Hello! Welcome to my blog, “Left Brain Skills for Right Brained People”
I’m a Career & Life Coach for artists and other creative people. I’m based in the San Francisco Bay Area but work with artists throughout the U. S. and all over the world.
This is the fifth installment of my blog, where we’re reviewing a checklist of 10 behaviors that are characteristic of successful artists.
Use the checklist below to see how you’re doing.
Checklist for a Successful Art Career (26 KB)
Don’t worry—nobody does everything every day. The goal is to build more of these behaviors into your own life, whenever you can.
Let’s take a look at #5: “I use the art resources in my community.”
You may live in a small town or an urban center, or somewhere in between, but every artist needs to get connected to the world of art outside their studio. Such connections bring a wealth of resources: exhibition opportunities, juried shows, classes, critique groups, or just a place to hang out with other artists so that you don’t feel so isolated.
Your first step is to discover the resources in your own community. I am based in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I’m always surprised to discover how often local artists know very little about the resources available to them. Small museums, nonprofit art venues, community centers, libraries, colleges and universities all offer opportunities for artists.
Urban centers like New York present a different challenge: too many resources, too much going on all at the same time. If this is your situation, you may need a filtering device, like the New York Foundation for the Arts (www.nyfa.org), to help you find the opportunities that are right for you.
Maybe you live in a small town, nowhere near an urban center. As a native Californian who has also lived in small towns in the Midwest, I remember that the art resources were often located in churches, bookstores, libraries, schools and colleges. Many “emerging” artists have their first show in a café or bookstore or at a local church. Any venue that welcomes art and artists can be part of your community.
So your first step is a discovery process. Find a local resource in your community and GO there. Talk to people, find out what’s available to you. Ask: “what is the process for selecting artists?” At an art center or small museum, you might become a member for a small fee and eligible to enter “member shows.” Your local bookstore or library may have an art program. Sometimes, when it seems like nothing is accessible, artists start their own “nontraditional” spaces in apartment hallways or garages.
So, ask yourself: what are the resources in my community, and how can I use them to support my art career? Let me know what you find out.
In the next blog I’ll be talking about question #6 on the checklist, “I’m good at talking about my art.”
Mary Edwards, Ph.D.
Career & Life Coach for Artists