So you’ve got the talent and appetite to make it in the art industry, but drafting a solid roadmap to a successful career isn’t coming so naturally. Right now, time isn’t exactly an issue, what with the pandemic palaver really cementing the whole DIY culture – but finding how best to make use of is proving tough.
Here are some practical steps you can take right now to improve your chances of getting that big break in the industry:
Get on Instagram
It may sound painfully obvious, but if you aren’t already sharing your work on Instagram, you definitely should be.
Insta is the perfect tool for artists, in the same way Spotify is for musicians, and creating an account devoted to your work is no brainer. Far and away the most popular visual-based platform out there, it’s the place to get discovered by brands and fellow creatives.
Once you’ve posted a handful of images, whack some popular hashtags in the captions below each one and you’ll start to be seen by the relevant people. In your phone notes, have 10 ‘industry specific’ hashtags and 10 ‘general’ saved and use them often to maximise engagement – regularly keeping track of Insta Insights is a good way of ensuring you’re hot on the biggest hashtags at any given moment. Comment on other posts you like too and attempt to start a dialogue.
When it comes to copy for your tiles, try to encapsulate what inspired you to create the piece, capture people’s imaginations and form a story around it. Talking about your chosen medium and methods is also a good way to boost the value of posts.
Show your creative process on Stories and IGTV too (#behindthescenes). With 500 million people using the feature every day, it’s a certified win in the game of nabbing eyeballs!
Facebook Groups and Forums
Facebook may feel a little like boomerville lately and organic reach is tricky to come by without opening your wallet, but Facebook Groups can be valuable for networking.
If you want to join communities of likeminded people who will appreciate your stuff, while also growing your artsy network, this is the place. Don’t try Omegle!
Some groups are dead in terms of engagement, but others have hundreds of daily contributions and are full of people wanting to chat. On that front, forum sites like Reddit are also a goldmine to get your work seen by the people you want to see it. Dedicated art subreddits will be popping off as you’re reading this.
Create your own site
You wouldn’t knock up a CV without having a portfolio ready, so if really serious, you should probably put your own website together.
The good news is, with accessible site builders like WiX, Squarespace, and Site123, you don’t have to go searching for coders on LinkedIn or Indeed. With simple drag and drop mechanics, you can put together a professional quality website so people can see all of your pieces in one place.
We won’t lie, it takes a little bit of work, but once finished, you can instantly bounce people to your collection from anywhere with one little link.
Picking up an original watermark and G suite email is a bonus to look real legit, but not essential.
Dedicated art platforms
Once your own site is up and running, the next logical step is to hop on dedicated art platforms like Pintrest, Dayflash, ArtStation, Dribble, Deviant Art, and The Dots.
Whatever your signature style may be, it will find a home and will be appreciated by many others on these websites. Corporates are also frequently trawling sites like Dribble these days, so you just might land that breakthrough commission if active enough in the right circles.
Finally – and this may seem like a bit of a longshot – but you can get involved in designer competitions. Why the hell not?
Huge brands think it’s trendy to give aspiring artists a shot at the big time, and someone will go from amateur to professional overnight. Make sure your name is in the hat when that time comes.
Truthfully, there is no bonafide route to a successful career in the arts, but by following these steps you’ll have given yourself every chance of making it.