How to Choose an Art School

Choosing an art school, like any post-secondary institution, can be an exciting but daunting process. There are many factors to consider, including but not limited to location, cost, academic programming, and reputation. Below are some tips for finding an art school that works best for you.

1. Check out the faculty

One of the great things about art school is that many members of the faculty are established, practicing artists. When considering different schools, see who you will likely be studying under and do some research on your potential professors: do they have similar interests, do they have skills you would like to learn? Are they well connected in the art world? Figure out Continue reading

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How to Write an Artist’s CV When You Don’t Have Much (Or Any!) Professional Experience

notepadThe post How to Write an Artist CV in 10 Steps is the most popular in the history of The Practical Art World. Some of the most frequently asked questions people have after reading it are “What if I don’t have an exhibition history?” or “What if I didn’t go to school?”

For new and emerging artists, creating an artist’s CV can be a bit of a Catch 22. You don’t have much or any experience to put on your CV, but to apply for “experience” in the form of exhibitions, grants, and schooling, you are asked to provide a CV.

Fortunately, there are ways to tailor what relevant experience you have into an artist’s CV format. Continue reading

The Best of The Practical Art World

I’m very happy to share that this November, The Practical Art World surpassed 200,000 visits! Over the past year and a half, we have enjoyed your generous feedback, emails, comments, and questions. We love hearing that the articles posted here on the site have helped you as professional artists, so THANK YOU!

In honour of the first 200,000 visitors to The Practical Art World, we’ve compiled a list: Continue reading

What Should You Include in a Portfolio Submission (Which Artworks, How Many)?

It can be daunting to choose a certain number of your artworks to include in a portfolio submission. Do you pick your favourites? Do you pick other people’s favourites? Do you only pick new works? Read the tips below to help chose your absolute best selection of art works for any submission.

Pay attention to what they want

This is the #1 golden rule of submissions! Continue reading

10 Weeks to Improve your Artistic Career – Week 6

Week 6: Get your paperwork in order.

If you have ever submitted your artwork to an exhibition, gallery or contest, you probably already know that beyond your artwork, you are also responsible for providing specific paperwork relating to your artistic practice. The most common paperwork requests are for an artist statement, an artist CV, and a short written biography.

If you have these three items prepared in advance, you can update them regularly and save yourself a lot of stress when trying to meet a submission deadline. In general, they are great things to have on hand even if you are not submitting your work, as collectors, curators, or writers could ask to see them at any time. Continue reading

10 Weeks to Improve your Artistic Career – Week 5

Week 5: Fine-tune an artistic target, do your research, and act based on your findings.

This week’s project is more open ended than previous ones, but I believe it is very useful method that can work for almost anyone.

It is not uncommon to meet an artist who loves to make art, spends countless hours in the studio, and dreams of one day having their art displayed in a big public gallery. Or maybe to see their work sell in a big commercial gallery. Or perhaps on a beautiful website that gets tons of hits. The only flaw in this plan is that there is no plan.

Unfortunately, artists are not likely to be “discovered” based solely on their private artistic talent. For example, Continue reading

10 Weeks to Improve your Artistic Career – Week 4

Week 4: Take Advantage of Resources

The amount of free resources available to working artists today is quite staggering. The essentials of what you need to become a professional artist in both the artistic and practical realms are available for free– you just need to take the time to find them! I’ve compiled a list of many different sources in the hopes that this will assist you in your development as an artist.

Artists’ Legal Outreach Website

The Artists’ Legal Outreach is an amazing organization made up of volunteer lawyers and law students who provide legal support for artists working in Canada. They offer Continue reading

10 Ways to Improve your Artistic Career – Week 3

Week 3: create a structured project

One of the best ways to get yourself thinking and working creatively is to do it regularly and frequently, and soon it becomes second-nature.

It can often be difficult to set aside time for creative endeavours, or to become motivated to work on things. A fantastic and simple way to overcome these deterrents is to create structured, time-based creative project for yourself.

In setting up a structured project, you have many different options. The key is to create a project where you’ve already set up specific parameters for what you are going to work on, and also one that it requires you to work regularly. Some examples of a time-based, structured creative project are: Continue reading

10 Ways to Improve your Artistic Career – Week 1

WEEK 1: Contact Artists you Admire

Many people will tell you that networking is important. It is, of course! Is it easy to walk upto a stranger at an art opening to introduce yourself? Not really. (Not for me, anyway). But this isn’t the only way to start a dialogue with someone. Now that most artists have their own websites, it’s usually quite easy to contact them either through email or by commenting on their blog or website.

Several good things could come from contacting artists you admire. Continue reading

How to Build a Contract for Commissioned Artworks

Many artists, ranging from emerging or amateur artists all the way to fully established professionals, create commissioned works for clients. The idea of a commission is that the purchaser has some input into the finished work that they are buying. This can range from vague direction or discussion all the way to specific agreed upon terms for colours, subject matter, materials used, size, etc. It is up to each artist to decide how much input or direction they will accept from a client and how much they prefer to decide for themselves.

Whatever your artistic boundaries are for commissioned works, you should always create a written contract or commission agreement outlining your own stipulations. I have listed some common examples below. Having a written contract signed by both parties is meant to: Continue reading