How many of our parents sighed when we told them we wanted to work in art? Who can remember the look on their faces when their dreams of their child becoming a doctors or a lawyer were smashed in seconds? Well, we have something to say to them. You can be a lawyer and work with art. You can be a businesswoman and work with art. And you can most definitely use your talent for languages, or your gift with words to work with art. The art world is more than just museums and galleries (but please, don’t get us wrong, we love museums and galleries too), there are so many routes you can take (and you can also change your mind mid-way and veer off in another direction too – if that’s your thing).
To help you in convincing your parents that going into the arts is a good idea, we’ve rounded up a list of #girlboss women from across the industry, covering everything from conservation to journalism (with a little bit of art dealing in between), and asked them how they would describe what they do to those who are less-well informed about their careers. So, without further ado, let us introduce you to your new role-models:
“Writing about the inner workings of the art world – from artists and exhibitions – to fairs and the market – and how they relate to events and politics happening internationally. OR fixing what someone else wrote about it…” – Aimee Dawson, Journalist and Assistant Editor at The Art Newspaper (@amldawson)
“It’s not technically a type of law but a lawyer who has a lot of experiences of legal issues facing the art world” – Rosie Burbidge, IP Lawyer to the creative industries (@rosieburbidge)
Art & Archaeological Conservator
“Basically, a doctor for heritage objects. We use chemistry to restore art, detect forgeries, and preserve archaeological ruins/finds.” – Amanda Imai, Art and Archaeological Conservator (@curatorialchronicles)
Art and Vintage Furniture Dealer
“I represent both emerging and mid career contemporary artists, who are considered with respect and esteem by their peers and have a growing collector base. These artists are exhibited at The Dot Project. I also source vintage and handcrafted homeware and furniture that we sell at The Edition 94, each piece has a unique story to tell.” – India Whalley, Director The Dot Project and The Edition 94 (@indiawhalley)
“Professional translator, subtitler and interpreter specialized in culture, I help art institutions captivate more people with outstanding and seamless multilingual content.” – Luna Jungblut, Founder Artlife Translations (@artlifetranslations)
“I would say my job ranges from educating clients particularly new clients, helping to focus their interest, and providing access to the best quality artworks within a given budget. When you’re using an art advisor, you’re acquiring a great resource of knowledge that’s been cultivated over years of looking at art, analysing auction sales, and understanding the inner workings of the market.
I also help my clients by introducing them to artists, dealers, and other experts. Ultimately an advisor adds value by the ability to distinguish a great work of art over an okay work of art by the same artist, and being able to look outside of trends and identify areas of interest and quality that perhaps aren’t obvious ones. At the same time though, I would always encourage my clients to ‘buy what you love!’” – Nina Moaddel, Art Advisor (@ninamoaddel)
“I work at a multidisciplinary firm that specializes in the planning and design of museums, exhibits and educational environments. In short, we help to plan and create visitor attractions. My role as a Content Coordinator is incredibly varied and depends on the size and nature of each project and what different clients require. One day I could be researching artefacts in a collection and writing interpretive text or clearing permissions to use pictures in an exhibition. Other days I might be mucking in on a pitch for a new museum so you’re never bored! The Content Team work closely with 3D and 2D designers on most projects, often acting as the bridge between the design work and overall project requirements. We will also collaborate with curators, architects, AV and media producers, lighting designers and many other specialists on bigger projects so you are constantly learning from other teams and sharing knowledge and skills.” – Charlotte Stevens, Ralph Appelbaum Associates (@charlotteirs)
Words by Lizzy Vartanian