Working in the art world is great, but let’s be real, most outsiders do not have a clue what we do. The art world is seen as glamorous and easy, but that’s far from the truth. It takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to land yourself in this game, so make sure you own it from the start. The next time you are out on the town with a romantic other, be sure they know exactly what you do, and why it’s so impressive. Now, I know this is all easier said than done, so we’re here to help you impress on your next date!
Most people think being an artist means sitting around in a studio all day and playing around with paint and crayons, and while this may be partly true, there’s a lot more to it than that. Make sure you stress the importance of marketing yourself, meeting with clients and galleries. For most of the time, you’re working alone, and most people aren’t brave enough to even contemplate that!
Beyond sitting in a gallery all day looking pretty, gallerists have pretty big jobs. Firstly, a gallery has to work with and promote artists by selling their work, but also cultivate relationships with clients and buyers. Being a gallerist is basically being an entrepreneur, running your own business: it’s like running a museum, but for profit.
The Art PR
“Reputation management.” As an art PR, your job is to make your clients look good, something which involves preparing them for openings and events, as well as securing loads of press. Art PR’s are generally social butterflies, so let your date know that you’ll always be able to snag your way into the latest openings through your job.
The Art Writer
Frame yourself as a journalist who specialises in the art world. Make sure to stress that your work does not just involve gallery-hopping and writing about it on your blog. Art writing also includes interviewing and interacting with artists, pitching stories and reporting on all sorts of topics from the art market to art history.
The Art Advisor
While art advisors do help their clients spend their money, this is a very minimalistic view. Art advisors help make investments, often creating collecting strategies with ultra high net worth individuals. This involves researching the market, building connections with artists and galleries, and always being one step ahead of the game. Top tip: compare yourself to an investment manager, it will be sure to impress.
Why not start by explaining that the word “curator” comes from the Latin word “to care.” It will remind your date that curators have been around for centuries, and it is not just a millennial fashion trend. Your job is to take care of artists and exhibitions, as well as to help artists develop their work.
The Auction Specialist
Auction specialists follow the art market. They are also well versed in the history of a very focused area of art, researching, appraising and cataloguing the art works they work with. Ultimately becoming the go-to people in the areas in which they work.
Text Lizzy Vartanian