How to
meet people
in the art industry

Creativepeople are some of the most valuable assets in business today. They drive main projects and come up with amazing ideas. It is important to find and network with people who are creative like you are, It’s a great way to learn and find inspiration.

The truth is that success as an artist highly depends on the relationships you forge in the art world. There is no artist out there who can build a career on their own. You have to construct a solid network and surround yourself with people who can help your career move forward.

There are essentially different levels of socializing in the art world, you need to balancing these levels. The first and obvious step is the greeting and socializing at an art event, to introduce yourself to new people and to remind others whom you already know that you are still there. Every time you say hello to another art professional, think of it as advertising. However attending and talking to people at art events is not enough to push your career forward.It is a great way of staying relevant in the industry and for people to remember who you are. These receptions are frequently crowded, loud and chaotic. Because of this you will barely get enough time to properly communicate.

The second form of socializing, which is significantly more important and effective, is establishing solid relationships that have depth and could last longer. These are those with people with whom you have worked with in the past in some capacity, who you make an effort to see regularly in person, someone you have strong conversations with. They might be a peer from art school, a former professor, a colleague or a curator who organized one of your exhibitions or someone you took a workshop with, or even a former student. These are the relationships that will get you the studio visits, referrals and exhibitions that you need and require.

Obviously there are other ways to get more general connections especially in this digital era. So to get your self known or to meet artists from across the globe, you can join an artist association, whether it is a local association in your city or a national organization, dedicated to your specific medium, find an association that works for you. Joining an artist association can benefit your art career in multiple ways. Not only do you have the opportunity to make wonderful connections, but you can listen to speakers and join tours and workshops. All of these benefits help you build your resume and earn recognition as an artist.

These relationships take time and patience to build. You have to be a person who takes the initiative to make these relationships happen, don’t expect people to come to you. Go to open studios events where you can meet and talk to the artists in person. Local open studio events are great to attend because you get to see lots of artwork and workspaces. Open studios tends to be less hectic than opening receptions so you’re much more likely to have a meaningful conversation with an artist.

In art circles it is also important to also help others. Create relationships based on positive interactions and goodwill. Then, people will be more willing to help you out with your art career goals. You should look to connect and not always aim at making a sale. Focus on forming a genuine connection with people. Ask questions about who they are, what they do, their interests etc. People are looking to see if they can relate to you. You can collect business cards from the people you meet to help as a follow up to the conversations in the future. While you collect the business cards, bring your own business cards to share with the artists and art lovers that you will meet.

Branching out in the artist community and connecting with other artists can be of great benefit to your artistic life. There are many artist groups on social media that can also give you chances at seeing what artists around the world are doing. It can also give you the opportunity to see how other artists are planning out their careers, learn about the processes they use to save time and stress, and network with influential people in the art industry. Whether you meet in person or online, taking these steps to connect with other artists can bring new life to your artist career or passion.

Meeting new people can be fun and full of endless positive possibilities. Stay calm and enjoy getting to know people who are interested in art. You never know where it might lead. And remember, there are people who are rooting for you to succeed.

 by Sylvia A.Zajc