How To Grow Your Professional Art Career

How To Grow Your Professional Art Career

Following My Own Advice
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The Best Advice and Resources for Growing Your Professional Art Career

First, you have to ask yourself these questions:

What are your goals?

What are you doing to achieve them?

What openings are happening in your area?

Are you going to them?

What free resources are available to you online?

Are you utilizing them?

What books can help you grow and establish yourself professionally?

Are you keeping yourself informed?

Is art a regular part of your day?

When was the last time you worked at your studio?

Are you exhibiting your work?

Are you taking the time to apply to exhibitions?


Now that you're being honest with yourself, here are some tools to help improve your work ethic and keep you informed on Chicago Art Happenings:


Chicago Artist Resource

An artist-curated directory of professional resources, job postings, and calls for artists. (Serving artists, writers, filmmakers, musicians, dancers and actors). Chicago Artist Resource (CAR) is the perfect place to find grants, fellowships, art-related jobs and exhibition opportunities. And using it is totally free!


ART/WORK

An overview of one of my favorite texts; ART/WORK:

"Everything you need to know (and do) as you pursue your art career." - This is text book is just that, the most comprehensive guide of its kind. It offers helpful advice to artists of every level from art school grads, mid-career artists, professional artists and other creative professionals. This book is the perfect tool to guide artists through the competitive art world and find success in their practice. Heather Darcy Bhandari, a gallery director, and Johnathan Melber, an arts lawyer, walk you through the important business end of being an artist so that you can essentially "act as your own manager and agent." From business basics like inventory and expense sheets, to preparing invoices; taking legal precautions like copyright and drafting consignment forms or utilizing social media as a promotional tool - this is the perfect handbook to tackle each important career decision, large or small. Perhaps one of the most unique assets to this text is the combined interviews of nearly one hundred curators, dealers and other arts professionals in cities across the country, offering valuable insights about what they expect from and look for in artists. "The book is full of their interesting anecdotes and advice." Following the advice in this book could easily be the key to success. (Seriously, buy it TODAY.)


American Alliance of Museums

American Alliance of Museums will change your life if you are a museum-goer and art enthusiast! This incredible membership is easy to apply for online with a one-time payment of $50 for students, and $100 for non-students. The museum card allows year-round access to nearly all art museums in the United States! It is an amazing deal, well-worth the $$$.


Bad At Sports

Bad At Sports is the Midwest's largest independent contemporary art podcast and blog. The podcast has included approximately 400 interviewees/co-conspirators including Kerry JamesMarshall, Jeff Wall, Larry Rinder, Peter Saul, Liam Gillick, Mary JaneJacob, Chris Ware, Tania Bruguera, Jeffrey Deitch, James Elkins, MegCranston, Carol Becker, and Polly Apfelbaum. Founded in 2005 by Duncan MacKenzie, Richard Holland, and Amanda Browder, Bad at Sports (B@S) now features over 20 principal collaborators and is a weekly podcast, a series of objects, events, and a daily blog produced in Chicago, San Francisco, Detroit and New York City that features artists and art worlders talking about art and the community that makes, reviews and participates in it.


It is a highly recommended podcast but may be inappropriate for children under 14, so please be aware of who is in the room while you enjoy this funny and informative podcast. The offshoot of Bad At Sports, Bad at Sports Center can also be found on iTunes and is the same great podcast without the crude commentary and cursing.


Recommended Blogs & Magazines

Follow these blogs for updates in the art world:

Hyperallergic

Juxtapoz

Hi-Fructose

Contemporary Art Daily

Other great resources include art magazines such as:

Art in America

Artforum

Frieze


Word Press / Wix

Do you have a website? Have you established a web presence? If the answer is no, now is the time to start! It's easy! Get your work out there with a website or blog. Word Press and Wix are both free easy to use website-builders. The beautiful templates are perfect for setting up an online presence. Once you have your site up and running, get networking with Wix Shout Outs, a simple and sleek newsletter you can share with all of your creative connections! Going one step further, I recommend making a business card for your new site - Moo.com is by far my favorite print source for the job!


The Visualist / Chicago Gallery News

These platforms are excellent for staying in the loop when it comes to Chicago gallery openings, artist talks, and special events. The Visualist is Chicago's very own visual art calendar, marking each week's biggest events and openings so you don't have to! Similarly, Chicago Gallery News is an excellent source for Chicago art gallery news, events and listings.

Here are some upcoming shows in this month to check out:

Saturday, July 1st:

  • Roots & Culture (Between the Sky and Earth Group Show curated by Sharmyn Cruz)

Friday, July 7th :

  • Rhona Hoffman Gallery (Anne Willson)
  • ACRE (Group Show) 1913 W. 17th St., 6-9 pm
  • Carrie Secrist Gallery (Amy Krouse Rosenthal, A Beauty Salon)

Thursday, July 13th:

  • Western Exhibitions (Group Exhibitions)
  • Rhona Hoffman (Martha Tuttle + Henry Chapman, Cimarron)
  • Shane Campbell (Natsuno Tobira) *Lincoln Park
  • Intuit (Henry Darger)
  • Zg Gallery (George Jacobsen)
  • Corbett vs. Dempsey (Shana Lutker, Nicola Tyson, Nicole Eisenman)
  • Shane Campbell (Yui Yaegashi) *South Loop
  • 65Grand (Autumn, Elizabeth Clark, David Kaiser, Harry Sidebotham, Erin Smego)

Saturday, July 29th:

  • LVL3 Gallery (Katie Bell, Hannah Carr, Jenn Smith)
  • ACRE (Group Show) 1345 W. 19th St.




These are the tools, now remember to ask yourself the important questions...

'Have I Worked Toward My Dream Today?'

For as long as I can remember, my dad would ask me "What have you done to work towards your dream today?" He would address this question to me as a pre-teen with high hopes of becoming a rockstar, then again as I grew older and more fond of poetry and art. He keeps a paper with this quote from, Alan Bean, Astronaut, (Apollo 12 and Skylab 2) on his desk:


"The most important quality I have noticed in successful people is that they have a dream. They want to be someone or something. They want to have something. They want to go somewhere.

They think and work toward that dream every day.

I often ask people who tell me their dream, 'What did you do today to move closer to your dream? Eighty-five percent didn't do anything. They are planning to do something next week; they're just too busy today. These eighty-five percent will probably never see their dream come true.

Ask yourself the same question - ' What have I done today to make my dream come true?' If the answer is nothing specific, then you will never make it unless you change your ways."


Equip yourself with these tools and get to work on your dream today!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Is it me or does it get 10 times more hot the minute you walk on to the quad?

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Is it fall yet?

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12 Not-So-Boujee Must Haves For Your First Home/Apartment, If You Want To Actually Survive

Broom > Swiffer. Trust me.

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Whether a college student or just moving into your first home or apartment, here is a list of things you probably didn't know you needed.

1. Shower Curtain Rod. 

In my furnished apartment, I was thinking the past tenant would have left this item. WRONG. Walmart is going to be your best bet for getting this, I went to at least three other stores first, and none of them had it so save yourself time and just go to Walmart.

2. Organizers. 

I was lucky enough to already have one. However, drawer organizers are so important. Not only do they save space for me in my apartment and on my desk, but it acts as my nightstand. Living on the fourth floor of my apartment, the last thing I wanted to do was haul a wooden nightstand up to my room. So get an organizer that has wheels, they usually have colored drawers so they can follow whatever color scheme you have going on.

3. Wall Decorations. 

I'm usually not one worried about decorating, but the walls will feel empty without even a cheap poster from Walmart or family photos. Something about decorating just really makes it feel more like home, than if you had just an empty room.

4. Oil Diffuser.

This was new to me. However, not only does my oil diffuser give a little extra light when it's on, but my room always smells amazing now, even if the rest of the house smells like food. Scentsy pots work too, but with the oil diffusers there's less mess and you can use oils similar to DoTerra for health and mood benefits.

5. Tinfoil. 

We all eat food. And let's be honest, college students are lazy and life is so much easier when you can just throw tinfoil on top of your dish and toss it in the fridge. Especially when you're in a hurry. Yes, that's also what Tupperware is for but you also can use it for cooking in the oven.

6. Rugs. 

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7. Lamps. 

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8. Dry Shampoo. 

This is less of a need for your home and more of a need for you. I have recently jumped on the dry shampoo trend and it's a life-saver. If you have a long night of studying or wake up late and don't have time to wash your hair, it's a great fix and easy way to keep from looking like you are losing your mind.

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12. Cooking Oil. 

Super easy to forget, but used more often than you think. Cooking oil is used for so many things, and if you have a kitchen, make sure you have it. Nothing is worse than having a meal planned and finding out you don't have cooking oil.

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