The Big Art World has always been an irrational place, but it is especially chaotic right now, and I think you can take advantage of that.
We know that traditional galleries are trying to be flexible, experimenting with hybrid forms, “art consultancies” and other attempts to broaden their reach. Artists are finding new opportunities for connection and community. (Check out the World of Co, where emerging and mid-career artists come together in an international online residency program.)
When faced with so many changes, it is easy to get overwhelmed. You hesitate to act, afraid of not getting it right. The point is that there isn’t any right way anymore, and you need to experiment in order to move your career forward. It’s not the time to be careful, to worry about following the rules, since all the rules are changing.
Even if you’re not a gambler, you may have heard the term “double down.” It comes from the card game Blackjack, when you’re holding the cards you’ve been dealt and then ask for more, doubling your bet in the face of uncertainty.
Look at your own cards, and ask for more. Do what feels risky to you. Make that phone call. Send the note. Ask for the favor. Sign up for the class. Go to the art opening. Raise your prices. Enter the show. Stop protecting yourself from possible rejection. Stop thinking of yourself as an artist with a fragile ego. Put yourself out there and see what happens.
When you take more risks you develop the ability to take more risks. Like any habit, you get better at it, you learn as you go and eventually you become more comfortable and skilled operating out there in this brave new art world.
Mary Edwards, Ph.D
Career & Life Coach for Artists
“Left Brain Skills for Right Brained People”
As an artist coach, I bring a unique combination of business knowledge, art world experience, and professional coaching skill to my practice.