a-n

a-n The Artist Information Company is a 'must look' site.  It offers clear insights into the visual arts as well as current new, comment and debate.

You will find the weeks top exhibitions, reviews, campaigns and valuable opportunities, job listings and networks.

It began life in 1980 as a paper publication, which provided timely help, advice and information for artists.  As information delivery developed so did a-n and they are now exclusively online.  This gives them an edge over 'paper' as they can deliver current information quickly.

They have over 19,000 and focus on conversations around critical and professional activities for artists, art students, producers, arts professionals, researchers, arts organisations and universities.

News and other items are fully accessible but they also run a paid membership option which gives you access to extra material and information.  Annual artist membership is £36 or you can have a £10 day pass.

Bookmark them - they are a valuable source of relevant information and advice.

www.a-n.co.uk

 

Axisweb

Axisweb.org has been supporting artists since 1991.  They showcase the best UK contemporary art and craft, and connect visitors with the people who make and present it.

Artists can set up their own portfolios here after going through a curated selection process and paying an annual fee.  This part isn't open to students as you need to demonstrate your professional engagement in the field after graduating.  Because of this 'selection' there is an extremely high level of artists and work across a wide range of media and styles.

The site offers features, advice, reviews, rants and opportunities in the field.

An all round excellent source for the professional artist.

Visit them at: www.axisweb.org

Artquest

We think we know quite a lot about supporting artists with professional advice but we are always on the lookout for other places were you can view clear and relevant information.

The team at Artquest are doing just that,  and very well indeed!

Their site offers information about many of the areas you might need support with as a practicing artist. They provide information on a wide range of resources, opportunities, artlaw and some great articles on how to make a living, show and sell your work, promote yourself or work with others.

Sections are well organised, detailed and informatively written.  It is always great to have multiple views about some of the areas you are stressing about so have a noodle round their site - there are gems to find and timely opportunities for competitions or places to show.

Artquest was launched in 2001 and is hosted by University of the Arts London.  It is also  a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England.

www.artquest.org.uk

Saatchi Art releases iPhone App

Saatchi Art has released their Saatchi Art app for iPhone.
 
  • Artists can photograph, upload artwork for sale, and manage their online portfolio all within the app.

  • Connect with other artists and art lovers. You can manage your Saatchi Art profile, follow new artists and collectors, and track your site activity in your newsfeed
  • See what’s trending on Saatchi Art. In the Popular Favorites section, you can stay informed about which artworks are getting the most love from our community.
Now available to download for free in the Mac App Store!
 
More details at  www.saatchiart.com
  • Published in News

Ta Da! We're Back - Well Almost

During 2013 we been away for a few weeks due to our site being hacked.  That wasn't a good day for any of us.

DARK DAYS

On 22nd June 2013 (the longest day in the UK), things became 'difficult'.  We had noticed some strange activity and a massive increase in page views for pages which were not normally looked at.  Eventually the site crashed and had to be completely deleted.  That hurt!

Unfortunately it transpired that our backups were also corrupted so it wasn't possible to reinstall the site.  That hurt more!  It was a very long day.

What to do?  We don't have a team of highly paid designers and coders to step in and rebuild the site from scratch (everyone works for free and to do that they have other jobs which they can't just stop doing to rush and help).  One alternative was just to close down (believe us we thought about it!!!).  We knew the site was valuable to a lot of artists, based on the tremendous feedback we received while we have been online, so that didn't see much of an option.

We decided to look on this as a positive learning experience (which still hurt!), and use the situation to redesign, remake and rewrite the site. 

Rather than wait until all the content was completely remade we thought we should relaunch a basic site with some key material and then build on that.  It is a work in progress but the new site is slowly filling up.  

NEW DESIGN

We took the opportunity to adopt a new design, which we feel is even crisper and cleaner than the previous one (and we thought that was pretty good!).  We have also gone 'responsive' which means the site looks lovely on a computer, tablet or smart phone.  If you are reading this on a computer try resizing your browser window and watch what happens to the content on the right of the site!  As over 50% of people go online using a smart phone, it seems a good move to make sure when they visit us they receive a smooth and adapted experience which allows them to use the site to its full potential.

THANKS

We just wanted to thank all our visitors and subscribers for their patience during our 'dark' time.  We are making multiple backups of this site just in case!!!

Enjoy the new site.  Once all the previous material is back online we aim to expand some sections, commission new material, add new sections (particularly an arts new one) and, keep streamlining the way we present information.

  • Published in News

How to Write a Killer Press Release

Following her advice to artists on approaching the press, professional art writer Becky Hunter focuses on the fundamentals of PR copy.

In An Artist’s Guide to the Press, I dealt with the nuts and bolts of PR strategy, involving good timing, careful research, personalized communication, and a punchy press release. However, once your press release is, safely and punctually, in the right journalist’s inbox, what will make it memorable? And, as an independent artist competing with the well-oiled press machines of commercial and public galleries, how will you project a professional image, while remaining true to your unique story?


This article is my answer to those questions, based upon experience receiving and writing hundreds of press releases, and talking to writers and magazine editors. To get the most out of it, I suggest downloading a press release or two from an established gallery website, for example Tate ModernBALTIC, or Sadie Coles HQ, or from an arts PR firm like JB Pelham. These will serve as a “model” for best practice as you work through my advice; they are also invaluable as you get to grips with layout issues, such as working out how much space (or how many words) each section of the release should use.

So, first things first, at the top of your document indicate that it is a press release simply by typing “For Immediate Release” accompanied by today’s date. In the case of time sensitive material, such as top-secret competition results, instead type “Embargoed Until [future date]”. As a header, include your logo or name as it appears on your website, which will provide visual continuity for writers who receive your information regularly.

In terms of text, the release’s first two lines are the most important – if they’re vague, dull, or full of jargon, the journalist may not read further. You might like to highlight them in bold, or separate them from the rest of the piece. Take a while to think about the overall concept or feel of your project – brainstorm it on a big sheet of paper if you’d like – then whittle it down to a maximum of two informative sentences. For example, these are my most recent opening lines:

Philadelphia, PA – Vox Populi hosts a special summer party on First Friday with music, video and performance events by Jim Jeffers & Lydia Grey, Micah Danges and Jessica Gath.

Building upon the success of last summer’s event, SOUND/STAGES II is an exciting First Friday one-nighter channeling themes of collaboration and participation in music, video and performance.

The first, bold sentence communicates the location, event type, approximate date, media, and artist names, using “special summer party” to set the tone. Placed underneath a hi-res image, the second line puts the party in context, outlines key themes, and reaffirms the type of art to be expected, leading onto more detailed descriptions of each planned performance.

The main body of your press release should expand upon the intro, providing specifics on anything you’ve mentioned thus far, and weaving a narrative around the most interesting aspects of the project. Basically, you’re coming up with a “story” that a busy journalist can quickly lift into their article. For the Vox Populi release , my story circled around participation, collaboration, and fun. You might choose to highlight a technique that you’ve invented, focus on a theme or curatorial premise as I did, or go into some depth on how your firsthand experience of nuclear physics, motherhood, or a residency in China has influenced your current work.

It’s also a good idea to include a quote from a project participant, previously published review, or key theoretical text, as time-challenged art writers like to have quotations to hand if there’s not time or scope to arrange an interview.

It’s worth keeping in mind that most emerging writers (and many established ones!) are overworked and underpaid, fitting in exhibition reviewing and feature writing after their day job, or alongside full time study. The easier you can make it for them to grasp and enjoy the key points of your project, the more likely it is that you’ll get reviewed. In light of this, be sure to include a section headed “Key Information” or “Notes for Editors” either at the very top or bottom of the page, where it is easy to spot. List here, in clear bullet form, important dates, opening times, event address and nearest subway/tube/bus station, your contact information, plus useful web-links where appropriate.

Your completed text should be no more than 300 words, or one page long. Longwinded copy just doesn’t get read. End with any sponsors’ logos, and a simple call to action to prompt your reader to visit the show, or to pitch your story to their editor. This might read, as mine did: “Join us on First Friday for this special night,” or you might encourage the journalist to get in touch: “Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for high resolution images, information, and interview opportunities.”

After final careful spelling, grammar, date and time checks, your press release is ready to send as a PDF together with one or two images under 1MB each. With a bit of luck and persistence, you’ll get a fantastic response!


Becky Hunter (MA History of Art, University of York, AHRC) writes regularly for Art Papers and is available to write catalogue essays, press releases and creative marketing copy, or to edit artist statements. Fine out more about her at: www.beckyhuffhunter.net or Twitter @musehunter

 


  • Published in Advice
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