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Two Things That Trump Talent and Connections

Posted by lindasummersposey on August 17, 2010 at 6:53 AM

Suddenly, my art career seems to be booming... I'm in an exhibit that runs through August 20, when the closing reception will be held (see Upcoming Events, in the right-hand column). Then, I'll be in another exhibit opening on September 9 and running through the end of the month, followed by another one opening on October 4 for the month of October. Life is good!

 

What's the source of this mini-explosion? I can't claim to be supremely talented. (I didn't say I wasn't talented, but I'm no artistic genius either.) I don't have the best connections on the Houston art scene. (Sure I've got contacts, but plenty of other artists are vastly better connected than I am.)

 

However, I'm stubborn and, from time to time, despite being stubborn, I learn my lessons. I'm finally absorbing what my coaches (most recently, Taft McWhorter, Sandy Lawrence and Diane Larrivee) have been trying to teach me for lo these many years:

  • Don't be shy. Speak up, speak out. Let people know who you are and what you do - and why you're good enough at it that they should take a look at your work. I landed "Exhibit A" primarily because I introduced myself to the organizer of an art show I attended, told her what I did and expressed interest in her venue.
  • Follow up and follow through. Those great contacts you meet at an art opening or networking event will turn into a meaningless pile of business cards in a flash - if you don't follow up with an email or a call. Yes, I sent that "Exhibit A" contact a note. It turned out that she was eager to find new artists.
  • Don't drop the ball. If someone responds to your message, the ball is in your court. If they don't respond, the ball is in your court. Either way, keep following up - nicely, politely, professionally. Don't assume they're not interested because you haven't heard from them. After several unanswered emails and phone messages, I simply dropped by to see the contact for "Exhibit B." By that time the person responsible for art exhibits at this venue had changed. But I didn't drop the ball. Another round of messages, followed by another drop-in visit, and I had a show booked.

In today's art world, a little courage and a lot of persistence can be as important as talent and connections.

 

P.S. I'll be posting all the details for these new exhibits soon. You can trust me not to drop the ball on that!

 

Happy creating -

Linda

 

 

Categories: Art Exhibits of Interest - Mine and Other Artists', Creating My Art Career

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