Networking for Art Career Success: Contacts, Connections, Clout

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Art Career Success

Some seeds have wings to travel on the wind; some have stickers for hitching a ride on animal fur or human clothing. The seeds of human genius happen to travel by a system of personal contacts. Why sit around bemoaning that fact when you can put it to use for you?

Have you thought about how important networking is for your art career success?  Are you using the “clout” of your art world connections for your art career success?

If you’ve been reading my blog posts or if you purchased my eBook Secrets to Selling Art, it should be getting very clear by now that the most important resource people can offer each other is other people.

And it’s never more important than when your goal is to get in through the door of a closed professional art world.

Not all goals require clout.  But the mainstream art establishment does, and your network can help you get it.

I’m sure you’ve heard those conversations about how hard it is to get a good job in business–or to get into medical school, or get a movie part, or get published, or get reviewed–that end with an angry sigh:  “It isn’t how good you are. It’s who you know.”

Damn right it is!

Some seeds have wings to travel on the wind; some have stickers for hitching a ride on animal fur or human clothing. The seeds of human genius happen to travel by a system of personal contacts.

Why sit around bemoaning that fact when you can put it to use for you?

Art Career Success:  “Joe Sent Me”

I’m not saying that how good you are isn’t important  It is.  It just isn’t enough.  Talent or merit alone will rarely get you past the smiling receptionist, the protective secretary, the wary agent, the routine hiring or admissions screening.

A personal introduction to someone on the inside will. And that’s not because art gallery directors and owners are “corrupt.”  It’s because they’re human.  Like you, they tend to be a little suspicious of total strangers, but happy to meet anyone bearing the seal of approval of a respected colleague or a trusted friend.

Personal introductions are the strength of the old-boy network.  And by drawing on your own network, you should never have to walk into a job interview, publisher’s office, art gallery director’s office, or record company cold.

At the very least, you’ll go in with the name of a common acquaintance; at best, you can have an introductory phone call precede you.

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  1. This is SO important and I wish more artists that ask about getting started or getting their foot in the door would read and follow this advice. In the past year I’ve dedicated myself to becoming familiar with the art scene in Houston and I’m kicking myself for not having done it sooner. There’s so much more to do though as far as researching the right galleries, organizations and finding my niche and my new goal is to get out there even more. There are events going on here every weekend and I intend to immerse myself more. I do like how I run into people in scene now and how my name is getting out there just from attending events and getting involved.

    Thank you!!!

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