re solving in a sense is getting people to laugh which is something that most people want (to laugh). If you’re a small business owner it’s a bit easier to define the problem you solve. Let’s say for example you cut hair. You are solving the problem for those who need a haircut. We hope you were able to glean something useful and relevant in this post. See you next time.

Digital Collaboration

Collaboration in the Digital Age

Digital Collaboration
We are collaborating digitally with people all over the country, and for that matter, the world. It is an exciting time!

Back to the Beginning of NYC AIM

When NYC AIM, also known as New York City Apprenticeships in Media, first started back in December of 2011, one of the first posts we did gave an overview of the kinds of experiences we were going to engage our apprentices with. Those categories, among other things, consisted of targeting your audience and niche, SEO – search engine optimization, two step selling, media personality PR, online publicity, article writing, promotional and educational videos, ecommerce, backlinks and social, email and mobile

In some ways our curriculum hasn’t changed that much, but there is one thing not on the list that is definitely very different than it was back in 2011. What is it? It’s how we collaborate. We used to all be in one physical media studio in Midtown Manhattan, in other words all in the same room when we worked together. Now we very rarely, if ever, are in the same place, unless we’re speaking of a DIGITAL place.

Digital Collaboration has changed the way we collaborate in a big way. Now we able to work with apprentices all over America, all over the world for that matter.

The Purpose of Digital Collaboration as Seen by Wikipedia looks at digital collaboration this way:

“Digital collaboration is using digital technologies for collaboration. Dramatically different from traditional collaboration, it connects a broader network of participants who can accomplish much more than they would on their own.”

Fostering Digital Cultural Characteristics According to Forbes looks at the integration of digital technology in business in an interesting way. Something they put at the top of their list is fostering digital cultural characteristics:

“Without a change in the way people work and behave, the technology falls flat. In other words, without actively fostering digital cultural characteristics, such as customer centricity, responsiveness or breaking down the silos that traditionally exist between business and IT, digital transformation efforts flounder.”

Digital Collaboration and the Way it Changes How We Work With Clients Including ArtisticPreneurs

For the NYC AIM program as well as another organization called, we have done our best to integrate digitally.

ArtisticPreneurship and Digital Collaboration Through the Eyes of Artist Steps

Digital collaboration has definitely transformed how we interact with clients. We now are able to accept work from customers who are thousands of miles away. And this is a boon for the ArtisticPreneur collective which is an informal group of freelance digital experts who do most of their jobs for people they never see, accept for the occasional Skype Call.

Confused by the term ArtisticPreneur which is also a website located at No need to be unsure what ArtisticPreneur means. Artist Steps magazine is an online publication about the ways artists can take steps with things like digital collaboration. describes what an ArtisticPreneur is to them:

“When trying to define what an artisticpreneur is, the first thing most people think is that it is a shortened name for an artistic entrepreneur. And you’d be right if you thought this, but it’s really only a small part of what it means to be an artisticpreneur.”

They go further in the article to talk about how ArtisticPreneurs are people with dreams. Our apprentices of NYC AIM are like that also. They are very driven by a dream which is why they work with us in the first place. And although there is the fact that we may never see them in person, it doesn’t change the degree to which they are committed to go beyond expectation.

Digital Collaboration: Everyone Needs to Play in the Same Sandbox Seems to Be Implied by Forbes

An article in had some interesting insights into digital collaboration:

“As smartphones and other digital innovations proliferate, teams are more dispersed than ever. A 2016 Gallup survey showed that 43% of employed Americans spend at least some time working remotely. Further, the eruption of enterprise application software has offered employees seemingly endless options for how they perform their work. This often leads to different teams preferring to work with different tools. For project managers to succeed, there is a growing need for a common interface that brings teams together.”

Agreeing on Technology Can Bring Teams and Collaborations Together

Getting everyone at NYC AIM – both apprentices and mentors – to agree on the technology used was an important step. When we were all in agreement on what gadgets and apps we were going to use things got much easier.

Back to the Beginning and Forward to the Future Including DigiComArts, Lights Camera Read, Video Film Web and Now ArtisticPreneur

As mentioned at the start of this post, we went back to the beginning. The beginning for us was when we were collaborating with DigiComArts and Lights Camera Read doing their workshops at the New York Public Library. Video Film Web’s involvement was also important.

Now the concept of all “being on the same page” has an additional meaning which is agreeing on the digital tools of collaboration. We face new challenges each day as technology evolves and disrupts. Thankfully we have ArtisticPreneur to help us out. In terms of digital collaboration, our goal is “United We Stand.”


Yianni Stamas Shows You How to Launch Your Career as an ArtisticPreneur in 9 Steps

9 Steps to Become an ArtisticPreneur
Launching your career as an ArtisticPreneur in 9 steps requires building your resources both in terms of education and tools.

Hi I’m Yianni Stamas and in the following post you will learn 9 actionable steps that you can take to become an ArtisticPreneur. If you already are an ArtisticPreneur or are interested in receiving additional information that will help you become one, feel free to contact us via our form found here.

1. Learn

As a Web Media Marketer you really are a web designer, digital marketer and blogger all in one. If you are using your digital media skills toward creating and managing your own small business you then become an ArtisticPreneur.

When the new version of the online store gets up and running it will have instantly downloadable ArtisticPreneur eBooks that show you how to get more customers, clients and fans. Art Gush literally wrote the book on getting new customers being that their first eBook to be released will be called “How to Get New Customers.”

As of this writing Art Gush has not yet started to release its eBooks and is only an example of a resource one could learn from. The real point here is to focus on online educational resources such as Amazon Kindle to get eBooks to accelerate the learning process in regards to digital marketing.

2. Study

There is no better way to become empowered with information than to study how other websites are promoting themselves. For example there is a website named On this site are not only blog entries that can help you with your knowledge to become an ArtisticPreneur, but it also presents the opportunity to study how it is marketed. As of this writing “ArtPreneur” is a more widely used term than ArtisticPreneur and when you study the site it becomes clear that ArtisticPreneur is marketing itself by appearing as a guest blogger on blogs to establish itself.

Whether or not you use ArtisticPreneur as your resource or another site does not matter, the point is to study other sites to become marketing savvy. Study what websites are doing to build their visibility. Are they using ads on search engines? Or are they providing useful information while linking to the website? Or maybe they are even using video.

Regardless of the means of marketing that the websites you study use, by being hyper aware you can learn a lot. Are any of the websites you are looking at employing methods that you would like to integrate into your own personal marketing plan? Studying what others are doing can be very helpful.

3. Workshops has as history of providing online and offline workshops for students in conjunction with both the New York Public Library and the DigiComArts Platinum PIAs Awards. Taking an online or offline workshop like DigiComArts is a great way to affirm the research that you are already doing on your own in regards to marketing. One of the benefits of being in a workshop rather than a class, is that in a workshop you will likely be working on a media project or projects. Since these projects are usually under the supervision of an instructor, this will give you hands on experience creating digital media with instructor feedback. Therefore doing an online or offline workshop is a good step to take.

4. Referrals

DigiRefer is a small online organization that has a casual approach to helping ArtisticPreneurs with their web designing, digital marketing and blogging needs. But they also have a database of digital freelancers who are matched with folks who are seeking media services. In other words, if you are an ArtisticPreneur who has the skill set of a digital freelancer you could potentially be added to the DigiRefer database to get work. There are other much larger groups that do the same sort thing such as UpWork. This can be an important step.

5. Read

Every now and then consider going to your local library, you’ll be surprised at the knowledge you can pick up from regular old books. One of the ways that we have encouraged people to read tangible books other than just eBooks is through campaigns we have done is with and the New York Public Library. With so much technology at our fingertips we sometimes forget that there are libraries where knowledge can be built. Reading an actual book can be a concrete step.

6. Video

If you have knowledge of the traditional way of making movies and videos, or even if you don’t, might interest you. Movie Process explores the very important procedure of producing videos or movies with a cell phone or on an extremely low budget. Producing videos is an important component for ArtisticPreneurs because video can be used as an effective tool for showing someone what you can do for them. You can use the power of moving images to reveal the benefits that a person will receive if he or she decides to work with you as an ArtisticPreneur. Making a video can be a step that makes all the difference.

7. Teach

NYC Workshops is a partner we have worked with when teaching workshops. We also have worked with local learning institutions such as State University of New York in conjunction with educational projects such as the making of the film Thrillumentary that was done for purely educational purposes. There is nothing like teaching as a way to learn. There is something about sharing your knowledge that becomes an educational experience for you. You will see what you know in a different and very helpful light. Consider taking the step of teaching a workshop.

8. Awards

The Platinum PIAs Awards recognizes ArtisticPreneurs who are making a difference in their local communities and around the world. We bring the PIAs because we wanted to emphasize the importance of being an award winner. It may sound cheesy to suggest that you seek out winning awards but in truth, those who  enter and win awards are looked upon in a different light. Of course the larger and more famous that the awards are the better they are to win. But even to have recognition from a small awards show can help boost your career as an ArtisticPreneur. Consider taking a step toward making this happen.

9. Intern

If workshops, eBooks and other forms of education are not working for you maybe consider interning. Although officially closed its doors to new clients in 2013, the website remains up years later. Why? Because some of the digital freelancers who came out of its internship program have gone on to doing work on their own. And these freelancers like to be able to put on their resumes that they were an interns at Video Film Web. But even though it is not possible to intern with Video Film Web anymore, it remains an organization that is an example of having a multifaceted approach to media that is a good fit for an internship. Or to put it another way, if you decide to become an intern, be sure to intern somewhere that you are going to learn a lot. Ideally you are currently attending college and can intern as a way to gain college credit. But even if you’re not, there are benefits to interning nonetheless. It’s a great way to gain actual work experience with a media company. Will you take this step?

In Conclusion

We’ve given you 9 steps you can take to launch your career as an ArtisticPreneur. You’ll notice that several of them had to do with education. This is because we believe that you never stop learning and education is a way to continually move your career forward. Now it’s up to you. You may decide you only want to take a few of these steps or maybe even more than are listed here. The important thing is to take a first step now with other steps to follow thereby launching your career as an ArtisticPreneur. If you would like to contact us you can do so here.


Is Harry Houdini the Greatest Marketer to Ever Live?

Harry Houdini the Marketer
Harry Houdini the Marketer

At NYC AIM (New York City Apprenticeships in Media) we study the greats of media and marketing who came before us. One of my personal favorites is the renowned escape artist Harry Houdini who is one of my personal favorites because when I was younger I was a magician myself.

Ask most people if they’ve ever heard of Harry Houdini and the response will likely be “Yes.” This is a testament to the great marketer that H.H. was. But how did he achieve this? That’s what the article at the Manhattan Magician blog attempts to answer. The blog entry looks at some of the aspects of Houdini’s life that helped to build his name recognition.

Ultimately any apprentice or student of media has a lot to learn from the man. He seamlessly combined his artistry with his promotions. He lead a very creative life as an ArtisticPreneur. Some say he was driven by his love for his mother. First, when she was alive, to shower her with gifts and then after her death his attempts to communicate with her from the great beyond.

Regardless of what motivated Harry Houdini, most biographers agree that every minute of every hour he was alive he was driven to succeed and to be known by the public. There is a school of thought that Houdini wasn’t always the nicest person to be around because he had to dominate everything and to always be the winner, even in the context that wasn’t intended as a competition. But this is also probably what pushed him to achieve.