Updated: Sep 3
Nearly two years ago (as of the time of writing), I first stepped into Artizan Gallery. Arguably this was also my first step into working as an artist professionally, as, until this point nobody outside of friends and family had even seen my work.
I'd just been made redundant, and had already decided that wherever life takes me next, I was going to be leaving my sales career behind me.
I called everybody I could find (okay maybe I hadn't quite left my sales career behind me). Asking interior designers how they source artists to keep on their books, hotels and cafes, asking if they hang work from local artists. Through a mutual connection I was even able to have a brief chat with Christian Hook, which still ranks as my claim-to-fame! I had some wonderful conversations with some incredibly helpful people, kind enough to take the time to point me in the right direction. On a side-note, I think connecting with both artists and art-lovers is amongst what I love most about this career, it never feels like business.
Back to the story, Jacob and Julie at the Artizan Gallery had kindly suggested I come in with a selection of work and have a chat.
I'd been painting in a vacuum for several years prior to this point, and as such, my understanding of the commercial art market was non-existent. The art industry could definitely be described as opaque, at times, and the path to the fabled "gallery representation" is a winding one with a lot of barriers. Of course, I was a long way from having that conversation, at this point all I had was a lot of paintings, a desire to show them somewhere (anywhere) and about 40 questions jotted in a notebook.
I showed up with everything from seascapes to equestrian portraits, and Jacob was kind enough to spend over an hour helping me understand everything I needed to know about making a real crack at this.
I cherished the advice I received, and this conversation marked a turning point in my journey. Over the months that followed they kept me updated on just about everything I could want to know, upcoming opportunities to exhibit, grants that I might be eligible for, competitions, showcases, sales opportunities- everything.
Many more months later and I've exhibited with them on countless occasions, including my first solo exhibition. Throughout which they've offered me unending help and guidance, and I can't imagine how this difficult emerging period might have gone without them. They're no-doubt tired of hearing my words of appreciation for the help they've given me, but it truly cannot be overstated.
Whether you're a creator or an art-lover, you want them on your radar.