Key Business Lessons from Life Roles

A museum colleague and I try out the props in an educational space at the Getty in 1998.

I've had various titles and roles throughout my life. These are a few of the lessons I've learned from each. They're applicable to what I do and what I share with you.
Assistant to a U.S. Senator
One's success depends on building and maintaining relationships.
Museum Curator
Artists within the community are vital contributors to the health of an art museum.
Museum Educator
Most people aren't privy to a visual education. It's our job to teach them how to look at and appreciate art.
Art Collector
I buy art from artists I meet and like. You really should meet more people and be nice to them.
Art History Grad Student
Art history is a history of individuals, not of companies. Put your name out there. Don't hide behind a business name.

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5 thoughts on “Key Business Lessons from Life Roles”

  1. Good one, Alyson! Whenever I’ve taken a job it’s always been because I wanted to challenge myself to learn something. The lessons may be good or bad, and you may not come out having learned what you had expected to, but you always learn something. And I know that if I hadn’t followed the employment path that I had, I wouldn’t feel prepared to take on my art career the way I am now. Knowledge is power and you have to gain that power in your own way.

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      For me, hindsight is 20/20. I didn’t know these lessons at the time, but every one of them inform what I do now.

  2. About introducing ourselves on Lesson Six, here is what I wrote:
    Hello! I’m Doris Olsen and I’m working on a new series of paintings
    showing favorite views of Tuolumne County & Yosemite. What is your
    favorite view? (The question opens up a conversation for anyone to
    answer and gives me an insight as to what people like).

  3. So true! And I agree with what Jacqueline said too.
    Immersing myself in art full-time has made it more challenging to get out there and network in the way my previous career required. Partly because the more time alone in my studio the more introverted I become and partly because I’m not spending my days going to meetings, fundraisers and public events. But I am keenly aware that networking with people remains an important part of my new career so I look for those opportunities now.

  4. I have the same problem as Lisa, it takes great effort to leave my studio and network. I know how important this is so I have been attempting to meet more people. Thanks for reinforcing how important this is for artists.

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