While we are still in a time of relative isolation from each other, I invite you to think of
this time as a period of transformation. What if you use this time to completely transform . your art career? You have it within your power to do this. I’ve begun doing it myself and
it’s incredibly empowering to look at every aspect of your art career critically and see
what you need to improve. We don’t have to be as social or public about things
these days: you can reinvent yourself and your art within the privacy of your own home
and studio, to re-emerge with greater focus, organization and clarity.
I recommend organizing your pieces by year and type. For instance, if you have a collection of loose sketches from your college years, get yourself a portfolio book or protective bags and organize those sketches so that they are both protected and available in a nice booklet. You can do this for all unframed works. For framed works, make sure each one is protected, with bubble wrap or foam, and rested inside a box. You spend a long time making art and you want to protect it once it is finished! Larger paintings should also be protected and organized by year. You can also organize your inventory records. Do you know who bought your pieces, and when? Maybe it's time to start keeping better records. Go through your emails and communications and see if you can pin down the last few transactions. If you're feeling really ambitious, you can make this a project that is ongoing, to locate every piece that you've ever sold and record it! At the very least, figure out for yourself a system to keep track of the new pieces that you are making, and what has sold. This will help clarify your goals.
Define your goals. What does success mean to you as an artist? Does it mean a certain dollar amount per year in your art sales? Does it mean greater press and recognition? Does it mean being really proud of your work? Or all of these things? Write down what actually is your goal as an artist this year. You can strengthen your relationships with collectors, the galleries, your employers, and the writers who have written about your work. You can use this time to strengthen your relationship with each and every person who has helped you along your path. A personal email goes a long way to add goodwill and create connections, and those people will think of you the next time they are thinking of an artist, whether it be a collector, a writer, or anyone else who may help you in your career.
You can use this time to do a deep dive in your studio practice and create your best work ever. Think of where your work is right now. Are you proud of it? Does its quality align with the galleries or opportunities that you would like to be a part of? Does it have a clear voice? If not, now would be a wonderful time to do an intentional up level of your work, whether that be by thinking about it more deeply, improving your technical skills, or allowing more of your personal spirit to show through. How can you make it better and more unique to you?
There is so much we can do to improve our art practice. And what better time than now?