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 next installment of my blog, where we’re reviewing a checklist of 10 behaviors that are characteristic of successful artists.
Use the checklist 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 question #10: “It is easy to find my work online.”
There are many reasons why it should be easy to find your work online, but the most important is to build an audience for your art.
In 2018 people expect to find you online. Potential buyers who just met you or saw your work at Open Studios quickly check you out online. They read your biography on your website or follow your “art story” on Instagram, where you reveal details about your art-making process and activities. Your potential audience includes gallery owners, curators, art consultants, interior designers and other people looking for artists. They all expect to find you online.
Even if you don’t yet have a website, google your name (+ artist) and see what comes up. You might be surprised at how little or how much you find. This first step tells you what’s already out there about you. It may also motivate you to strengthen and develop your “online presence.”
Artists sometimes start out with a simple Facebook “fan page” or Instagram account. Right now Instagram seems to be the best way to begin, as it is a visual tool that allows you to connect with other artists and art organizations, including galleries and museums. Instagram is a visual journal, where you can build your “art story” over time. Remember, you use Instagram on your cell phone rather than a computer.
No matter how you begin, you’ll soon need to have a simple website. Decide whether you want to do it yourself, ask a techie friend or family member to help you, or hire a professional website designer. Doing it yourself assumes you are comfortable and skilled using technology, which is a big assumption for many artists. If you have the skills, consider using tools like WordPress or Squarespace, or a platform designed for artists, such as Fine Art Studio Online. If you’re asking a friend or family member to design your site as a favor, get a clear commitment and timeline, and make sure they understand what you need. Show them examples of the sites you like. Make sure you have all the images and written documents ready before you begin.
If you decide to hire a professional, choose someone who has experience designing websites for artists. They will be easier for you to work with, and more sensitive to visual aesthetics. Professionals can also help you with many other technical details, such as making your site more visible in search engines. Make sure your website is visually appealing and easy to navigate, and that you include links to any social media sites where you are active.
That’s the last item on our Checklist for a Successful Art Career. You might want to go back now and identify two or three areas where you want to improve. Start with tiny steps so that you build momentum gradually. Let me know how you are doing!
Mary Edwards, Ph.D.
Career & Life Coach for Artists