Building a Brand, Getting the Word Out, with Krista Rolfzen Soukup

Editor’s note: As the national platform for Springboard for the Arts, Creative Exchange has long been a platform to highlight the artists, resources, and efforts in our national network. In this pandemic, as Springboard for the Arts’ work is increasingly online and accessible nationally, we’ll be turning the spotlight on Springboard staff and our Artist Career Consultants, to share more about who we are, and the work we do. Enjoy!

Krista Rolfzen Soukup is a literary agent, publicist with her own firm, Blue Cottage Agency. Through Blue Cottage and as a Springboard for the Arts Artist Career Consultant, she works on branding and publicity with artists of all disciplines to reach their goals. Learn more about Krista below and catch her on a Publishing Panel on November 11 to demystify the ins and outs of the publishing industry!

Share a little about your creative practice.
I consider myself an art enthusiast. I see my role as an arts organizer and a hand holder for artists. Practice wise, it really depends on the artists and what they need so it varies from artist to artist. For example, I met a dancer through a workshop and for him nothing was very clear so I dug a little deeper, had conversations with him and out of that we figured out he needed to rebrand himself; so I helped him rebrand himself with his goals in mind, and what he wanted to be known for. So it varies from artist to artist.

How did you start working with Springboard for the Arts?
About eight years ago, an author I worked with did a consultation with Springboard and spoke highly of the organization. A few years ago, I was invited to an event by Naomi Schliesman (former Fergus Falls Springboard staff) in Fergus Falls to spend one-on-one time with artists and offer my guidance, advice and direction on their careers. They all were successfully able to leave with concrete next steps. Afterwards, I reached back out to Naomi saying I could help other artists and arts organizations in branding, planning and marketing who were looking for guidance in their next steps.

What are projects that you have going right now or an idea in the making? What’s a project you’d like to see happen?
I am currently working with several new artists on their branding and marketing. I love helping them put together a strategy to showcase themselves professionally. Art creators spend much of their time and energy on their craft and it gets difficult to see things from an outside perspective. I enjoy this supporting role to artists and find it rewarding to help artists find momentum in to reach their goals.

I continue to work with long-term clients in taking their career to the next level. One recent success story is with Frank Weber, a True Crime novelist who will be featured on his second Oxygen channel show this year. Another  fulfilling project I have been working on for the past year is with Novant Health System out of North Carolina on a book they published of first hand narratives of cancer survivorship. It’s beautiful! I love traveling across the country and teaching workshops and classes. It’s always a joy to meet new artists, however, these days it’s virtually. I look forward to being able to connecting in person again. For outstate Minnesota I continue to work with our local arts communities in writing grants and project management to provide on-going workshops and events for artists.

What’s something you wish others knew about you?
I studied music in high school and college, but ended up getting a degree in business. I am a single mom of four kids, twins girls age 13 and boys ages 19 and 21. My goal as a mother has always been to instill in them compassion for others and to expose them to the arts. I feel this is the best way for me to contribute goodness into the world. Oh, and I live in a Blue Cottage, which is why I named my business Blue Cottage Agency.

Springboard Resources
Artist Career Consultants, available for virtual consultations:
Workshops & Events Calendar: