Anne Asked for it…

I Am My White Ancestors: Claiming the Legacy of Oppression at Northfield Mount Hermon School, Mt Hermon, MA, January 2018

Being a professional artist means being willing to take chances, put yourself out there, go out on a limb. Praxis student Anne discovered that sometimes having the courage to do just that can pay off in big ways. In her own words:

Great news. Sometimes things just go smoothly. I visited a local college with a friend who is a graduate student there and wanted to help bring my installation there. Her department chair suggested we go downstairs and talk with the institutional diversity program manager. So we just walked down there and met her and I started talking about my project and handed her a postcard. She was thrilled and offered me a show on the spot in a beautiful lounge this fall. It is not the college’s fine art gallery but it is just as beautiful and accessible. Plus she totally gets it and will contact teachers to get them involved. The lesson from this is that if find the right match, things just develop. She even asked me what I charge for rental. Now I need to email her to follow up.”

For Anne, the willingness to simply inquire yielded amazing results. And that’s the thing, you will never land an exhibit you don’t ask for. As nice is it would be if all artists could just get “discovered” things don’t really work that way.

Approaching places that are suitable for your work and following up in a professional manner is as close to being discovered as you’re going to get. You are your own representative, your own agent, publicist, marketer, it’s up to you and you alone.

If that sounds absolutely terrifying, take heart. You are not alone in being intimidated by the prospect of reaching out in this way. Many, many people find it difficult to assert themselves in this way, to approach people and say my work is worth your time. But your work is worth their time. Internalize this before you do anything else. Believe that you deserve to have your work in front of the world.

For Anne, having a community of peers and the help of experts at Praxis sure didn’t hurt when it came time to advocate for her work. If you want that kind of support, subscribe today and receive access to our full suite of courses designed just for artists like you. Take the first step toward gaining the confidence you need to be your own best advocate.

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