Two months of quarantine was a big challenge for many contemporary artists, due to the impossibility of showing their work and meeting gatekeepers and the lack of income.
Here are 4 tips to keep moving forward in theses challenging times:
1. Work work work!
It is very important to have rigour and discipline, and to keep practicing all the time. Through the routine and constant creation of new works, you can improve yourself, your technique and your style. If you are satisfied after finishing one work, don’t stop there! You should always keep on going and do better. At all times, you need to have a full body of work ready to be presented to a collector, a gallerist, curator or journalist. Don’t worry about filling your studio with tons of works, the more the better. If a gallerist is interested in your work, it will have more strength if there are 20-30 pieces at least to fully show your universe. Plus he won’t be able to exhibit your work if there is nothing to show. And he needs to be able to select the best works. Be ready to create new pieces if asked.
2. Polish your instagram
Collectors and gallerists love hunting for new talent on instagram, nothing new there. Take a look at your profile and remove the old school project pictures you are not proud of anymore. Take good photographs or your work, show your latest creations and give insight on how and where you work. Instagram is your best window so show off with the best content you can, new opportunities might come out of it. Galleries love to represent artists that have a great social media presence.
3. Strengthen your community
Find like-minded artists, people that inspire you and have conversations with them! Together, you can come up with new creative ideas, share your insights and your pain points, and organize webinars or live conversations on instagram. It is nice to know you are not the only one to struggle, and there are a lot of people like you out there.
4. Apply for residencies, grants and awards
Until an art angel comes to your rescue and takes you under its wings (a gallerist, an art critic or a curator) you have to create your own opportunities. While at the moment, there are not many opportunities to physically show your work to the public, there are many open-calls for future residencies, artist grants and awards. You can find them in the network of your art school and there are also national and institutional open calls. Websites such as transartists.org artrabbit.com or artconnect.com are great resources to be up-to-date with the deadlines. For funding you can check out the different programs offered by the European Union: i-Portunus, the Erasmus+ funding program and the Funding & Tender Opportunities Portal.
Text by Thaïs Giordano
Image via extinguishburnout.com