Review #6 – Navigating the Art World

⭐️⭐️⭐️ Listing sites can be a way of expanding an audience.

Title: Navigating The Art World Professional Practice for the Early Career Artist
Author/s: Delphian (Benjamin Murphy, Nick JS Thompson
Year: 2020

Back cover text:

This business book is aimed at early career artists and helps to equip them with the practical tools needed to approach their careers, shining light upon some things that are often hidden from view. It has been written as a series of opinion pieces rather than a how-to guide, and covers such topics as how to exhibit and sell your works, as well as things like how to stay motivated, and how to deal with the periods of insecurity that a career in the arts can often create.

The process of entering the art world and forging a career can be fraught with obstacles to overcome, and so we have written this guide to make the journey as stress-free as possible. Navigating The Art World consists of a mix of advice and tips from ourselves, as well as gallerists, curators, artists, collectors, and other industry experts to give some insight on various ways to enhance your art career. Contributors include Maureen Paley, Jake Chapman, Andy Dixon, Kristin Hjellegjerde, Claus Busch Risvig, and many others. 

“It has been our intention to write about things that are not often discussed, in the hope that by pulling back the curtain slightly, things are a little clearer for all of us.” – Delphian Gallery

My Review

Stars (1/5):

4/5

Writing:

This book is the second book I read written by a gallery. The other one was: “Starving” to Successful by J. Jason Horejs. The artworld is changing, and Delphian gallery sees it as a freeing and exciting revitalization that they welcome. I love that the writers aim to be transparent and write from things they have learned along the way for young artists. They like to see themselves as connectors. And this comes very close to my concept of Art to Collect, Art to Connect

Does the book deliver (its title)?:

Yes.

Biggest take away/s:

  • Galleries want to see a proven trajectory in an artist’s career. And steady career progression.
  • That your work is characteristically and identifiably yours. 
  • Social media will be the first impression people will have of your work.
  • Know your audience, and place your work in the right setting.
  • Find your niche.
  • Seek out galleries/platforms that attract ‘your’ audience. 
  • Have your business card ready, follow up with an email, and use social media to connect.
  • The online art audience is rapidly growing
  • This audience finds artists without guidance from trusted art world gatekeepers.
  • It is good to display (some of) your personality because fans and collectors invest in the artist rather than just the artwork. 
  • See your website as a retrospective show, and include your best work. 
  • When someone buys your work or expresses interest in your art. Pull all their details in a spreadsheet.
  • The artworld is a community you need to contribute to rather than just attempting to take from it. 
  • Work hard, think creatively, have self-initiating projects. And even if it is difficult to quantify, the right people are watching
  • Make yourself discoverable and entice the gallerists and curators to come to you.
  • Listing sites can be a way of expanding an audience.
  • Populate an open studio with collectors

Points of Improvement or Discussion:

This book is almost like a time document. How will the art world change post-Instagram? Or post-the algorithm? Will the algorithms become the new matte keepers?

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