Stupid Artist Goes to College

 Recently I have had several of my peers ask how I'm still making a living as an artist when they constantly struggle with everything they attempt? I ask them if they are maintaining a public accessible presence? And the reply is always, "What does that mean?" Many artists set out to make a presence and commit to contacting galleries, building a website, starting a blog, doing a workshop, etc. The problem is that they don't follow up. Usually this is because we live in a world of instant gratification and the payoff isn't quick enough. The issue with this is, progress takes time! Just because you don't see immediate results doesn't mean it's not working. If you set up a blog and no one responds, it doesn't mean it's not being read. Do you know how to use Google Analytics? Do some research and see how to work this angle A lot of artists submit work to a few galleries and get mad or give up because they haven't got a response in a few weeks, that doesn't mean the gallery is not interested. If you are contacting galleries, do your research. Don't send abstract work to landscape galleries and follow submission guidelines for each gallery. If the gallery wants photos first, don't include a cover page. They will assume that if you can't follow the guidelines then you aren't the artist for them. Others have a great idea for a workshop but never get past proposing it. Others set up a website but don't maintain it and wonder why no one returns to it. The artist who says "I have a website" to potential clients but hasn't looked at it themselves in a year shouldn't wonder why they didn't get hired.  If you are working on a website, commit to only one page at a time. Otherwise you will get scattered and will get nothing done. Prioritize! Building a fan base is hard work. So to address these problems, follow up on whatever project you have chosen this week! Maintaining all of the above on top of the daily stresses of being an artist can be overwhelming. First of all, commit to one project at a time. Multiple lists lead to multiple complications.  Following other people in your industry is always a good idea. And don't be afraid to ask for advice. Utilize your resources. What's important here is pay attention to what you are doing. If the commercial isn't interesting to you, it won't be interesting to anyone else. Sell yourself as you would be sold. Now quit wasting time and go get on it!

photo by Ian Curcio