Beginning Artist

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by schwulboy1989, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. schwulboy1989

    schwulboy1989 Active Member

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    I am entering my Senior year in college to become a painter. I want to start getting my name and my work out there.

    Does anyone know a good way to start? Any good advice for shipping drawings/paintings? I have an Etsy account. I'm avoiding DeviantArt, though.

    What about having prints made. Is there a good way to go about that?

    If you can help me, or if you can direct me in the direction of someone who can, it would be much appreciated :)

    Thanks!
    -SB

    schwulboy1989@yahoo.com. "Beginning Artist" in the subject line.
     
  2. Bbucko

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    Why avoid DeviantArt? They're kind of a go-to destination.
     
  3. D_Tim McGnaw

    D_Tim McGnaw Account Disabled

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    I'd caveat my advice by saying I took a somewhat unorthodox route to becoming a credibly professional artist and that there's no one way to becoming successful. I know one thing for sure, there's no substitute for building a strong presence in the local art scene of where ever you live by exhibiting as much as you can and creating a good network of contacts among gallery owners, art dealers, and collectors. Making friends with art Journalists and writers is great, especially if you can get them to write about you and drop your name lots all over the place, as is getting yourself "seen" and building a public reputation. There's nothing like creating the impression that you're one of the newest (novelty is a powerful motivator for sales), most cutting edge, most fashionable young artists of your generation.

    A lot of the people I went to college with joined artist's collectives and did group shows, and many developed niche positions for themselves by appealing to specific kinds of art buyer. I know artists who went off to work as assistants to other more successful and established artists, and many (including me actually) went on to develop skills which college didn't offer classes in, such as using their creative skills in a commercial art and design context, or diversifying their core skills by learning a craft or adding other art strings to their bow. Becoming an apprentice or assistant to another more established artist or craftsperson can be a great way of developing a useful network of people who will help you to build your own career, as well as teaching you things college could never teach you.

    Mind you a lot of the people I went to college with still live on a few thousand euros a year.


    I know a lot of artists do good business by having an online outlet, but unless you're simultaneously building a public reputation your ability to command higher prices will be limited. There are PR agencies and Art agents who can help you with building a client base and managing how you publicise yourself, but you'll need to have done some of the initial buzz creation for yourself to attract their attention.

    Some artists simply do deals with Galleries, who then go on to do some of the work of publicising them and who will put on regular exhibitions of their work. I hear bad things about that, and since I've hardly ever exhibited I can't really offer much advice about that process.


    These are just some ways of approaching your career post college, I'm sure others will have a whole variety of other kinds of advice. I can't offer advice about the kind of shipping or reproduction you're asking about because I've never done things that way.

    The thing to remember is it is likely going to be tough for the next few years, maybe really really tough, because unless you're lucky or epically talented (though even that's no guarantee) you're going to have to work hard for fairly little reward until such time as your career picks up its own momentum and you begin to develop steady sales at good prices.


    I went to the best art college in the country, and of the people I attended with I'd say only half my year were still proper Artists, the other half have gone in to commercial forms of art and design or have become curators or simply went on to totally different fields altogether. Of the half who are still artists, half of those are penniless or live on the breadline, the remaining group were able to make a decent living and in some cases become very successful because they were incredibly ambitious and canny, most of this group (including me) recognised that the cloud of bullshit which surrounds art, all the "it's a calling" stuff, is a way that unsuccessful artists justify not making any money, and that the Art world is as much of a cut throat market as any other and that the basic principles which apply to any other area of economic endeavour also apply to Art.
     
    #3 D_Tim McGnaw, Jun 16, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2010
  4. Wish-4-8

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    Ask Dolfette. She is an artist. Very good too. You could find her in the Women's Issues section. But PLEASE be a gentleman.
     
  5. schwulboy1989

    schwulboy1989 Active Member

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    Deviant art supports a slightly different class of art than what I'm looking to sell. Deviant art tends to be more for fan art/emo art/anime/digital art/photography.

    Without trying to sound judgmental or critical, and for lack of a better way to put it, I want my work to be around more "high art" or "professional" art...
     
  6. schwulboy1989

    schwulboy1989 Active Member

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    I appreciate it :) And I assure you, I am always a gentleman.
     
  7. D_Portelay Porquesword

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    Best of luck with everything. Good thoughts to you as well.
     
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