Recently, well last week to be specific, I had the privilege of participating in the smARTist online Telesummit. Here’s a link to this fabulous course….http://smartist.com/live-telesummit/. This 7-day course provided a wealth of information….and I mean a WEALTH of information! Everything from starting a career as an artist to approaching galleries to making an income from art licensing and making art prints. I highly suggest anyone out there looking to advance their art careers to check out this course in 2011. Over the next year I will be applying what I have learned to my own art career and passing a few tips to my fellow “newbs” along the way. A good starting point for me was to figure out where I wanted to go with my career this year….and I started with this question – What are the 3 most important priorities for an emerging artist?
Well, depending on who you ask, I am sure you will get 3 different sets of answers. Everyone from gallery owners to artists to your collectors will have a different yet valuable opinion on this. From my perspective, being an emerging artist myself, these are the 3 that I came up with:
1. HAVE A PLAN – develop a marketing or business plan. Be clear and concise on where you are starting and where you want to be. Be brutally honest about your skills and talent. Ask yourself: What do I bring to the table? What skills do I excel in? What skills am I lacking? Where can I go to get help to execute this plan? Do I need marketing help? What is your target audience? How will I reach them? Also, think about your lifestyle and personality – how much time am I willing to commit to this? Is it realistic? Being that we are at the start of 2010, I am currently trying to develop and commit to a realistic plan for this year. I will be posting my own marketing/business plan in the upcoming month.
2. HAVE A CONSISTENT BODY OF WORK – Well, what does this mean? Your body of work must be recognizable in style and be large enough to show a gallery – 20 to 30 pieces of art. Here is a great article from Martha Marshall on building a body of art. http://painting.about.com/od/careerdevelopment/a/MMarshall_Work.htm. Also, consider working this into your “business/marketing plan” from above. How many pieces should I be making a week to build a consistent body of work? Do I need to increase my production? Building a consistent body of work is something I am working on for 2010. I am aiming for 2 new pieces a week. Below I have attached a series that I am working on.
The Goddess Series – “A Goddess in Repose” & “A Goddess in Mourning” by Angella Goodon
3. GET EXPOSED! – Yes, get exposure where ever you can. Join art groups, submit artwork to artshows/competitions (juried and non-juried), get a website, join a social networking site like facebook and twitter, volunteer for artist societies, hang paintings in doctors/dentist offices or the local coffee shops. Get your art out there…anywhere and everywhere. Currently, I have 17 paintings hanging at the District of Lake Country City Hall. Any wall can become your gallery! Getting exposure will not only build your customer base and hopefully get you sales but you will also be building your resume which is important when approaching a gallery.
There are so many more that I could add to the list. As an artist, emerging or experienced, what priorities/goals are you working on for 2010? Has these priorities/goals changed due to the economic climate or have they consistently stayed the same? What are your thoughts?