Here are my takeaways from the conference — seven things you need to know.
All panelists agreed that artists must have a website today to enable you to promote your work to galleries, consultants, buyers, at exhibitions and art fairs.
Remember to put your best foot forward. High quality images are key, Let’s get one thing straight here right away – good photography can make or break whether people will stay on your website for more than 10 seconds.
Good photos of your art work have the potential to drive traffic, which can result in engagement, customers and repeat customers.
Don’t forget to also post your work in other artist registries to maximize exposure.
2 Set your goals ...
Know what you want to achieve so that you can map your strategy.
Are you hoping to get your work displayed in museums? Are you interested in sales only? What is the target audience for your work? If generating income is your goal, remember gallery representation is not the only way to sell art. Consider other channels, displaying your work in alternate spaces, selling through your website and selling to corporations.
3 Focus and follow through...
Artist have a reputation for being flighty and irresponsible. They have a reputation for not following through and for missing deadlines.
In my opinion artists have a great ability to focus and pay attention. Artist pay close attention to shades of color, they pay attention to the curve of a line, gradations in shape, they pay attention to harmonious compositions. Artists routinely pay attention to small details.
As for dependability, who else shows up to work for little or no pay?!
If you want to be successful, you must channel these character traits.
You must use these powers of observation and pay attention to small details when you're entering competitions or submitting your work for consideration. Please have electronic images cropped and colors adjusted to best represent the artwork. Make Sure You Have High Resolution Images available.
Many calls for artwork will want high resolution (usually 300 dpi) images, so keep those versions handy. Every submission will not want this high resolution, pay attention and give them what they want.
Read the prospectus closely, pay attention to the requirements and make sure you dot your "i"s and cross your "T"s when you are putting the submission together. Label your images in the exact format requested and make sure your images comply with the specified DPI and size limitations.
Do they want a statement? A bio?
Curators and others receiving these submissions are very, very busy people and if part of your submission is missing, your submission will most likely be put to the side.
Use your powers of focus and follow through when you're making your submission make sure everything is accurate before you send it out for consideration.
4 learn to be a business person as well as an artist ...
Artists are an unusual lot, you already have a job ( or maybe two or three) and yet you are always looking for a job. You want representation, you want to sell your work. Treat every encounter like an interview. Network.
Invite curators and artists for studio visits, that will help shape an idea of where your market is.
Go to openings talk to gallery owners, make contact, make yourself known, do the footwork.
Whenever you find yourself in a gathering of artists and /or art professionals be prepared to:
- Introduce yourself within 60 seconds
- Ask individuals for introductions to your targeted audience.
- Share information you have to offer others in their search for artist opportunities
- Exchange business cards
You will reap benefits if people recommend you to curators and dealers.
5. Familiarize yourself with your rights...
Any person who contracts to represent you has fiduciary responsibility to you, they must be transparent in their dealings with you. Be careful, get everything in writing.
6. Apply via email...
When sending emails include a short value description of what work is about as well as images and information about the included images. A recommendation was made to include 4-5 images (10 is maximum number of images) in the body of the email. Make sure the included images are small. Don't show different themes, show a cohesive portfolio and include a link to your website.
7. Stay current, on developments in the art world...
Follow art blogs and websites such as Hyperallergic, and Artsy.
And a bonus... a book recommendation from Celene Ryan; ART/WORK: Everything You Need to Know (and Do) As You Pursue Your Art Career