As much as we think of ourselves to be geeks who don’t need support from others, the reality is completely opposite and I wish there was more training on topics such as networking similar to some commercial UNSW schools such as business school. Art is nothing in isolation and ultimately needs to be sold at a price and the price is determined by the following an artist has. The more followers you have, the more valuable your work is deemed.
You also need to find supporters from a ‘finding work’ point of view. There’s no waiting to finish your degree and then looking for work if you are serious about your art career. From speaking to a few fellows and my own experiences, here are some tips that you can use to increase your chances of success in the real world.
- Start visiting art galleries and make connections. I know a lot of people who get invited to private viewings while still in the university and their opinions are respected. Make sure you have decent business cards that you can leave behind (you can get good ones for under $20 online using vistaprint coupons) and add all the artists and industry connections on your linkedin once you have their business cards.
- Ask for invitations – It’s hard to get invited to good exhibitions and there’s nothing wrong in being a bit pushy. Always ask around if anyone has extra invitations.
- Join Art meet ups on sites like Meetup.com if you are not succeeding much in your networking efforts otherwise.
- Organize your own small exhibitions – It’s all about exhibitions. Try to organize your own small dorm room style exhibitions and you will learn about the psychology of the exhibitors and process of exhibiting art successfully.
In short, you need to learn to market your art and most importantly yourself and you need to prepare yourself for spending a lot more time marketing your art than actually creating it as this is the reality of modern art world.