NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK
How to Get Yourself Out There as an Artist: Art Openings
So when you are just starting out, how do you get yourself out there as an artist? Art openings, and not just your own, are a great way to get yourself out there as an artist. This is one of the simple, but smart ideas I gleaned from Reach Acting Director and Curator Laura Schneider at her recent workshop titled How to Market Your Portfolio to Galleries & Curators. I had my “Aha!” moment when Schneider talked about the importance of not being an art diva or a lone wolf. She said one of the great ways to get yourself know is to become part of the art community and one way to do that is to actively attend art openings.
Lone Wolf No More
I realized that I have been living my artist life more as a lone wolf. I’ve attended my own art openings, and I do regularly visit art galleries wherever I am – but I have not attended anyone else’s art opening. This is not because I want to be an art diva, but rather some part of me did not want to feel like that uninvited guest that crashes a party – to be the only one who knows no one. I’ve moved around a lot and your priorities shift when you have kids, so art has become something I try to squash into an already jam-packed schedule.
Art to Express Yourself…and You Need to Network
I create art as part of process of expressing myself, that’s why I do it. It’s cathartic and over the years I have now created a plethora of paintings, sketches, sculptures, etc. But if I want to get to the next stage as an artist, I can’t just horde all my work in my basement acting like Gollum in Lord of the Rings muttering “my precious.” I need to get out there. So I took Schneider’s advice, and went online to figure out when the next art opening was happening and marked it on my calendar.
Local Art Community
Schneider reassured me that it can seem intimidating to go to an art opening, but that it’s worth the effort. She said if you go regularly you will get to know the other artists in your community and then you will eventually become part of it. From going to her original talk, I had chatted with a few other artists. And lo and behold, I went to the art gallery opening and saw one of them there. I knew one person! Then I bumped into someone from the Art and Wine walk, chatted with vendors and talked with the curators of both of the local art galleries. From admiring a great array of artwork, enjoying snacks and a having an overall fun evening out – my first time out for an art opening was definitely a success. I’m looking forward to the next one.