As an artist, here are some things I have learned over the years that may help you.
1) Don’t waste your money on entry fees. A show is not worth it if you are paying 30 bucks just for them to see your images. I will submit my work to a call for entry only if it is 15 bucks or under and only if the work matches what they are looking for. Pay only if it is worth it, otherwise don’t waste your time and money.
2) Apply when galleries have open calls. These are sometimes the best opportunities for you to have someone out there look at your work. And they are free. Again, make sure your materials are easy to view and exactly what they ask for - art people are very particular.
3) Go to gallery openings and schmooze. Make friends with people there. You will meet other artists, prospective buyers of your work, and gallery folk. Start making connections.
4) Get a website that works. Very eye-catching and easy to navigate. They will decide within a minute if they like your work based on it, and will possibly contact you. Make sure you have a contact link.
5) Apply for residencies. Some of them cost money, others are free. Some are two weeks, some are many months. These places could be in Wyoming or New York City. They are think tanks of creativity in which you may swim around with other art fish. You will meet other artists from all around the globe and you will become good friends and maintain your connections and even participate in future collaborations with them. Again, networking.
6) Don’t give up. Keep working. I often get discouraged and swamped with trying to put my work out there, applying to shows, residencies, etc. But the important thing to remember is to keeping making art. Don’t stop or slow down. You’re in it for the reason of making art. Number one. Don’t forget.
- Kara Dunne