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Sunday, November 29, 2009

What they didn't tell me in art school.

A few thoughts about being an artist....or what they didn't tell me in art school.

First of all, most people don't really get what kind of time, money, sweat, and energy goes into being a full-time artist.
It's the same as having your own business....you don't start making money until you have been going at it non-stop for a while, more likely a few years or more. However, it's different in that you probably have at least one or two other jobs, a part-time gig or three--something to keep you in art supplies and show fees. You see, it's costs money to be an artist even if you don't sell the work right away.

Then after a lot of legwork, you might start getting some recognition, make a few sales here and there, get into shows. It's all about the resume and the big milestone: getting into a real gallery and making a name for yourself.

So ultimately it's still all about the work.

Getting into your studio and making the art. Marketing. Spending money to make art that you may not sell for a year....or five. Or longer.
And don't forget coming up with new ideas, new angles, new ways to get yourself out there: websites, blogs, e-mail marketing, printed postcards, social networking sites, taking workshops and classes to keep up with the art world and learn new techniques, traveling for inspiration, going to openings, museum shows, getting on mailing lists, scouring art show websites for more shows to enter, looking for internships, talking to galleries and coffee shops so you can show your work somewhere, networking with other artists....it's endless. There are seasons for doing all of these things, busy times, slower times, deadlines, planning, loaning work, pricing, burning CDs, sending images, working in Photoshop for hours getting those art images just right for the next show entry.


Just like any other job.

And, unlike other areas of the country I have lived before, southern Arizona has an art season: generally September or October thru March or April.   It coincides with the tourist season, which is based on the weather. Which makes perfect sense here.
And Summer? That's for travel and taking those art courses and workshops.

So, tomorrow, it's back into the studio 'cause I got more shows coming up!
Ciao,
reb

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