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

5 Places to Find Free Art Education & Inspiration

1. Art Supply Manufacturers 

Many artist-grade product manufacturers offer loads of free information about how to use their products. Much of this information can be applied to your studio practice in general, even if you don’t end up purchasing their product. The highest quality artist materials manufacturers tend to have the most in-depth and thorough material; their commitment to artists is obvious.

Winsor & Newton
Winsor & Newton makes a large assortment of artist-quality paints and painting accessories. Visit their Resource Centre for instructional videos, 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 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

Approaching a Gallery: The Initial Email (an Example of What to Send)

At any point in an artist’s career, they many begin to seek out representation from a commercial gallery. This has several benefits for the artist, including more exposure, a better venue to show work (presumably), less self-marketing, and hopefully more sales (if that is what the artist is after).

As many galleries are quite established and receive numerous submissions constantly, it can be tricky for artists to get a good “foot in the door.” The best first step is to do your research and approach a gallery to see if they are actually accepting submissions. This is best done with a respectful, polite email (with a link to your portfolio cleverly inserted).

Example of a good initial email:

For the attention of the curator,*

I am a Vancouver artist seeking representation** locally. I am writing to inquire if you are currently accepting submission proposals. If so, could you please let me know which format or materials you prefer.

Best,
Your Name
http://www.yourwebsiteaddress.com***

The key points in this email are: Continue reading

How to Create a Press Release for your Art Exhibition

You have an art exhibition coming up. Great! Depending on the venue, the staff might take care of the press release for you. Excellent! But, if you find yourself in an exhibition with no promotional machine at work already, you need to make sure that your show gets the attention it deserves. Different from an invitation, a press release contains background information about the artist, the work, and the show. It is targeted to members of the press who may want to check out, write about, or even review your show. That having said, you can also send your press release to clients, gallerists, curators, or anyone you think might be interested in knowing more about your work.

What should the press release include?

Image

Your press release should feature one image from your show. There are no rules for choosing an image, but it is usually good to choose a piece which is representative of the entire show either visually or thematically. The image on your press release should be large enough to view easily, don’t use a thumbnail image. It is all about the art after all, right?

Information

The information for your press release should contain four main parts: Continue reading

Suggestions for Writing your Artist’s Statement

I purposely did not call this post “how to write an artist’s statement.”

Because the answer is, there is no definitive right or wrong way to write an artist’s statement. The main purpose of an artist’s statement is to augment your artistic practice. This could be by offering background information, an explanation of your process, or any other information that will enhance the critical understanding of your work. Below are some suggestions to consider:

  • Why are you writing an artist’s statement? A good place to start is to consider who you are writing to, and what you want to tell them. If your artist’s statement is requested in a submission, you probably want to offer practical background information on your process, making it easy for whoever is considering your work to readily understand where you are coming from. If you have decided to write an artist’s statement to accompany an exhibition of your work, Continue reading