Promoting your degree show
Richard Taylor explores how to promote your end of year show to full affect, whilst adding to your portfolio of skills as an artist in the virtual era.
Your degree show is a point when certain things necessitate completion. But do not allow this one moment in time to disenchant your focus on the wider picture. Ensure you and your work gain maximum exposure; after all you're also looking at a vital point of departure in your career.
By taking the initiative you're also supporting a wider group of graduates by building on your professional skills. The more students and art graduates who show entrepreneurship now, the better our future looks as a sector in the creative economy!
Collective calendar action
Work with your immediate peer group to implement a degree show promotion strategy. This will strengthen you as network and give experience of organisational and promotional skills:
Share administrative responsibility, clarify timescales and set deadlines in organising yourselves for external opportunities to expose your show.
A date for your diary! March 20th 2013 is the cut-off point to get discounted rates on advertisement in our annual Degree show guides. Advertising in the publications will boost your exposure, as our online sharing and hosting of the flip-page design reaches up to 50,000 people.
For more information see The annual Degrees publication »
Expose your creative process
Use Degrees unedited as a platform to share your degree show journey through an individual or group blog on the progress of your artwork or group activities. This visibility can lead to opportunities arising from contacts and networks forged through your contribution.
Maintain your status and keep hard at it, exposing your working process as an artist ensues authenticity to the final product and creates an engaging story for readers to follow.
Create a strong visual identity
Many universities create an identity for their end of year shows and some treat it as a festival of arts, advertised as a whole. This works, as a widened umbrella of promotion, but how will your show be distinguished from the rest?
- Have a look around, do some research, come up with a graphic to use in your promotional material.
- Look at adverstisements used in our degree show catalogues over the years Degree show guides
- Take a look at galleries you like the work of, consider how they put together promotional material that is adaptable to multiple platforms; does it adhere to a theme, use an image of a singular artist's work, or is it simple text and graphic?
- Use Adobe Illustrator to make a document of poster size (A3/A2), save as PDF. Then work your way down in scale, keeping the font the same size, making images for Facebook event pages, private view invite cards etc.
Build your online footprint
If someone Googles your name and the word artist what will they find? Having a blog generates good quality content on you and your work. But make sure you're making the most of all the opportunities that social media can offer.
Gather contact details and personally invite anyone who has shown interest in your work and contacts you've made over the course of your degree. Whilst creating an ongoing e-mail list, build online followings on Facebook and Twitter adding to the wider networks of interested parties.
Maintain your online presence
- Craft an email with url links to Twitter groups, blogs and websites in Google Drive (you will need a gmail account) then upload a Gif. version of your Illustrator document (around 800 pixels high, save as web and devices). Copy and paste this content in to an email, 'Bcc' the recipients and send away.
- Send an animated Gif. email: Use picasion.com, upload up to 10 images of your work with/without text. Once picasion has compiled your Gif. they provide you with options to embed or download the file.
- Develop a 'splash site': a webpage or blog with a searchable domain name to lead people who search for you directly to other elements of your promotional strategy. This allows you to present the 'look' to reflect the visual identity you want.
- Emulsify the affect of this by maintaining your status on Facebook through an events page that can be linked to Degrees unedited's Facebook page: simply join the Degrees unedited group, then quote us within your event.
- Generate more of a buzz on Twitter too. Use your degree show Twitter account to tune in to @degreesunedited and other useful contacts.
- Use #degreeshows in your Tweets, tie in to the list of degree show activity.
- Research other organisations, artists and professionals who use Twitter and Facebook, quote them strategically in your updates, inform them of your activity.
Expand your chances with Degrees unedited and a-n in social networking. Read on »
Critical feedback is essential - even for your degree show - as it consolidates your work, furthering its importance passed any grade your tutors give you.
Degrees unedited's contributors will offer a wealth of contacts who're looking for just as much exposure as you. Approach them and ask if they're close enough to travel and review your degree show, and in return do the same for them!
Use Interface, the unedited site designed for criticality in the arts, and search for writers in your region. Make sure they get an invite to your show plus a request for them to review it too.
Use Artists talking to seek out practicing artists in your area - invite them too as their opinion might be valid and a mentorship might be in the pipeline if you approach them properly.
For more information see How to get your degree show reviewed »
First published: a-n.co.uk December 2010, updated March 2012
Comments on this article
Post your comment
To post a comment you need to login
© the artist(s), writer(s), photographer(s) and a-n The Artists Information Company
All rights reserved.
Artists who are current subscribers to a-n may download or print this text for the limited purpose of use in their business or professional practice as artists.
Parts of this text may be reproduced either in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (updated) or with written permission of the publishers.