Thank you for reading my post! How are things going with your art career? Are you excited about what’s happening or are you at a place right now that isn’t really igniting you? I would love to hear from you!
Through Art NXT Level and Sergio’s curatorial projects, we have the opportunity to meet tons of awesome artists. We have also the pleasure to meet gallery owners, exhibition/residency review committee members and curators. In our conversations with them, they have shared their personal observations and frankly, frustrations when dealing with some artists. But they’re not the only ones noticing these tendencies. We have also noticed a few habits among some artists that, we think, are really messing up their art career.
So, to help stop unproductive habits and promote pure awesomeness, I want to share with you 10 POWer tips when dealing with art professionals such as gallerists, review committee members and curators. By no means I am suggesting that all artists need to hear these tips. We have worked with quite a few artists that these tips are part of who they are… personally and professionally [more POWer to them!]. I simply want to shout out great habits that will lead to personal/professional growth and great relationships with art professionals.
In this week’s post, I’ll be covering 5 POWer tips. I’ll go over the other five next week. Can’t wait until next week? Picture a crowd chanting: “You can do it, you can do it!”
So, here they are…. (do I hear the drum rolling?) the first 5 POWer tips to becoming a remarkable artist:
1. Respect other people’s time. Always be on time for appointments and respond to emails promptly. If a gallerist or curator emails you, respond within a reasonable time frame. It’s been a few times that one of us emails an artist to request information and we hear back a week or two later. Other times, we don’t hear back from them at all. Not good! This gives a negative impression. Why would we want to work with an artist who cannot respond to a simple request promptly?
2. Respect deadlines! Want to give an awesome impression? Provide all requested material before the due date. Also, follow instructions for show requirements (e.g., professional framing, etc.). It’s really that simple!
3. Do not show up in a gallery to talk about your work without an appointment, especially during gallery openings – A while ago, I was in the process of closing a sale with a client. We were going back and forth about pricing and things were getting tough but hopeful. Suddenly, an artist walks into our gallery with her HUGE portfolio. She bumps into our conversation asking if I knew who the gallery owner was. I told her that I was the owner. She replied: “Great, do you have a minute to check out my artwork. I just moved my studio across the street and I bet you would love to represent me.” Although I fully appreciate her optimism, I didn’t appreciate the strategy she selected. Perhaps, her work was amazing (I will never know because I didn’t view her portfolio). In the meantime, my client was standing there in shock due to the intrusive situation. Yes, I made the sale but I did not view her portfolio. If she had taken the time to call ahead to make an appointment, the end of this story would have been completely different and possibly amazing. We’ll never know…
4. Dress properly when approaching a gallery – first impressions are important! (e.g., body smells or too much fragrance/perfume are not pleasant!). I know that some artists have their own preferred style and love making fashion statements. That’s ok. I am always encouraging uniqueness and authenticity. As a matter of fact, our 10-years old daughter has been mix-matching her shoes since she was five. In one foot she wears a black sandal and on the other a silver sandal (see pic below). You will <almost> never see her wearing the same color shoes and we love that about her. However, when she was invited by my youngest sister to be the flower girl for her wedding, she wore the same shoes for that occasion. That situation didn’t change her style or personality at all, but she wore the same shoes during the wedding out of respect. So, consider dressing properly when approaching a gallery or curator.
5. Present yourself professionally – chewing gum, dancing around, singing or humming while you’re waiting are not professional behaviors. You will not be taken seriously! Going along with #4, first impressions are priceless! And, yes, we have had artists showing these behaviors during meetings with us!
Here they are, my first 5 POWer tips for those who are serious about their art career.
By no means I am saying that you have to change who you are to succeed. No way Jose! I am simply suggesting a few ideas so you can portray yourself professionally hence give a powerful impression. Like in any career, professionalism and responsibility are expected in the art world, especially from those who are taking their art career to the next level!
Keep an eye on POWer tips 6-10 coming up next week!
So, what are your thoughts on this week’s topic? Do you think that the art career should have professional expectations like other careers? Leave a comment below.
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As always, artists who maintain an optimal wholeness balance (Mind, Body, Soul) will be ahead of the game!
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