01 April, 2008

Professional practice

Letter to a friend


At the beginning of 2004 we left pearl beach for Europe and I have been living in Amsterdam and using it as a base to explore Europe's art riches. Very educational and highly recommended, I think everyone should plan for a year or more of post grad study in Europe. The information of print australia ends at 2003 and I have done a lot since then.

Just a few weeks ago I started writing up my new CV which is a work in progress and hasnt been promoted yet. Its on FLICKR
FLICKR has produced the best return for investment with regards to time and effort.

I have been documenting my research and travel experiences in BLOG form since mid 2005. this is bellebyrd and blakkbyrd

Bellebyrd continues Print Australia with a broader emphasis.
Blakkbyrd is about new media, gaming and the internet, street art and the amsterdam art scene. Its my diary of art openings to attend and what's happening in the graffiti scene. All printmakers should be paying careful attention to this - see swoon, faile, ron english and shepard fairey for example. Fairey is an excellent case study in marketing yourself as an artist.

As I cannot attend many events in person, I focus on blogging exhibitiions and interviews that are published online and visitible "virtually".

There is a blakkbyrd Youtube account that catalogues art videos. http://uk.youtube.com/profile_play_list?user=blakkbyrd

I try to keep up with the industry, which is very important as an independent. You don't have the information being channeled to you through work or uni, you have to keep yourself informed. I subscribe to gallery newsletters and arts mailing lists, about 80, which provide the sources for all the industry news and calls that I publish through "the aviary" (bellebyrd, blakkbyrd and lyrebyrd).

Last year Bellebyrd did a lot of feature work on feminist art. This year I intend to focus on professional practice. I was very concerned at how "regional" Australian art looked when I was in Sydney in January. I was also concerned about how little of the overseas art scene was making it to Australia. It looked to me that the only imported shows either were there to re-inforce the local aesthetic or were exhibitions being exported to Australia to meet the political agendas of the donating countries. It wasn't a fair representation of the overseas art scene as a I am discovering it.

I would like to make the following recommendations regarding professional practice

1. get a website, there's hundreds of free services - there's no excuse not to have one. The culture and rec portal has an internet guide for arts professionals which is a good introduction http://www.cultureandrecreation.gov.au/resources/guides/

2. join mailing groups like empyre and acam for industry news

3. join FLICKR & MYSPACE and start networking - there's also yahoo groups and google groups, wetcanvas, etc etc

4. Enter calls for exhibition and get your work out there. be aware of the difference between juried and non-juried shows and always research them before you blindly send them your best work.

5. Don't leave your work in commission galleries or cafes, the first has never worked for me, and the latter is a bad look which can degrade your art. You are better off to hire a space and make your own exhibition or enter group shows that are reputable.

6. Watch your copyright. Be aware that anything that you publish online will be copied. Only post images that you want distributed as public property. Don't say anything you don't want your mother or boss to read.

7. Get a blog but be careful how you use it. Be aware that it is the equivalent to reading your diary outloud on national tv. Be very careful about publishing any personal information online.

hope this helps

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