Advice For Artists

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Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you are successful.

Making sure that you are constantly looking, learning and improving your skills as an artist (and that includes keeping up to date with technology) will ensure you are working to your potential.

Visibility has always been crucial for artists, notably in terms of getting their work out to galleries. Today, with the Internet, resourceful artists can get their work noticed by creating websites or establishing a presence in online communities. These serve as a virtual portfolio.

Building a website and creating professional marketing materials is imperative because it tells people you're serious. Your website should look and feel like you and your art. Make postcards for your exhibitions, have business cards, and anticipate what works and what does not. At the start, you can do research and experiment to find out more about this. Also you should write an up to date biography or C.V. with full information about yourself and your goals.

Although it may seem obvious, artists should be able to explain their work. Writing about your art is very important. It lets people know what you do, who you are, and why you do it. A good impression will go a long way.

Showing your work or having people in your studio can be a major stress for some artists. You need to prepare yourself emotionally, as well as prepare your studio visually, for a lay person to be able to absorb what your work is about. Be prepared to talk about your work in an intelligent way. Be able to note your major influences, the sources of your imagery, and discuss your particular medium. Be ready to answer questions about your technique. Have a clear understanding of where you fit into the current contemporary art market and the role of your work in an art historical context.

Keep abreast of the galleries and stores that might carry your work and try to forge a relationship with those gatekeepers. The best way to begin is for your work to appear in an established art gallery, a gallery with traditions and experience.

Once you've had a look around, narrow your target list down to those galleries that you feel relate to your work, and would be a good fit for you both stylistically and as a match for your career level. If you know other artists who are represented by the gallery, invite them to your studio to see your work. If you don't know an artist represented by the gallery, you're left with the option of calling the gallery cold to request an appointment to meet with the gallery director and discuss your work.

Be sure not to select many works (you should choose the most representative); no work that is unfinished; nothing that is longer representative of your current style; not properly labeled; or otherwise unavailable.

For participation in collective or solo exhibitions you should have starting capital, because the gallery will often provide a PR campaign for it: press releases, postcards, targeted client presentations, online announcements and more, all of which may require money. If the gallery is not willing to take on the role of advertising, you may have to engage in these activities yourself.

Finally, be persistent. If you love what you are doing and keep at it, then you are bound to be always improving.

Contemporary art paintings for sale by Agora Gallery, online art gallery for the selling and buying of contemporary fine art.

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