There’s a common myth about artists. It goes something like this: the artist toils in the studio day after day honing her craft. One magical day, a gallery owner ‘discovers’ the artist. The gallery owner shows the work, it sells out and the artist becomes rich and famous.
While this Cinderella story has its charm, it’s a far cry from reality. Those artists who find success have not only been working in the studio tirelessly for years, they’ve also been working to get their art seen in local shows, group shows, solo shows, cafes, restaurants, salons and Open Studios. They’ve been actively marketing their work, both in social and other media. Being picked up by a gallery, while it has its advantages, is not a salvation. The artist must continue to build a following and a market.
What do artists do all day? Here’s a sampling of one of my artist days:
- Take Wallace for a walk. It’s going to be a busy day, I need some fresh air.
- Pack up work to take to the hospital show
- Go to the frame shop to pick up some D-rings for hanging work, as I ran out when I was wiring work last night
- Load the work into the SUV
- Check the toolkit to make sure I have blue tape and museum putty
- Drive to the venue and work with the curator/ facilities to hang the work. Unpack the work and repack the pieces that weren’t hung.
- Take photos of the work and post to Instagram
- Repack the car.
- Drive to another venue and exchange one of the pieces, as it was accepted into another show
- Get home, unload leftover work and put it away
- Update blog, facebook and website with photos of new show
- Order cards for upcoming Open Studios
- Re-order business cards, running low
- Take Wallace for a walk. I need a break!
- Work on newsletter, it needs to go out in a couple of days.
- Spend a couple of hours in the studio to continue work on new pieces.
- Start dinner
- Respond to social media replies
- Plan for the next day
- Smile and be grateful for the new venue!
It sounds like a lot, but I love every minute of it. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s a continual labor of love, and this type of work has allowed me to discover strengths in myself I didn’t know existed.
Thank you my faithful readers for supporting me in my venture through your kind words, comments on blog and newsletters, visits to my shows, purchases and general support. This has always been a dream of mine,and you all had a part in making it happen!