WHY YOU DON’T NEED TO DEBUT, part 2 of 3
I heard recently about the furore surrounding an enterprise called Debut Contemporary. This is an outfit that runs a kind of finishing school for art graduates. … I don’t need to say anything more about them since they are not the subject of this article; I want to talk now about why no art graduate needs a “finishing school.”
Be very careful of wolves in sheep’s clothing. There are armies of charlatans out there ready to fleece new artists. They know you are insecure about your work. They know that flattering you with one hand while digging into your pocket with another will be easy and sweet for them.
I wrote about this recently:http://blog.gillianmciver.org/2013/11/28/follow-up-to-my-post-on-film-festivals/
These experiences I describe in my blog post sound ludicrous but they are real and I have more of them in my repertoire of anecdotes about Horrific Art World Delusions and Rip Offs. You will not be able to go through your life avoiding all of them but you could avoid signing up a year of your life and thousands of pounds of your money.
What can you do to at least try to avoid this? Well, research! And more research. Be wary of wild claims on the part of the offering. Find others who have been involved with the offering, what kind of experiences did they have? I just read an online interview with the creator of the offering mentioned above (Debut) and it is clear straight away this is highly embroidered. Further research proved my hunch correct.
Research! One HUGE clue, as we all know from spam emails – is if an offering promotes themselves with faulty grammar or spelling. This means they get interns to do the work for them and cannot be bothered even to check. If they are so careless with their own marketing what kind of care will they have for YOU?
Following on from that, if an offering has already accrued a reputation of being a bit dodgy, this will stick on to you. The very kudos you seek will be denied to you.You already have all the knowledge you need to “enter the art world.” You have a direction for your work and you – hopefully – have some friends and a work ethic. There is a reason why, traditionally, art courses don’t teach business skills as part of the curriculum. Although there is a pressure on them to do so now, it is misguided.
Industry knowledge, and “powerful art and business networks” are things that accrue over time. They can’t be bought. Anyway, as I said above, one man’s meat is another’s poison. The “industry knowledge and powerful art and business networks” useful for one artist are not going to be the same for another. The “art world” is diverse!
Doing short courses, seeking mentors, and building your own networks to create events and exhibitions will serve you better as a graduate. There is so much support out there for emerging artists! But YOU have to do the work.
How? Ok that is the subject for Part 3