Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Career advice from many sources
I am in a new go-ahead phase with my art career: I’m making new larger works in specific series, and I am investigating ways to get this work OUT into the world, in new and more diverse venues.
On the practical side, I am reading a number of career advice books specifically for artists. Yesterday, I started “The Artist’s Guide: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love” by Jackie Battenfield, and I highly recommend it. The author gives practical and specific suggestions on what an artist needs to do to determine what s/he needs, artistically, professionally and financially. The book includes quoted ideas from the generous and knowledgeable artist Joanne Mattera, and that alone is enough to recommend it.
I also have coming from the library “Art-work: Everything You Need to Know (and Do) As You Pursue Your Art Career” by Heather Darcy Bhanda. Once I’ve had a chance to read these books, I plan to make the lists and follow the steps needed to expand my professional connections.
Both of these are new books (2009), and I’m sure it’s no coincidence that they have been published now. So many crucial factors have brought sweeping changes to the art world in recent years. Between the economy, the Internet, the digital camera, and the general push to “go green,” being an artist who connects with the world is a whole different story from what it was even a few years ago, certainly 10 years ago.
On the unpractical (but just as important and effective) side, last week I watched a recent DVD on Louise Hay’s life and techniques (“stumbled upon” at the library). I had found Louise’s ideas to be MOST helpful when I first read “You Can Heal Your Life” in the late 1980s. (In fact, I wrote her two lengthy letters about how much her ideas had helped me, and she answered them both with very kind letters.) I believe it is provident that I found this DVD now that I am again in need of career help. I have started doing affirmations with regard to showing and selling my paintings. We’ll see what happens, but if my past experience is any indication, something unexpected but amazing will result.
After watching this video, I decided to revisit the “New Age” technique of making a “treasure map,” detailed in Shakti Gawain’s wonderful book “Creative Visualization.” With this method, you print out pictures of whatever it is you want MORE of in your life, and look at them daily. (When I knew I wanted to be a teacher, but had no experience, I made a treasure map using a picture of a teacher leading a studio art class, cut from an old RISD catalog. Only I pasted a photo of my head over the teacher’s head in the picture. It worked!)
I also used this technique about a year ago, as I described in this blog entry, and it really worked: I have sold a number of pieces to corporate collections since then.
Last weekend, I made the treasure map shown above, showing images from some recent exhibitions and also showing my work hanging in corporate settings, both situations I want MORE of. I’m using the technique of looking carefully at it and simultaneously saying my career-related affirmations several times a day.
I figure that, by tapping into all of these sources for help with my career, I will have covered all my bases!