After six months in operation, besides constant questions about the name—what the heck is an Oghma?—there is one overriding question we are asked on a regular basis: What is Oghma exactly? Are we a graphic design firm? Web designers? Social media marketers? Editors? Are we an advertising agency or a marketing firm? Are we event planners? The answer to these questions is simple: no. While we offer these and other services, they are not who and what Oghma, excuse me, who we are. That answer is much more complex.
Above all other things, Oghma is about creativity. We are purveyors of imagination and inspiration. Of culture. We are writers, musicians, photographers, designers, painters, poets—the small portion of the population that turns our collective human experience into things that can be perceived by the senses, rather than just the brain. So we are artists, first and foremost. And yes, sometimes we’re even starving. But there’s far more to it than that.
Throughout history–or at least since we developed past nomadic hunting and gathering to form static, complex hierarchical societies–the artist has almost never been able to stand and live on the product of their craft alone. Rather, to have any success or widespread appeal, most have had to turn to a sponsor or benefactor, turning ownership of their art and creative process over to someone else for that person’s entertainment, prestige, and profit. For those fortunate to be deemed worthy of this kind of arrangement, sometimes it turns out to be a blessing, where both parties benefit from the symbiotic relationship. Other times it doesn’t, and the artist ends up being exploited, then discarded. Ask artists if they’ve heard of this kind of thing, and they can tell you a dozen different horror stories about themselves or someone they know being used, lied to, or betrayed by an agent or manager, publisher or record label. That being said, though, at least they were fortunate enough for the opportunity. For every artist given such a chance, there are scores that never are. And those artists are forced to fight and bleed for the opportunity to keep their dream of living by their art alone alive somehow. To catch the eye or ear of a potential benefactor or be one of the very few to transcend the need for one and become household names all on their own.
In this day, potential patrons are a dime a dozen. Some are legit, truly desiring to foster art and take care of those who make it. Many others are not and seek only to exploit the artists for their own profit. Right or wrong, these people and companies shape the cultural marketplace. They decide who gets a chance, who becomes famous, and who does not.
Oghma’s mission is to level the playing field, using our talents and skills, our network, our platform, to give every artist a fair shot at living the dream. It doesn’t matter if you’re famous and well-established or unknown and seeking your first opportunity to gain notice in the wider world. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help out. Whether you are seeking a contract or prefer to blaze your own path, we’re here to assist you in reaching your artistic goals. Need branding, photography, and a website? We do that. Need editing? We do that, too. A marketing plan? Would you prefer social or traditional media, original or extra crispy? How about event planning, public relations, event booking? All of the above.
These are our services, but we are far more than the sum of what we offer. What is Oghma? It’s an idea, a vision. Artists helping artists.
This is who we are.
By the way, e-mail the name of the organization alluded to in this article to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to have your work mentioned for free on this site.