Sunday, December 12, 2010
Success For An Artist: A Two Way Street
I recently entered an online call to artists for photos by a well known magazine and was surprised to see a posted comment where an "artist" asked "what is in this for me?" One of the ways that new artists can ruin their career before it starts is by failing to do their homework and viewing themselves as a "famous" artists when they have no credentials. Any other artist, established or emerging, would have been thrilled with this potential opportunity to have photos in this magazine. In addition, there were no entry fees and it took about 30 seconds or less to enter the competition. This person came across as looking unprofessional and unprepared.
I have stressed that if you wish to be a professional artist, you do not give away your time and art for free, and you should never let anyone make unreasonable demands on your time. However, when potential opportunities arise that are implicitly high visibility with no costs and a few seconds of work, you need to reevaluate your attitude as to what your role is here as well.
Likewise when opportunities arise to be in an art related book by well known publishers, your role should not end once your photos are accepted and the book is published. I am in a recently published book on art glass yet I have seen only a handful of artists in the book even bother to list this event on their artist websites. In my situation, I not only listed this new book on my blog and artist website, I provided multiple links from sources where it could be ordered. I also emailed the information on this book to my contact list and promoted it in a number of social media forums (facebook, linkedin, etc). If you have your art work featured in a book that does well, you benefit as an artist. Your name does not need to be on the book as a publisher or author in order to take some responsibility for advertising the book. Artists who turn around and complain that being in a book did nothing for them have no one other than themselves to blame if they have not done any work to promote the book.