Useful Art & Artist Societies or Art Publications
An art business can depend on societies and publications for advice and help when setting up. Whether you venture into fine art, portraits, painting, contemporary watercolour, prints, and sculpture or you merely want to enter competitions, their guidance can be priceless.
SocietiesThere are many art societies throughout the UK, ranging from specialist organisations through to major societies that cater for all artists of any ability. However, some of the more focused societies are by invitation only and can be very difficult to gain access to.
A quick search on the internet will reveal a lot of webpage's dealing with your subject. You will need to look at them all very carefully before making a decision. Look at member numbers, the quality of submissions, look at the webpage itself; is it error free, well laid out and easy to navigate? If so, the chances are it was professionally designed meaning the society take care in its appearance and is more likely to offer a good deal. Remember, high membership numbers doesn't necessarily mean that they are a good society to join. It is better to go for one that has less members but whose work is of a higher calibre. You are more likely to be taken seriously by critics and galleries if you belong to a few select clubs rather than a few mediocre ones that you paid to join regardless of the quality of your work.
To get you started, some of the societies on offer are listed in the online resources article.
PublicationsThere are various art publications available, but the best one for any artist to won is the Artists & Writers Yearbook published annually by A & C Black (ISBN-10 1408102641 & ISBN-13 978-1408102640). It lists all the societies and contact information, along with their present requirements. It will also list the person that you need to approach with queries and ideas, but it is always best to check first by calling to see who to contact as people do change jobs and it looks very unprofessional if you don't know who to address your submissions to. The price of a phone call can save you a lot of embarrassment further down the line.
Magazines are a great source of information and to begin with it is best to buy a few editions and read through them rather than jump in and subscribe only to find that despite their title they don't fulfill your needs. When you have a found a magazine you like, again, purchase a few to make sure its what you want before subscribing, just because January contained a useful article on painting the perfect sky in watercolour doesn't mean subsequent issues will contain information pertinent to your business. Only when you know a magazine is truly useful to you and your business should you commit to a subscription.
There are also a whole host of free publications and newsletters available online. All you need is a little time and effort to sort through the rubbish – and there is a lot of it out there – to find the little gems. You will also be surprised to find that there are many online galleries that will promote your work too, for a fee of course, but every little bit helps!