Things I Learned as an Oil Painter: Thing #5

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That was quite the gap between entries...life started to get in the way. Here's thing #5:

It's all about connections! Joining an association can lead to unforeseen benefits.

This is HUGE. The one thing that has really helped me get on in my fledgling art career.

Years ago a colleague of mine at work bugged me to join a local art association. At that point I was a keen hobbyist, but no more. Somewhere in the back of my head I had the idea that I would one day make a go of this art thing. I must admit I wasn't sure about joining an artists' association.  I had an idea that it would be a bunch of retired ladies painting peonies, but what the heck - if I don't like it I can just not go anymore...

I can't lie: there was a retired lady element, but there were also some semi and fully pro local artists that regularly attended. At each meeting a professional artist would give a talk and a demonstration. I became hooked. At one particular meeting a guest artist came and gave a talk about how he switched careers between being a house painter and a fine artist. I listened intently and watched his demo keenly. This guy had made the leap from a regular day job to making his living out of art. That was (and is) the journey I intended to make. After the talk I made a bee-line for the guy and fired questions at him. Long story short - he gave me a piece of advice that dramatically improved my painting style (and that's the next "thing").

Connections lead to connections - joining the open association led to me being accepted in a juried association which led to me finding a good framer which put me in contact with an art dealer....you get the idea.

Thing #1: maccski.deviantart.com/journal…
Thing #2: maccski.deviantart.com/journal…
Thing #3: maccski.deviantart.com/journal…
Thing #4: maccski.deviantart.com/journal…

Why am I posting this stuff? maccski.deviantart.com/journal…

Take a look at my Facebook page...if you like it, please "Like" it! www.facebook.com/MontrealArtis…

Look out!  Here comes thing #6!
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TomOliverArt's avatar
I agree. Belonging to Long Beach Arts has helped me a lot. I have been able to find out about so many opportunities through that organization.
citypainter's avatar
Dude it's killing me, I need to know that crucial piece of advice! Get on with it! :)
maccski's avatar
Patience you must have, young Smith. Revealed all will be...
Ristia's avatar
After reading this I went and looked up the local Artist association. Lo and behold! There is one, with juried and non-juried memberships. I probably won't join any time soon, (there are dues) but I'm glad I know it exists!
maccski's avatar
The dues are used to pay for group exhibitions (among other things). The juried association that I'm in organizes a huge fall show that costs north of $4000! The exposure I get at these shows is well worth the annual outlay. If getting your name out there is something you want to do...consider joining up!
line-melte's avatar
This is something I've been told many times at college. Not exactly this, but basically that in-the-flesh connections and networking are incredibly valuable, so much moreso than purely online hobnobbing. As an artist living in a rural area and currently networking and working almost entirely online I appreciate this advice keenly. :p
21stCenturyDamocles's avatar
awesome advice i'm still getting my name out there i think you have progressed more then i have
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