Welcome to the Wild West

One of the best things going on for me this semester are the opportunities to sit and listen to artists and knowledgable folks who know so much about the art world and about how to market oneself in the art world.

This month I was able to listen and to absorb some wonderful tips and hints from future exhibitions director for the Carnegie in Covington and current director of Visionaries and VoicesMatt Distel,  art director for the City of Covington Cate Yellig, and artists/educator Cedric Michael Cox.

Matt Distel
Matt Distel

From Matt Distel on developing relationships with galleries and curators:

  • develop a relationship/friendship with a gallery by showing up to several openings, staying present, casually talking about work (eventually).
  • know what the gallery does and look at how your work “fits” with the scope of what a gallery represents
  • don’t ask “how do I get a show?” Be professional.
  • form letters get you no where
  • the art world is like the Wild West
    -contracts/agreement vary from gallery to gallery
    -handshakes, verbal agreements, formal contracts are all valid
Cate Yellig
Cate Yellig

From Cate Yellig on networking and drawing interest to your work:

  • be proactive in the community
  • go to gallery openings
  • volunteer and work for non-profits in the arts
  • join young professional organizations (Futurecraft)
  • ask yourself “Why would someone be interested in your work?” and then create press release
    -this will help in not only creating ready-to-go text on your work that you can send out for your shows but will help in your ability to talk about your work
  • think of yourself like a marketable business
Cedric Michael Cox
Cedric Michael Cox

From Cedric Michael Cox on putting yourself out there as an artist and encouraging words:

  • “the more personal your work becomes the more universal it becomes”
  • get involved with any and every opportunity you can and hope that is pans out in the long-run…start somewhere
  • surround yourself with people who you deem successful, who have “it”, who can show you how to have “it”
  • be direct, be humble, be honest, and let things go naturally
  • value the people you are doing things with–maintain your relationships and don’t burn bridges
  • The key is to believe in yourself and in what you do
  • what galleries do you want to show in and look at the artists in those galleries’ stable
  • art in the studio= art
  • art outside of the studio= business
  • try to remember that it takes time and learn from everything good and bad
  • to be a good visual artist you need to be inclusive with your thoughts, willing to share, and willing to bring that language to everyone

2 thoughts on “ Welcome to the Wild West: Great Advice for New Artists ”

  1. Love the info from Cedric Michael Cox. It was very nice to meet you today, Sam! Thanks for visiting my studio here at Miami and feel free to contact me at any time! If you need help, want to collab, or bounce some ideas around, I’m always up for something new! Even if you don’t join us over here, which I hope you do. 🙂

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