Go Beyond Google: Sharon Louden on Creative Research

Sharon teaching at Chautauqua.

Sharon teaching at Chautauqua Institution. Photo by Don Kimes.

Sharon Louden needs no introduction. A successful artist, editor, and advocate for artists, Sharon’s transparent and earnest approach to sustaining professional connections has made her four-part webinar, How to Approach and Engage with the Gatekeepers of the Art World, one of Creative Capital Professional Development Program’s most sought-out offerings. Back by popular demand, Sharon will be leading her series starting May 23rd.
Below you’ll find some tips adapted from Sharon’s course on “effective research” that we and past webinar participants have found useful. If you want to learn more about how to communicate and build relationships with other art world professionals, don’t forget to register for Sharon’s webinar.

Part of cultivating your artistic career includes setting and developing your creative goals and noting what your work needs to grow. A good daily practice you can set to this end is conducting research—namely, finding the places and people that can facilitate your growth. This research practice works best when it is continuous and integrated into the rest of your work—and when it’s creative. That means you need to go beyond Google, and strategically target the resources you’ll be researching. Think of it as a way to keep your curious mind open to new opportunities, a little break in your day to see what your future could have in store. Wondering where you should start? Here’s some available resources to get your research going.
Art Guides Art world gatekeepers publish several guides annually. These are your bibles! You should be reading the Art in America gallery guide like a book, from beginning to end, always noting the galleries, museums, consultants and others you feel may be a fit for you and your work.
Blogs There’s a lot out there on the Internet, including a handful of excellent blogs that will keep you in the art world know. We recommend Hyperallergic, Two Coats of Paint, Art F City, and (of course) The Lab.
Other Artists’ Resumes Don’t be shy about snooping! If you know of an artist whose work is similar to yours, or whose career has taken a path you want to follow, look at their resumes and see where they’ve worked.
Periodicals Follow art writers and their reviews, identifying critics who speak the same language as you so that you might be able to connect with them in the future.
Simply “Paying Attention” Keep your eyes peeled to what’s happening in your community. You’d be surprised where opportunities can come from if you keep an open antenna pointed out to the world.
For more from Sharon, sign up for How to Approach and Engage the Gatekeepers of the Art World, taking place Mondays, May 23 – June 13, 2016 at 7:00pm ET. Registered participants will also have the opportunity to purchase on-one-on consultations with Sharon during the series.
register here

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