Art Industry: Effective Networking Strategies
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 8 min read


  1. Start with your existing connections
  2. Attend art industry events
  3. Create and share your own art events
  4. Use social media to engage with peers and influencers
  5. Build relationships with art gallery owners and curators
  6. Collaborate with other artists
  7. Get involved in local art organizations
  8. Follow up and maintain your network

Networking can be as simple as a friendly chat over coffee or as grand as a black-tie event. But what's common across all forms of networking is the opportunity to make meaningful connections, share ideas, and grow professionally. In the art industry, networking is your golden ticket to gain exposure, learn about art trends, and even find potential collaborators. So, let's dive into some effective art industry networking events and strategies that can help you make waves in the art world.

Start with Your Existing Connections

When it comes to networking in the art industry, you don't have to start from scratch. Chances are, you already have a network of art lovers around you. Your existing connections can be a stepping stone to meet more people and attend more art industry networking events.

  • Friends and Family: The people closest to you can also be your biggest supporters. Inform them about your art, your aspirations, and ask if they know anyone who might be interested in your work or art industry events you could attend.
  • Art Teachers and Classmates: If you've ever taken art classes, your teachers and classmates can be valuable connections. They can introduce you to art industry events, share strategies, and even connect you with other artists.
  • Local Art Stores: Don't overlook the power of local art stores. The owners or staff often have insights into local art industry networking events and can introduce you to their regular customers, who are typically art enthusiasts.

Remember, networking isn't just about taking; it's about giving as well. So, when you reach out to your existing connections, make sure you are also willing to support them in their endeavors. This two-way street approach not only strengthens your existing relationships but also sets a positive precedent for your future networking efforts.

Attend Art Industry Events

While online connections can be fruitful, there's nothing quite like face-to-face interactions. Attending art industry events allows you to immerse yourself in the art community and create meaningful connections. Here are a few types of events you should consider:

  • Art Exhibitions: These are great platforms to meet and learn from established artists. Plus, you get to see the latest trends and techniques in the art world.
  • Art Workshops: These not only help you refine your skills but also provide an opportunity to interact with like-minded individuals and share your art strategies.
  • Art Fairs: These gathering points for art lovers can be a goldmine for networking. You'll get a chance to meet a diverse group of people, from artists and collectors to gallery owners and art critics.

Remember, attending these events isn't just about being present; it's about being engaged. Ask questions, show genuine interest in others' work, and share your own experiences. You never know — a casual conversation at an art fair could lead to a gallery showing of your work!

So, mark your calendars and start attending these art industry networking events. And don't forget to bring along your business cards and a positive attitude. Happy networking!

Create and Share Your Own Art Events

Why wait for an invite when you can be the party? Organizing your own art event can be a powerful way to make a mark in the art industry, not to mention a fantastic networking strategy. Here's how to go about it:

  1. Decide the event type: It could be an exhibition of your work, an art workshop, or even a casual meet-and-greet with local artists. Choose something that aligns with your art and personality.
  2. Plan well: Good planning is key to successful events. From choosing the right venue and date to creating a list of invitees, make sure you have every detail figured out.
  3. Promote your event: Use your social media platforms, local art forums, and word of mouth to get the word out about your event. Make it sound exciting and inclusive.

Remember, the goal is not just to show off your work, but to bring together a community of art lovers. Engage with your attendees, listen to their feedback, and make sure they feel valued. Who knows, your event might be the next big thing in the local art scene!

So, don't shy away from taking the lead. Hosting your own art industry networking event might seem daunting, but it's an investment that can yield rich dividends in terms of new connections and opportunities. Plus, it's a whole lot of fun!

Use Social Media to Engage with Peers and Influencers

Let's face it—you can't talk about networking strategies in the art industry (or any industry, for that matter) without mentioning social media. Are we right, or are we right?

But, beyond the obvious—sharing your work and following other artists—there's a lot you can do to really make the most out of these platforms. Here's how:

  1. Join Art Groups: Be it Facebook, LinkedIn, or even Reddit, there are plenty of online groups for artists where you can share your work, ask for feedback, and even find collaboration opportunities. Don't just join, participate actively!
  2. Engage with Influencers: It's not enough to just follow the big names in the art industry. Comment on their posts, share your thoughts, and try to start a conversation. But remember, always be genuine and respectful.
  3. Use Hashtags Wisely: Hashtags can be powerful tools if used correctly. Find popular art-related hashtags and use them in your posts to reach a larger audience. But don’t go overboard—stick to relevant ones only.

So, while social media can sometimes feel like a chore, it's a critical part of art industry networking strategies. And who knows, your next big break could be just a tweet or a post away!

Ever heard the phrase, "It's not what you know, it's who you know"? It's a cliché for a reason—it's true! Especially in the art industry. So, let's talk about building relationships with the people who can help you get your art on walls: gallery owners and curators.

  1. Attend Openings and Exhibits: Want to get on the radar of gallery owners and curators? Show up where they are. Attend art openings and exhibits. Don't be shy—introduce yourself and chat about the work on display. Show genuine interest, and they'll be more likely to remember you.
  2. Do Your Homework: Find out who the key players are in your local art scene. What kind of art are they interested in? What's their background? The more you know about them, the better you can tailor your approach.
  3. Offer Value: Relationships are a two-way street. Instead of just asking for opportunities, think about what you can offer them. Maybe you know other artists they'd be interested in, or you could offer to help out at an event. The key is to show that you're not just in it for yourself.
  4. Be Professional: This might seem obvious, but it's worth mentioning. Always act professionally. Respond promptly to emails, show up on time, and respect their time and expertise.

Building these relationships might seem intimidating, but remember: gallery owners and curators want to discover new artists. They need you just as much as you need them, so don't be afraid to reach out!

Collaborate with Other Artists

Let's switch gears for a moment. While it's important to build relationships with gallery owners and curators, networking in the art industry isn't just about impressing the bigwigs. It's also about connecting with your peers—other artists. Here's why:

  1. Learn from Each Other: Every artist has their unique way of doing things. By collaborating with other artists, you can learn new techniques, styles, and perspectives that you might not have discovered on your own.
  2. Build a Support Network: Let's face it, being an artist can be tough. There will be times when you question yourself, your art, and your choices. Having a network of fellow artists who understand what you're going through can be a great source of support and encouragement.
  3. Expand Your Reach: When you collaborate with other artists, you're effectively combining your audiences. This can lead to more exposure for your work, and potentially, more opportunities.
  4. Gain Credibility: If you're a newer artist, collaborating with a more established artist can boost your credibility in the art industry. It shows that you're serious about your work, and that others in the industry take you seriously too.

So, don't view other artists as competition—view them as potential collaborators. Remember, a rising tide lifts all boats. When one artist succeeds, it creates more opportunities for all artists. By collaborating, you're helping to create a stronger, more vibrant art community.

Get Involved in Local Art Organizations

Now, let's talk about getting involved in local art organizations. You might be thinking, "Why should I spend my precious time with an art organization when I could be creating?" Well, there are a number of reasons:

  1. Meet Like-minded People: Local art organizations are a hotbed for art industry networking events and strategies. You'll meet artists, gallery owners, art lovers, and even potential buyers. It's a wonderful way to build relationships and expand your network.
  2. Access to Resources: Art organizations can often provide resources that would be difficult to access on your own. This could be anything from studio space and art supplies, to workshops and training programs.
  3. Exhibition Opportunities: Many art organizations host exhibitions and showcases for their members. This can be a fantastic opportunity to get your work seen by a wider audience.
  4. Community Involvement: By participating in an art organization, you're also contributing to your local art community. This sense of community can be incredibly enriching and rewarding.

Getting involved in a local art organization is more than just a strategic move—it's a chance to immerse yourself in the art community, to learn, grow, and contribute. It's worth considering as part of your art industry networking events and strategies.

Follow up and Maintain Your Network

Creating connections is important, but maintaining them is where the real magic happens. Imagine your network as a garden—it's not enough to just plant the seeds, you've got to water them and get rid of any weeds. Here's how you can do that in the art industry:

  1. Follow Up: After attending art industry networking events, make sure to follow up with the people you met. A simple email or social media message to say it was nice meeting them can go a long way. Remember, people are more likely to remember how you made them feel than what you said.
  2. Stay In Touch: Don't let your connections grow cold. Regularly engage with your contacts—comment on their social media posts, send them articles they might find interesting, or even just check in to see how they're doing.
  3. Be Genuine: Networking is not just about what others can do for you, but what you can do for others. Show genuine interest in the people you meet and look for ways to support them. They'll appreciate it and be more likely to return the favor.
  4. Keep Organized: Keep track of your contacts and conversations. This can be as simple as a spreadsheet or as sophisticated as a customer relationship management (CRM) system. This way, you'll remember important details and avoid awkward moments of forgetfulness.

When executed properly, these strategies can help you maintain a vibrant and beneficial network in the art industry. Remember, the key to successful networking is building and nurturing genuine relationships.

If you're looking to improve your networking skills within the art industry, we highly recommend checking out the workshop 'Effective Social Media Strategies For Creatives' by Shannon. This workshop will provide you with valuable insights and practical tips on how to leverage social media to build meaningful connections and expand your professional network in the art world.