Let’s face it: making art has its own set of challenges, but getting your work out there, looked at, reviewed, funded, exhibited, marketed, collected, or purchased – whatever fits your definition of being a working artist – can be really difficult. And when you can’t pay your rent with what you create in the studio, which is common for most of us, how do you find personal and professional growth opportunities in a 9 to 5 job that feels creative? Can you? If not, what else is out there for budding art professionals? Most people working at Number: Inc are artists ourselves, and these are burning questions that we want answered.
This issue, Art 101: Introduction to Art Career Practices, serves as a primer for new and emerging artists or anyone wanting to expand and grow as an art professional. We asked seasoned experts to contribute advice and insights based on their own experiences in an effort to provide constructive information to makers in the South as they develop their own careers. It is our hope that, no matter what part of the art ecosystem in which you find yourselves, you will discover something useful here to save and carry with you as you find your way.
Our contributors are happy to share with you the joys and realities as well as the nuts and bolts of their careers as a call to action for artists and artist professionals to sort through possibilities and find your way among the ranks of those you admire and respect. Whether your interests lie in gallery exhibitions, grant writing, performing, education or community engagement; where to begin or where to go based on where you are; our writers have provided a peek into their process and, hopefully, some inspiration as well.
Based on feedback from some of our dear readers, we are happy to announce that Number:101 kicks off our efforts to provide relevant, timely, useful professional practices information in each issue. Be on the lookout for our new column, Art 101, appearing in Number:102, Craft & The Creative South and subsequent issues. You will decide what we cover in our exciting new venture: we welcome topic ideas and questions from our readers, contributors and supporters in the South on a rolling basis about career development, working with materials, art making processes, and anything else you dream up about developing a successful art practice. We will begin publishing this column in our quarterly print publication but hope to expand and publish more often on our website as your requests come rolling in. Please email us or message us on Instagram any time, include Art 101 in the subject line, and let us know what’s on your mind. We look forward to hearing from you and learning with you.
Lacy Mitcham and Katie Maish