Thursday, March 08, 2007

Your Gallery

As I've mentioned before, I've been out of the art scene for a few years, due to dealing with depression and a mental block imposed upon me during a bad job experience that went on way too long. So this may be old news but I just read about a feature of the Saatchi Gallery's website called Your Gallery in this month's issue of Artnews.

It's a way for artists from around the world to talk and share art and for dealers and collectors to see an artist's work.

It is similar to Deviantart in the respect that it allows you to network with other artists but it differs since it only allows you to show a limited group of art. I believe that this will weed out any but serious artists, or I should say artists interested in showing in galleries and shows. Where as Deviantart is more community based and showing something on Deviantart seems to be the ultimate outcome.

This looks like a great way to get things started and I can't wait to see what happens.

An artist's worst enemy and best friend is marketing. To get known as an artist you have to market yourself and your work but as an artist you would rather be creating than marketing and so you feel that it takes away from your art.

To become a known artist you have to work hard at promoting yourself (or if you're lucky you happen to be in the right place at the right time). This involves keeping up with the latest art news, researching upcoming shows, making and keeping an up to date portfolio, networking, print and online promotions, phone calls, keeping abreast of legal issues, bookkeeping, sending out examples of work, dealing with acceptance and rejection letters, coordinating shipments of art to the various shows and galleries, giving interviews, and anything else that may come along.

And I haven't even mentioned taking time to think about art, waiting for inspiration, gathering supplies, setting up whatever logistics and technical help you need, actually making the art and whatever odds and ends that I've forgotten to mention.

Oh, and on top of all of this, hold down a full time job, and if you have a family, take care of them.

There is no off time for a self promoting artist.

There's a story that I like to give as an example of the struggles of the artist. One day a man was walking down the hall of a university and he happened to be walking by an art class with an open door. He overheard several art students complaining about how hard it was to do the project assigned to them. And then he overheard the teacher's reply.

"What do you think this is? Brain surgery?"

An artist's job is hard, not because he has to memorize a set of instructions on how to get down a particular path, but because there is no path.

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