Our 8 Tips for Self Promotion

...And what to avoid

Young artists at the beginning of their careers, were particularly vulnerable in lockdown. When Covid momentarily levelled the playing field in March 2020, the creative community's responses varied. The lockdowns gave some the opportunity to pause and reflect. Whereas for others they were a disaster.

The beginning of a career can be very hand to mouth. During this time our thoughts were particularly with those just finding their feet in the industry, whose livelihoods were eradicated overnight. Emboldened by the first few weeks of lockdown spirit, we sent out an open call on Instagram, to offer our support and advice to any who needed it. We spent time during those April & May weeks looking at portfolios and exchanging emails.

Through this process we got a feel for where young artists are having problems. There are some recurring issues and we saw a pattern emerging. Below is a list of some of these commonalities we thought useful to share. In the hope that other young creatives can implement these changes to improve their chances to successfully promote themselves.

1. Easy Website Navigation. Your website needs to be easy to navigate. Multiple sections with different projects suggests the viewer has time. We find that people don't have time. Therefore, having one main portfolio makes it easier for the viewer to get a feel for your work.

2. Tell us who you are. A considered biography or artist statement is an opportunity to share your perspective. A beautiful portfolio needs to be reinforced by the person behind the images.

3. Tell us who you’re collaborating with. Nurturing and growing your network is an important part of navigating this industry. Consider who the people are around you and who you want to build up with.

4. Instagram as portfolio. Ugg, Instagram can be a confusing platform and growing an audience organically can be frustrating. However, keeping it looking up to date is important. Make sure you put up things you want people to see in a tone of voice that is consistent. Consider that most of us have an unhealthy attachment to scrolling and can have irrational reactions to people's posts. Consider why you like the accounts you like and figure out why successful accounts work.

5. Have a purpose. Represent something. This isn't for everyone but commissioners will select artists for all sorts of reasons. For some brands, having a voice is important as you can add value to them.

6. Money. Talking about money is easy if you’re upfront about it. Ask clients how much they have to spend. Don’t be scared to ask questions. It's important to understand what is expected of you and how they attach monetary value to that.

7. Ask for guidance. Established characters in this industry may seem daunting. However, many are keen to nurture the next generation and happy to give their time. Don’t be scared to reach out to people you admire.

8. Persevere, just don't become annoying. If someone doesn't respond, keep trying but don't make them feel bad about ignoring you.

Thanks to everyone who reached out, we hope the world will start to look a little less daunting soon. However, one of the characteristics of having a successful career in the arts is learning to deal with instability. It might help to see this as practice!

We plan to repeat this process in the near future, and are open to suggestions of what kind of guidance you need. For now, please enjoy some of the beautiful work that was shared with us!

All images appear, courtesy of the artists involved.

Image Credits (in order of appearance)
1. Ruby Pluhar
2. Rebecca Scheinberg
3. Scott Hardy
4. Daniel Feistenauer
5. Charlie Cummings
6. Fred Mitchell
7. Sean Alexander Geraghty
8. Yavez Anthonio
9. The Bardos
10. Bex Day
11. Marco Giannavola
12. Bart Seng Wen Long
13. Sean Alexander Geraghty
14. Alina Asmus
15. Marco Giannavola
16. Claire Harrison
17. Leon Foggitt
18. Richard Round Turner
19. Daniel Feistenauer
20. Ransom Ashley
21. Christian Bang
22. Martin McGagh
23. Alessio Segala
24. Elizabeth Heltoft Arnby
25. David Sessions
26. Richard John Seymour
27. Erik Norrud
28. Jet Swan
29. Kristina Shakht
30. Yavez Anthonio
31. Minjun Kim
32. Elliott Pasinsky
33. Alessio Segala
34. Craig Mulcahy
35. Verity Fitzgerald