A lot of times people think that if they just get into that gallery, or that show, or meet that person, or sell that piece, then everything will magically be perfect and work out for the rest of their career. I’m here to tell you that isn’t the case. In order to build a lasting career in the arts, or anywhere really, you have to build it brick by brick. Yes, getting into that big show or gallery can give you a big boost, but will it necessarily matter ten years from now when that gallery closes or that show is far in the past?
You need to remember that each step you take leads down a path. You might get to a gate and finally pass through, but what’s on the other side? Eventually, you need to get back on that path to move to the next gate. I know that sometimes I get mini-obsessed with getting into a particular show or gallery, but I also try to build my career through other shows, exhibitions, and gallery representation. You need to give yourself options, otherwise what happens when you don’t get into that show or that gallery decides that you aren’t a good fit anymore?
So get out there and start finding the right fit for your work at this time. Then figure out the next step to move you forward. You can still put yourself out there and submit to those great shows and galleries, but make sure you have a back-up plan or at least a future goal to work toward. Life is constantly moving, make sure that your career moves along with it.