I have recently found myself looking for a new gallery. One of my galleries, for a variety of reasons, decided to close their doors. I always get a sinking feeling at the pit of my stomach when I hear that galleries are closing because I feel that it reflects on the economy and that people who have spendable income...money that can be spent on things other than the necessities are shrinking. Of course, that is not the only reason why galleries close but often it is. These past several years has been a testimony of courage and creativity when it comes to artists and those who support them. I belong to a group of artists that meet regularly to critique work and talk about art promotion, websites, galleries and opportunities. We try to share things that will help each other move forward in our careers. I am very lucky to be in a place where so many artists are willing to share their talents and time. I really cherish that! Since that is the kind of person I am, I also want to do help other artists and use this blog to do so from time to time.
The days of slides and resume have come to an end. A lot of galleries won't accept walk ins and getting an appointment usually requires the gallery to browse your website first. So, having a website is of upper most importance. I think we should all know that being a professional artist requires our ability to do other things than make our art. The ability to write, build a website, take professional looking photographs or even build our own painting supports is starting to become the norm. We do this because it is expensive to pay someone to do that for us. In this day and age, you must be good at a lot of things besides your art. The competition is fierce and it reminds me of when I was applying to teach as a professor at a college. You had to dot your "i's" and cross all your "t's" or you were summarily exited from the pile of resumes being looked at. It was as though "if you couldn't do at least that, you were not worth looking at" idea. All of this is because the competition is so great that you really have to stand out both creatively and professionally. This can be daunting I know and I truly sympathize with those who have not developed these skills. However, the days of "being discovered" are pretty much at an end and it is time to accept that fact and move on. OK....enough preaching! Here is just one "tip" that I will share with you that seems to impress gallerists. Make a portfolio that truly stands out. With all the self publishing capability out there, you can use programs that will help you put a "portfolio book" together that is very impressive. I have added a photo of the cover of one that I did and it really helped. If you are going from door to door looking for a gallery to represent you, this is a great way to do it and it isn't too expensive. I have a Mac and this capability comes with IPhoto. If you have an IMac, check this out through the IPhoto program. Although I have never used them, there are also several self publishing programs on-line. Come on..."google it"!