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From Jessica Burko:

Working with all of you for four weeks has been really invigorating. Your questions have made me think about arts marketing from new perspectives, your cocktail speeches were impressive, and seeing each one of you blossom into new artist professionals was worth every minute of that long drive to the Cape and back. 🙂

I want to leave you with a few things to remember as you continue down the path of your developing careers as working artists:
  • Take control of your career — if a venue is not selling your work, talk with them about it and/or look for a new venue that will be more suitable for your work. If a gallery and your work is a good fit THE WORK WILL SELL.
  • Try something new — don’t keep banging your head against the wall. If your web site isn’t attracting visitors, REDESIGN IT AND ANNOUNCE THE CHANGE. If you’re not selling work through the traditional gallery/artist arrangement, TRY NEW AVENUES like art fairs, open studios, and showing/selling on-line. If you haven’t been getting into juried shows, REDESIGN YOUR MATERIALS, TAKE BETTER PHOTOS OF YOUR WORK, AND FIND SHOWS THAT MATCH BETTER YOUR WORK. Don’t give up, just do something different.
  • Explore the on-line world — places like http://www.etsy.com/, http://www.indiepublic.com/, https://www.guild.com/, are great places for you to show and sell your work, and connect to other artists and creative people in New England and beyond.
  • Ask your friends — what they are doing, where they are successfully showing/selling, how they make it happen for themselves. SHARING RESOURCES is a great way to reinvigorate, and get new ideas and tools. Maybe start a monthly artist group for these types of discussions.
  • Live outside of your bubble — get out of the studio! Go to art shows, museums, lectures. Through observation you will gain creative INSPIRATION, discover NEW VENUES AND OPPORTUNITIES, get ideas for DISPLAY OF YOUR WORK, and MEET OTHER ARTISTS. All these activities will come together to enrich your life as an artist.
You are all serious about advancing your art careers, and that is MONUMENTAL.  Don’t lose momentum, keep creating, keep exploring, and you will find that by applying the same dedication to the MARKETING of your work that you apply to DEVELOPING your art, you will achieve all of your professional goals as an artist. I look forward to seeing what you do next!!
Please keep in touch,
Jessica Burko
Artist, Arts Marketer, Independent Curator

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It was great seeing everyone again in Cape Cod!

Here is a summary of what we discussed in the workshop on April 29:

REVIEW…

Hopefully you are working on developing an Artist Statement and a Bio or re-working these materials from past versions. Artist Statements and Bios should be revised regularly as your work develops and your art career progresses. As you are working on these written pieces read them aloud to yourself, and ask artists and non-artists to read them. The more ears/eyes for your writing the more you will know if it makes sense to others.

Remember what makes an effective Artist Statement:

• A blend of technical, conceptual, and personal information.

• Making the connection between what is seen visually, and what you the artist think when creating your work.

• Be brief and to the point. 1 – 3 paragraphs for an artist statement is ideal.

Remember what components make a complete Bio:

• Your higher education degrees, perhaps with dates included.

• Major shows/collections/awards/grants, recent if available.

• Small amount of personal info such as where you live or where you’re from.

Your Bio and Artist Statement can be used in:

• Press packets you send to publications and critics.

• Gallery and show submission packets.

• As materials to give collectors.

• In your own studio for an open studios event.

• On your web site in an on-line media kit.

press releases, press packets, and how to use them to effectively get your self some attention in print…

For a reminder of how to write a press release, check out the blog post from April 25th for a step-by-step PDF.

Occasions worthy of a press release:

• Upcoming show opening

• Upcoming Open Studio event

• Announcement of a major commission (such as a public art project)

• Announcement of a major grant, or residency

• Announcement of a new studio location

• Announcement of a new web site

When to send a press release:

IF you have something to announce, once a month is an appropriate frequency for sending press releases. All publications have a “lead time” which they will publish on their web site, or in print, or you can call and ask for this information. “Lead time” is the amount of time before publishing a specific issue in which they need to receive your information in order to consider it for publication. If you are targeting a monthly publication and they are scheduled to go to press next week, you will not have a chance of being included in the upcoming issue. Daily publications can have a lead time of a couple of weeks to a couple of days, while publications that go to press on a more seldom basis may have 2-3 months of a lead time for each issue.

Where to send your press release:

The possibilities are endless! But a good place to start is your local newspaper, and the newspapers published in nearby towns and cities. If you are having a show in another location, investigate what daily publications are available there and send them a press release about your show. DO NOT ASSUME THAT YOUR GALLERY WILL DO THIS FOR YOU, but asking where they target press is appropriate. Other press targets to keep in mind are:

• Alumni magazines (from where YOU went to school)

• Art associations (that YOU are a member of)

• Trade magazines (Ceramics Monthly, Glass Art Magazine, Aperture, etc.)

• Local magazines

• Local TV stations

• Local NPR station

What is the best way to submit a press release?

Press releases are best sent to the Editor of the Arts, Lifestyle, Living Arts, or a similar section. If you are unsure of what section of a certain publication features art pick up a print copy, or look on-line to do your research. Either of these methods is also how to find the name and contact info for the proper section and Editorial Staff. Many publications provide email addresses for Editorial Staff or a fax number will be listed for particular departments. When sending a press release via email copy and paste the text of your release with NO FORMATTING onto the body of an email and be sure to include a web address for reference for your show/event/studio/art if you have one. When faxing a press release make sure it is printed on your letterhead and formatted properly (see How To PDF for formatting). The “contact us” link usually found at the bottom of a publication web site is a great way to find the info you are looking for.

Calendar listings

In addition to sending press releases about events you have coming up a great way to get the word out is to utilize calendar listings. These are generally free and many publications will include listings of upcoming events in print and on-line versions of their publications. Find where and how to send calendar listings the same way that you research whom to address your press releases. At the beginning of a calendar section in a print publication often it will say where to send listings and what the lead time is. If you are viewing an on-line publication look for links called “calendar” or “events” to submit your listing. In addition, there are many web sites that are all about listing events. To get started check out:

http://upcoming.yahoo.com/

http://www.craigslist.org/about/sites.html (look for ‘events’ under ‘community’ in your location)

http://eventful.com/

http://boston.going.com/

What should these materials, the artist statement, bio, and press release look like?

How should they be incorporated into a press packet?

Making your materials coordinate, and showing yourself in the most professional light is important when putting together a press packet.

• Letterhead: print each piece of writing on a letterhead containing your contact info, and web site address. Develop your own letterhead, or hire a graphic designer to do it for you. Having a unified look to your press materials and your press kit, or even your gallery submission packet makes a huge difference in how your work is received.

• For great tips on how to put together your artist resume check out these guidelines from the College Art Association: http://www.collegeart.org/guidelines/resume.html

Once you have your written materials printed:

• Put them all into a folder with an image and your name on the front.

• Include additional materials in your folder like

postcards from past shows

photocopies of past press

a CD of high resolution, 300dpi, CMYK images (preferably with a CD label graphically coordinated with your other materials)

a brief cover letter

Burko press packet

Mills Press Packet

Hopefully you will soon begin regularly sending press releases, and once you assemble these additional materials a press packet can be sent approximately once a year. In addition to generating editorial coverage for yourself, you will be letting publications know that you are an expert in your field, and the next time they need to speak with someone about the arts, or a big local art event, they will know to call you.

We covered a lot of territory in the workshop this week, so if there is any additional information you are looking for, or anything you’d like to see added to this post please leave a comment – thanks, and see you on May 6th!

Jessica

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I am sorry to relate that Jessica Burko is feeling poorly and so she will not be able to present as scheduled this week.  But the show must go on!

Instead, our presenter of Blogging, Dave Caolo, who was originally scheduled for April 29, will present his session this Tuesday.  We have already been discussing blogs and Twitter (which is a sort of microblogging tool) quite a bit in class, so this will answer some of the questions that have already been raised.

Jessica will pick up again where she left off next week — so participants in the class are not off the hook on developing and presenting their elevator/cocktail speeches!

As a matter of fact, with an extra week to prepare, we are going to expect nothing less than BRILLIANCE.

So we will see you, as scheduled, at the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, Tuesday evening at 5:30 pm, for Dave Caolo’s session on blogging.

Thank you!

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Week Two

We’re looking forward to Week Two of What’s Your Story: Personal Branding, PR and New Media for Artists! We had to relocate to a room at Cape Cod Community College last week, but we are all set this week to return to our natural home at the offices of the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod.

Jessica Burko will present our second session focused on branding: Refining Your Message, Defining Your Targets. Building on Jim Hill’s fantastic presentation last week on Branding for Artists, we’ll be delving deeper into this topic with Jessica.

Jessica Burko has been a working photographer since 1985 and has exhibited her photographic work in solo and group shows throughout the United States. Burko is originally from Philadelphia and currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She holds a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design, and an MFA from Rochester Institute of Technology.

As an artist, independent curator, and arts marketer, Burko divides her time between working in her studio, and working on-site with artists and arts organizations. Recent exhibitions of Burko’s photography based, mixed-media work include: New Voices, Gallery 181, Lawrence, MA; Among Us and Curious, Newspace Center for Photography, Portland, OR; Open Call/Size Matters, RHYS Gallery, Boston, MA; Small Works: Spirits and Shrines, Fiber Art Center, Amherst, MA, and several of Burko’s images have been published in Room Of One’s Own, Vancouver, BC, and in PennMed Magazine, Philadelphia, PA.

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