Becoming a successful artist is not as simple as painting beautiful pictures. There are numerous elements to being a successful artist; gallery exposure, marketing and luck all play a part. Sitting in your ivory tower hoping for a gallant knight to sweep you off your feet is a fairy tale, in the same way, becoming a successful artist requires spending at least as much time marketing your work–if not more–than you spend creating it.
Getting your work into a gallery is one of the hardest parts of the puzzle. Sending emails out to galleries hoping they will show your work is no guarantee that any gallery will respond. Most top galleries receive over a thousand applications a year. It must be a nightmare sifting through them all. In my personal experience, I have found that turning up with a professionally produced catalogue of my work is much more beneficial than hoping your work is noticed among the thousands of other applicants. When I applied to show my work at Walton Fine Arts, I walked into the gallery with hope and a prayer—and with my latest catalogue of paintings. I had been searching for a gallery in London to show my work for over two years. The gallery director, Michael Sakhai, informed me that they have a gallery committee that chooses the artists for the gallery, adding they get over a thousand applicants a year. I asked him if he would kindly pass my catalogue on to their committee. He took the catalogue, looked through it for a few minutes and said that they would give me a chance. Somehow by walking in off the street, with luck and by perseverance instead of going through the normal process, I had succeeded.
I had the same experience in New York while finding a gallery to show my work. Most galleries say they are not accepting submissions but if they take your catalogue and your work fits into their stable of artists, at least you are in with a chance. Walking around looking for galleries in the pouring rain is no fun and it takes a certain amount of strength to be able to accept the rejections and move on. My motto is “never give up” with the belief if you are determined enough you will succeed. Artists are notoriously bad at marketing themselves. It’s not good enough just sending out emails and hoping to get noticed. It is important to make a physical appearance and begin a conversation. The relationship between a gallery and its artists is one of trust. In my experience, unless you meet the people you are going to be working with you have little hope of succeeding.
Walton Fine Arts is showing Oenone Hammersley’s Art for the Earth-Water and Fire paintings on cut-out wooden panels and canvas. https://waltonfinearts.com/
The gallery specializes in contemporary and pop art and exhibits artists such as Francis Bacon, Banksy, Marc Chagall, Damian Hirst, Joan Miro, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and many more.
London Daily News Article: Top Tips on how to get your Art Exhibited in London | London Daily News