Seven Steps to Scale Your Career as an Artist | Step One: Be Intentional When Using Qualifiers

Tuesday Jun 11th, 2019

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In the modern economy, we are no longer constricted by geographic boundaries and built infrastructure. Artists have incredibly powerful tools at their disposal to put their work directly in front of new and rapidly growing audiences like never before. Social media, video streaming platforms, podcasts, websites, and blogs can each be leveraged differently to expand one’s reach and engage audiences in new and meaningful ways.

If you're an artist, think twice about referring to yourself as a "local artist." A term such as this may unintentionally influence how you and your work are viewed by others. Instead, consider referring to yourself as an artist living and working in Erie, Pennsylvania - or even Northwestern Pennsylvania. If you do desire to differentiate yourself by using a qualifier, please consider emerging, mid-career, or established as the terms that you employ to describe your current career level.

An emerging artist is someone who is in the early stage of their career and has a modest independent body of work. At this stage in the artist’s career, solo exhibitions or performances of their work are often limited and recognition and opportunities occur primarily at the local level.

A mid-career artist is an artist who has created an independent body of work over a number of years. At this stage in the artist’s career, one has received a number of solo exhibitions or performances through esteemed venues, both regionally and nationally.

An established artist is mature in their career. They have created an extensive body of independent work and may even be an influencer in their respective disciplines. At this stage in their career, an established artist has an advanced level of achievement and has sustained national and international opportunities and recognition.

The next post in this series will focus on developing a portfolio. 

If you feel like you’re hitting a wall in your career and you’d like additional insight as to what next steps could potentially look like, please reach out to Erie Arts & Culture. You can contact Patrick Fisher, Executive Director, by email ([email protected]) or telephone (814-452-3427 x 105).

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