Getting a good job in the art world can be challenging, but there are certain tips you can follow that will help you improve your chances.
Regardless of your major, you’re likely to find an opportunity that best fits you. The most important part is to be passionate about art and to be knowledgeable about what’s happening in the art world.
Typical jobs in the art world include positions such as gallery assistants, events coordinator, social media manager, art fair artists’ executive
These are some tips on how to successfully get a job in an art gallery.
1) Expand your professional network and knowledge
Even if you already have an art-related career, that will not be enough. This is a very competitive industry and relying on your career will not determine your success in landing a job in the art world. It’s important to spend time expanding your skills. For example by attending events, especially Open and VIP days. You can also volunteer at art galleries, get to know more artists, find suitable internships, or even a part-time job, that will enhance your organisational and artistic skills. Make contacts everywhere, whether it’s in person or online – this will allow you to get your foot in the door before you even start your career.
2) Build your confidence
It’s extremely important to believe in yourself, cut all the negative self-talk and be confident of who you are and what you can achieve. A positive mindset will help you learn more easily, which will boost your confidence. This industry is extremely hard, if you get demotivated and lose trust in yourself others will see this through you.
Focus on your success, if you feel under-confident, fake it until you make it. Also, be ready to work hard and long workdays, view it as an opportunity to learn more and grow within the business.
3) Market yourself
With the power of social media, it’s much easier to build up your online presence and expand your network. Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and your website will give you social power and help you build your connections.
For example, when you attend art fairs and gallery open days, introduce yourself to the directors and important people in the industry, exchange contacts and if you impress them enough, you will have a bigger chance at getting a response later on, when you get in touch with them.
4) Get the right art skills
- Art industry knowledge:
You need to have a deep understanding of the industry and how it works. This way, you can always grow within the business, regardless of the sector. Reading up to date online art news is a good way to start, for example, websites like ArtNet News, Artsy and The Art Newspaper provide useful and up to date art-related content. Also, start reading books such as The $12 Million Stuffed Shark, Risk and Uncertainty in the Art World and Selling Contemporary Art: How to Navigate the Evolving Market.
- Communication skills:
Being able to communicate clearly and effectively is essential for any job at a gallery. The art gallery world is very fast-paced, you will meet people from all over the world, meaning you need to know how to treat each individual respectfully. It’s important to present yourself accordingly.
- Organizational skills:
Having to manage the day to day activities in such a fast-paced environment, you will need to know how to keep track of everything, prioritize the essentials and never lose focus. This will determine your success in these industries and how you handle yourself under stressful situations. In other words, you need to have thick skin.
5) Further your education
A post-graduate degree in your chosen field can help you stand out from the rest when applying for jobs in the art industry. Consider obtaining a Master’s degree in Art Business, Fine Arts, Art Law or even Finance, if you want to get involved in the art financial departments. You might also look into higher education such as Sotheby’s or Christie’s institute programmes. I obtained my master degree at Sotheby’s Institute, which helped me expand my opportunities.
All in all, it all relies on your determination and passion. It’s good to expand your knowledge, not only in the art world but in other fields as well. This way, you will be one step ahead.
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