I swear I feel like I spend every morning applying for a new opportunity. I actually schedule two mornings a week, just to look for and apply to art shows, galleries, and opportunities, that I am interested in. By putting yourself out there, you gain more opportunities, more eyes on your artwork. Sure I am not a fan of writing up emails and proposals, but once you’ve done it a number of times, you begin to learn what works and what doesn’t and it gets much easier. A part of me wishes I could just use all of my time to create art. But then I’d just be isolated in my studio, creating and hoarding my artwork, not sharing it with anyone. It’s important as an artist to get out there, do shows, and get feedback. Otherwise, you’d be creating in a vacuum. Sharing the art, being able to talk about it and explain it is an essential part of the process. It connects me to people who really deeply appreciate what I am creating and the meaning behind it. It also in some ways lets me learn more about myself, through speaking with others about their interpretations. The time spent applying to opportunities you want, is worth it. You’d never know if you’d be accepted if you didn’t try.
I just recently read the book “Share your Work” by Austin Kleon. I was a huge fan of his previous book “ so when I found this book, I had to give it a read. It’s a quick easy read, chock full of actionable things any creative can do, to connect with, and find their audience. I highly recommend it if you are a creative, who is “hoping to be discovered”.
That leads me full circle to my original statement of how I spend every morning applying for a new opportunity. I do this because I want to get a jumpstart on being discovered. Opportunities however are just one way. I also spend time connecting with and finding my audience at shows, openings and events. I, as Austin Kleon suggests, show my work via my Facebook Livestream, Twitch, Instagram, and via emails. I show videos of my process, I talk to people about where my concepts come from. I create collectors manuscripts which is a book, only shared with the owner of one of my original paintings. These book detail the entire process through which that piece of artwork came to life. More on that later...
What I am stressing here is that, in reality it that it takes work. Ask any successful creative, or famous person, and 80% of them will tell you that they spent years trying to break into their industry. They weren’t sitting at home wishing they could do stand up, write a book, or be the next Warhol. They set their goal, and spent the time to make it happen. If you love it, and are truly passionate about your goal, make it a priority. Get up and go do it. Break it up into small steps, create a plan, and always "SHARE YOUR WORK". Then put yourself out there when you are ready and expect rejection, it’s the not giving up when rejected, the people who keep pushing, keep tweeking and perfecting. Make your own path!
Turn the disappointment and anger from rejection into energy that fuels you even further towards the next opportunity.
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