Rosalind Davis: promotion for artists

Self-promotion has a bad press among artists, seen as a hollow and corporate way to make friends and influence people. But at it’s simplest, it’s about making friends.

A more helpful way to think of it is as promotion of your practice and the projects that you work on. It’s about making your work visible within the arts community and effectively communicating what you do to the people and organisations it’s likely to interest (your audiences). Promoting your practice effectively will help with getting exhibitions, increase your chances of making successful applications to opportunities and make it more likely that you sell your work.

When an artist starts out, often they need to self-initiate exhibitions and projects, as well as be active about applying for opportunities. Though you will likely be initiating some of your own projects throughout your career, everyone hopes that eventually opportunities will come to you, rather than you having to chase them down. (So you’ll be invited more frequently to participate in exhibitions, residencies, etc). If you don’t promote what you do and make it visible, there is less (if any) chance that this will happen, and a lot of the effort that you put into making your work and projects is wasted.

Listen to artist Rosalind Davis talk about how promotion impacts on an artist’s wider career.


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