When it comes to finding work as an emerging artist, there are few more challenging industries than the art world. Competition is high and your success is often dictated by luck and connections. Unless you’re lucky enough to be a natural fit for this niche community, staying competitive requires proactive and sustained effort. Fortunately, staying ahead of the curve doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Even if you don’t have the time or money to invest in professional development workshops, these pro tips offered by NYC virtual artist Corey S Ribotsky will help you stay on top of your game in the long-term.
Keep learning and pushing yourself
Artists are often the first to admit that they don’t know enough. It’s easy to fall into a comfort zone, complacent with the status quo. But the best artists are constantly expanding their professional boundaries. Whether you’re self-taught or you’ve studied at a university or professional art institute, find places to learn and grow. Keep an open mind about where you fit in the market and be prepared to try new things. If you’re stuck in a rut, take a step back and explore ways to widen your approach. That way, Corey S Ribotsky explains, you’ll be more likely to find new avenues of creative expression.
Network, network, network!
When you’re just starting out, networking is the most important skill you can cultivate. Fortunately, it’s also one of the easiest. Networking is a two-way street – you have to give as well as take. At every opportunity, introduce yourself to other artists and build relationships with those who may have something useful to offer you. If you’re showing art, find out if there are any other local artists who would like to show with you. If you’re an educator, see if there are other local educators who would like to join your classes or workshops. Even if there’s not a direct connection, you can still offer your friends and colleagues a helping hand. It could be as simple as offering to put posters up or help out with marketing materials. Every little bit counts in the art world and it doesn’t take much effort to brighten someone’s day.
Be mobile and responsive
Being location-independent doesn’t mean that you only produce work for a select group of audiences. You can expand your reach in a number of ways. One effective way to do this is to set up a studio in different locations. If you’re based in one city, it may be easy to stay in your comfort zone. But, if you’re mobile, you’ll have the chance to explore other parts of the country and even the world. You can also choose to establish a presence in another city or country by renting a space or purchasing a gallery or studio. If you choose to make this change, make sure that you can do so with ease. Consider your location, resources and potential audiences before making this decision.
Show your work – in all formats
Finally, one of the best ways to stay on top of your game is to consistently show your work. This may seem like common sense, but according to contemporary painter Corey S Ribotsky, it’s also one of the most neglected aspects of professional development. Make it a priority to enter exhibitions, sell work online and participate in online art events. In doing so, you’ll give yourself the opportunity to represent your work in a visual way. This will help you to develop your portfolio and remain visible to future employers and audiences.
Hold regular art events
While it’s important to regularly show your work and use social media platforms to promote your work, you also need to find ways to give back to the community. The best way to do this is through regular community events, such as art openings and workshops. These events provide an opportunity for you to meet other artists and offer your help or resources for free. It’s also helpful to build relationships with other artists through these events. Remember, many of these people will be your future clients and collaborators.
It can be challenging to stay competitive in the art world, but it can be done. Success is often down to good fortune, but there are steps you can take to reduce the risk. A good way to get ahead in this competitive world is to keep learning, network, be mobile and show your work. This will help you stay competitive in the long term.