Making your own opportunities.

Back when I was young and naive, I used to think that if I put my art online - eventually, I'd be discovered. Someone would notice me; a gallery, a famous artist, a high end collector. And BAM, I'd be thrust into the spotlight in a whirl wind of my own talent and awesomeness. Yeah - that is NOT going to happen. Pretty much to anyone. 99.99% of us are going to have to work hard and make our own opportunities in life, because no one else is going to hand your dreams to you on a silver platter. (Unless your dreams are related to cheese and crackers.)

The "please discover me" face.

So then, what do we do? Well, a few things have worked for me so far. Whilst posting daily art updates on your social media accounts helps network and create a fan-base, it's pretty hard to sell work solely through Instagram or Facebook. I've never sold any original artworks online - it does help generate leads though. More importantly, I've realised that you need to approach people. Say to them, hey - my stuff is AWESOME - and you want to exhibit it in your gallery/cafe/bar/hair-salon. Believe it or not, I've been doing this over the past 12 months or so, and had a pretty good hit rate.

By approaching people, I've gotten my artwork into 2 local group exhibitions at bars, 2 local cafes, 1 local gallery exhibition, curated my own local gallery exhibition, been included in a group exhibition at a gallery in America AND secured a solo exhibition at a local bar for next year. And you know what? I would have had shit all if I hadn't directly contacted all these people. Sure, to get into all these meant that I was rejected by twice as many places. But heck, look at everyone who said yes! I can hardly believe it. Especially that one of the galleries in the US that I admire is willing to have me involved in an exhibition. Two years ago there is no way I would've even thought that possible.

So dreamers, my advice to you is this. Don't wait for things to happen to you, because they most likely won't. You've got to make it happen for yourself. And if you really want something, there's no reason you can't go out there and get it. Or, at least go out there and ask nicely for it.

Any tips or advice on how you've gone with making your dreams happen?

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