Are you in a creative funk?
Want to know how to find more creative opportunities?
Or how to apply for artist funding?
If you’re an artist looking for a bit of advice, tips and inspiration, here’s a handful of quick fire tips to get your teeth into today 💪
During The Manchester Open exhibition 2022, we worked with Short Supply – an artist-led organisation working with creative communities in Greater Manchester and the North West – for a limited digital content series on Instagram to share advice, inspiration and tips to new, emerging and professional artists and creatives.
And it was such a success that we decided to create an article highlighting the juiciest bits! Keep reading for some top notch advice.
1. Finding Opportunities
Click here to see the post on Instagram
✉️ Mailing Lists
Join mailing lists by local organisations, cultural venues, galleries and other artists to get opportunities straight to your inbox, exclusives before social media and deadline reminders.
🏃♂️ Show Up
Attending events in person and online is crucial so you can get to know who your community is, and so they can get to know you! You can’t access support if no one knows you’re looking, so start up a conversation and make yourself known.
🏠 Think Local
Sign up for talks and drop ins with experienced regional practitioners to gain more insight into your field, and to understand the moving cogs in your local scene. Refer to point one to find your practitioners of interest, but look at who your favourite organisations are following on social media too.
🤝 You Give You Get
It’s a two way street. Actions create results. Be someone for others that you would hope to have around you. Consider ways you could contribute to your creative community as well as what you can gain from it!
2. Promoting Your Art Online
Click here to see the Instagram post
👥 Know Your Audience
How are you going to promote what you do if you don’t know who you’re promoting to? Find out who’s already interested, and think about who you want to be looking at your work. Pay attention to your followers on social media or use good old fashioned world of mouth to ask around!
♾ Be Consistent
Make time in your schedule to build an online routine. This routine is your call, but keep it consistent. For example, let’s say you post on social media twice a week, send a newsletter once a month and update your website every 3 months. This lets your audience know what to expect, when to expect it and will help build a level of trust.
To effectively promote your work online you have to be engaging! Show your personality. Be authentic. The things that draw people to you in-person will draw them in online as well. Remember, you have a lot to offer – your audience come from a place of interest and want to support you, so let them get to know you!
3. Application Writing
Click here to see the Instagram post
📸 Quality Photos
High quality doesn’t have to mean expensive! You don’t need to invest in a big camera to get a good shot of your work. Natural lighting works wonders. Make sure the scale is clear. If you have the opportunity, a bit of variety is helpful too – a few different angles, some close ups and a full shot. Make the most of any photo limits!
🍬 Short and Sweet
For the most part, selectors only have a really short amount of time with your work. In some cases less than a minute. Give them the run down, and pro tip, treat them like they’re stupid! Get to the point, be clear. Bullet points will do! Don’t feel the need to over explain or seem clever – they’ll know you’re switched on if you cut to the chase and get all the key points
🧠 Don’t Overthink It
People who create opportunities aren’t trying to play mind games or trick you – they want to know about you and/or your idea, and they want you to be successful! It can feel really personal when you don’t get an opportunity you wanted, but when one door closes another one opens. Keep looking, keep trying and keep all your old applications to help you with futures ones!
4. ✅ DOs AND DON’Ts ❌
Click here to watch the reel on Instagram
⚡️ Embrace Failure
Once you get over this hurdle, the rest becomes much easier. Mistakes are half the battle of maintaining a creative career. Embrace the moments where things don’t go to plan – it’s where some of the best work comes from.
Comparisons can do one of two things: stifle your creativity or steal your joy. Every artist is at a different place in their career. Everyone has their own journey filled with challenges and triumphs. Let others inspire you to move forward.
🪴 Reap What You Sow
An art practice is a lot like a garden; you reap what you sow. Opportunities open up when you make your presence known and engage with your peers and wider community. Support creates more support, ask and you shall receive, give and you shall thrive!
Many of us are trying to find our rhythm again, but under the surface, we’re all struggling. Being kind and patient with yourself is not always easy, but remember when the break comes to an end the art world will still be there!
🖌 Keep Making
Good things come to those who make! Don’t put making work on a pedestal – a photo you took on the train is art, something you liked the look of in the supermarket, a small doodle or a passing thought – learning the significance of these small gestures as much as the big plans is really important!
If you found this article useful, why not share it with someone to help other artists and budding creatives. Click this link to paste into Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
Or if you’re looking for more inspiration and activities you can do anywhere, why not check out our MAKE Packs created by creative organisations in Manchester featuring Short Supply, Trans Creative, Venture Arts and Fuse. Click here and download yours now for free.
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