The entrepreneurial artist: A conceptual target-marketing framework (Part II) (2001)

Creative Business & Entrepreneurship | 14 December 2011
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[3] To raise awareness that people function on different levels— and have different needs— to become involved or facilitate an artist’s work. This includes economical and effective verbal communication, as well as providing short-term and long-term incentives.

Another strategy that I suggested, was how can the artist deliver the difference? We see this in a shopping area, at a restaurant, even on an academic’s CV. Why are artists chosen for shows, grants, and magazine publication? Is it only about visual art?

Imagine 200 artist portfolios— for only 25 spots. Imagine 10 of these artists are known to be difficult to work with. Who will be the chosen ones? How can the artist compete effectively, and stand out positively? How can it be easier for a powerholder to say “yes”?

I thought about these issues critically and asked the artist to send me her CV. Here’s an excerpt [of the format].

Format from original CV:

Group Shows

YEAR Art show title, location, date.

YEAR Art show title, location, date.

YEAR Art show title, location, date.

This appears fairly standard to me. But I don’t like it all.

It assumes many things at best, and it communicates horribly at its worst. Like many of you here, I wasn’t familiar with the Belgian art scene, and therefore had no clue what these spaces were. I don’t know what the artist showed, whether it was significant to the artist, whether it was secondary. I don’t know if it was curated, and if the artist thinks that was important. I don’t know the theme or angle of the show.

In fact, the only thing I know is that the artist claims that he showed his art in these spaces— that’s it.

There’s nothing that sticks out.

And in my office, I have about 25 active files at any one time. Some people have a lot more. And unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of free time to do— what I’d call “investigative work”. For me, I work with the information that I receive. Two editors I know say the same thing— “We work with the information we receive”. If it’s not there— we don’t know about it.

And I was thinking, if I’m strapped for time, and two editors are strapped for time, how many others in the art world are?

So, how can this CV compete?

Format from revised CV:

Group Shows

YEAR Art show title, location, date.
Underneath, a description in smaller type perhaps including some or all of the following: what was exhibited, web link to the artwork or exhibition description, mentioning curators, the theme / angle of the exhibition, possibly including a couple of artist names in which the artwork was aesthetically contextualised. The text is edited down to the important points determined by the artist, maybe 2-3 lines.