Being professional as an artist is both exciting and full of challenges. When you aim to be a pro artist, you enter a world where your creativity and hard work come together. Your artwork becomes a way to tell stories and show who you are. In this blog, we will dive in to see why Artists Should Behave in a professional way, explore key skills of professional artist behavior, and finally show you how to deal with rejection professionally.
Why Artists Should Behave in Professional Ways?
When you, as an artist, behave in professional ways, you gain several advantages that contribute to your overall success and growth:
1. Credibility and Respect: Acting professionally enhances your credibility and earns you respect from clients, peers, mentors, and your audience. It demonstrates your dedication to your craft and commitment to producing high-quality work.
2. Networking and Collaboration: Professional conduct makes it easier for you to connect with fellow artists, mentors, potential collaborators, and industry professionals. Building a strong network opens doors to valuable opportunities for your artistic development.
3. Career Growth: Consistently demonstrating professionalism paves the way for your career advancement. Whether you're seeking representation in galleries or engaging with agents, your professional demeanor will make a positive impression.
4. Business Management: If you manage your own art business, professional behavior is crucial. It helps you navigate contracts, negotiations, sales, and financial matters effectively, contributing to the success of your artistic endeavors.
5. Positive Image: As an artist, you serve as a representative of your art and your creative community. Your professional behavior reflects not only on you but also on the wider artistic sphere, contributing to a positive image for everyone involved.
Also read- How to deal with Stress and Burnout?
6. Longevity and Sustainability: Professionalism is key to your long-term success. It equips you to handle challenges and setbacks while maintaining a strong presence in the art world over time.
7. Ethical Considerations: Upholding professionalism is tied to ethical behavior. Respecting copyright laws, honoring agreements, and treating others fairly are essential aspects of maintaining your relationships and reputation.
8. Audience Engagement: Your professional demeanor attracts a more engaged audience. People are more likely to support and follow you when you interact respectfully, respond to inquiries, and uphold a positive online presence.
9. Adaptation to Change: The art landscape is ever-changing. Professional behavior enables you to adapt to shifts in technology, market trends, and artistic styles, ensuring your relevance and competitiveness.
10. Personal Growth: Professionalism encourages traits like self-discipline, time management, and a dedication to improvement. These qualities contribute not only to your artistic career but also to your personal growth journey.
4 Key Skills of Professional Artist's Behavior
Being professional as an artist involves more than just creating art. Your behavior and how you present yourself play a crucial role in how you're perceived in the art world. Let's delve into some important aspects of professional artist behavior:
Presentation: Your Visual Identity
Just like a well-designed frame enhances a painting, your presentation as an artist is like a frame for your skills and creativity. This includes not only how you dress but also how you present your artwork and yourself to others. When you put effort into your appearance and the way you showcase your work, you're showing your dedication to your craft and your professionalism. Remember, how you present yourself can leave a lasting impression on fellow artists and potential clients.
Artist Pro Tip: Know the event you are going to and dress for the event. Consider how your appearance will be read to visitors and in photos of the event. Dressing professionally for an event shows your seriousness about your career and your care for the event you are attending.
2. Communication: Building Meaningful Connections
Effective communication is at the heart of any successful artist's journey. It's not just about speaking professionally, but also about being attentive and responsive when interacting with others. This aspect extends to prompt communication with clients, colleagues, and anyone interested in your art. Keeping an open line of communication fosters relationships, helps you understand your audience's needs, and showcases your commitment to delivering a positive experience.
3. Ethics and Integrity: The Cornerstones of Trust
In the art world, trust is paramount. Upholding ethical standards and demonstrating integrity are essential for building and maintaining trust, especially with clients. Business ethics and integrity mean delivering on promises, being transparent about your processes, and valuing the trust that others place in you. This trust can lead to repeat clients, positive referrals, and a reputation that sets you apart as a professional artist.
One useful system from the “business world” you might want to consider is setting “Standard Operating Procedures'' (SOPs) for yourself. These may relate to anything from how you handle commission contracts and completion timelines, to how often you send a newsletter. SOPs help us maintain a consistent standard that can be enhanced as our processes change or we learn better ways. These help us provide consistent high-quality art and customer service to our collectors.
Artist Pro Tip: Always strive to meet your deadlines and follow through with what you say you will do. It is better to under promise and over-deliver than to leave people you work with disappointed and losing trust. If you do run into a problem or hit a delay, always be open, honest, and transparent with your client or relevant party. Communicate clearly and keep communication open as you work through the issue.
4. Handling Challenges: Dealing with Rejection
Challenges are inevitable in any creative journey. This includes managing conflicts gracefully, maintaining composure in difficult situations, and adopting constructive conflict resolution practices. Dealing with rejection, which is a common challenge, deserves special attention. Whether it's rejection from exhibitions or clients, it's important to move forward with resilience and learn from it. We'll dedicate extra focus to this topic because it's a vital part of your development.
Dealing with challenges professionally is a testament to your growth as an artist.
Dealing with Rejection: A Professional Approach
Facing rejection can be tough, but adopting a professional mindset can turn this challenge into an opportunity for growth. It’s an opportunity to refine and rejuvenate your artistic prowess. Here's how you can handle rejection positively and constructively:
Shift Your Perspective
Instead of seeing rejection as a setback, consider it as a chance for reflection. A rejection doesn't define your worth as an artist; it's simply a chance to reevaluate your approach and explore new possibilities. Embrace it as a stepping stone toward improvement and innovation. By shifting your perspective, you can transform disappointment into motivation.
Artist Pro Tip: Remember that rejections happen for a wide variety of reasons. Sometimes a juror or curator may love your work, but simply not have the space, or may feel that the work fits with that particular theme. Don’t see rejections as someone saying, “Your work is terrible,” see rejections as, “Your work is not fit for this particular show, at this particular time.” At the same time, don’t be afraid to honestly assess where you are as an artist and how you portrayed your work and yourself in your application.
Embrace Constructive Criticism
Criticism, when offered constructively, can be incredibly valuable. Don't shy away from feedback; embrace it with an open mind. Analyze the feedback you receive, separating constructive insights from personal opinions. This will help you refine your skills and make informed decisions to enhance your work.
Artist Pro Tip: When a juror, curator, or event organizer offers you specific feedback it is a rare and generous gift. Accept it graciously. Take what is useful and leave the rest. No need to argue or tell them you disagree.
When dealing with rejection, professionalism is paramount. Avoid letting your emotions get the best of you. Refrain from having a negative attitude, losing your cool, or speaking negatively about the events or organizers. Remember that maintaining a positive and composed demeanor reflects well on your character and reputation.
Cultivate Resilience and Confidence:
Rejection is a natural part of any creative journey. Cultivate resilience by bouncing back from disappointments. Keep in mind that every rejection brings you closer to success. As you persevere, your confidence will grow. Believe in your artistic vision and your ability to overcome obstacles, reinforcing your determination to succeed.
Artist Pro Tip: It might sound cliche, but it’s true that “when one door closes another opens.” Remember that there are many opportunities for artists, and the big goals are worth working for. The fact that they aren’t easy makes them extra special. Keep trying!
Also read- How to Handle a Rejection as an Artist & to be Resilient in Art Businesses
Stepping into the world of professional artistry is exciting and full of challenges. Your presentation, an intricate frame, showcases your work to the world. Effective communication, not only spoken but expressed through your actions, builds bridges between you, your clients, and your peers. Upholding ethics and integrity fortifies these bridges, laying the foundations of trust upon which professional relationships are built. Embodying professionalism empowers you as an artist. It sets the stage for credibility, opens doors to opportunities, and shapes a positive reputation within the art community and beyond.
Challenges are an inescapable part of any journey, and in the art world, they come in myriad forms. Handling them with grace, whether it's navigating conflicts, preserving your composure, or addressing rejection, demonstrates the depth of your professionalism. Dealing with rejection, in particular, shines as a hallmark of resilience and growth. By shifting perspectives, embracing criticism, maintaining professionalism even in disappointment, and fostering inner strength, you transcend setbacks to emerge stronger and more adaptable.