Wednesday, September 16, 2015

My 12 step program to new graduates

I was recently asked to give some advice to new art graduates. It was fun to do and I thought that I would post that advice here.

  1.  Build your credentials as an artist by getting into exhibitions, entering competitions, or applying for fellowships – but don’t take rejection personally. Keep submitting.
  2. Start your email list while you are in school. Maintain it regularly.
  3. Maintain your website and/or blog regularly. If you haven’t posted on your blog in two months, close it out. Update images and your copyright year should be current.
  4. Maintain your resume regularly. Keep a record of all your exhibition cards, posters and reviews in a binder for your reference.
  5. Set up a studio hours like a job. Never call out sick from your studio hours. Invite people for a studio visit
  6. Remember people’s names and be gracious! When someone likes your art or meet a curator/fellow artist, follow up with a “nice to meet you” email or note card within a couple of days. The art world is small so be nice.
  7. Treat your art with respect. Use good mats, frames, wrap it professionally when it’s delivered to a show. Take pride in your work. 
  8. Hire someone to take professional images of your work. This is especially important when you have a solo or small (2-3) group show. Take pictures of people looking at your work.
  9. Decide on your vision for yourself and commit to making it happen by writing it down. It may take months or years – but figure out - ask yourself: where do you want to be in one year, five years, and ten years.
  10. Don’t make excuses for not having time or being too busy. Just make the priority for your artwork. Everyone only has 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  11. See as much artwork as possible – museums, galleries, and local co-ops. Go to your artist colleagues’ openings often and regularly.
  12. Don’t be financially illiterate. Develop a budget and build up a cash reserve – develop your money management skills. Being stupid with money is still being stupid.

1 comment:

  1. Love the advice list, and it applies to emerging artists of any age as well as new graduates. thanks!