Step Six: Networking as an Artist
Valerie Atkisson | ArtBistro
Careers are built on networks. Your network consists of your classmates, teachers, family, friends, and mentors. These are people that support you and want you to succeed. Ask them if they know of any artistic opportunities for you. Build your network.
Who Is Doing What You Want to Do?
Do your research. Meet people who are doing what you want to be doing. Meet them at a recommendation of a friend, at ArtBistro, at a social or networking event (openings, conferences etc.), and parties.
Make Your Statement
You never know when the opportunity to make a new connection will present itself, so it’s a good idea to craft an elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a brief statement summarizing yourself, and should take at most 30 seconds to say. It should sum up your career goals, artistic vision, and basically sell your abilities.
Experiment with these and find the most effective ways of presenting yourself in different situations. Memorize it so you can pitch it on the go to people you meet in any place, be it at a cafe down the street, or while you’re riding up the elevator.
Ask people how they got where they are and express your interest in their work by asking if you can see more. Keep in touch with the people you meet by getting their business card. And don’t forget to give them a card in return with your contact information on it.
If it seems appropriate, invite them for a studio visit or set up a time to show them your portfolio. Be sure to follow up with an invitation via email. It should go without saying that as an artist you should have a well-designed business card reflective of your artistic style.