Program / Building a Sustainable Career as an Artist
Michael Azgour
Michael Azgour
Session Time: Jan 17th 10:00 am - 11:30 am EST
Location: Riverview Ballroom B, 4 & 5
Track(s): Business, Fine Art


This active workshop engages fine art photographers by posing fundamental questions and discussing effective practices to build a sustainable career as an artist. We begin by posing three essential questions in regard to our personal and professional goals, establishing a framework for our discussion.

We discuss locating opportunities, submitting applications, record keeping, mailing lists, and building relationships with artworld professionals. Obtaining gallery representation is a major focus, including how to find the most suitable galleries—those that are the best fit for one’s own style and experience level. We break down the process into a series of steps, discussing communication, sales, expenses, shipping, etc. Further, we discuss how diverse income sources can enable you to carve out enough studio time to make real progress over time. We cover online presence and pursuing alternative paths, such as online markets, reproductions, grants, public art and outside employment.

In our last segment, we consider how to most effectively gain experience based on our stated goals in order to make real progress, incorporating the practical methods discussed. Participants take a moment to ask, ‘What holds me back?’ We consider responses and examine our different paths as professional artists. We take time to outline individual targets and create action items to pursue. Useful resources, examples, and links are distributed to help participants get started. Finally, we take part in an extended open discussion based on participants’ questions.