There is so much pressure when you're making new connections.
I get it. You want to hit a home run when you contact someone about your art. You don't want to blow the opportunity.
Maybe you're planning to send an email to an interior designer, set up a meeting with an art consultant, or write a letter to a gallerist.
You want the recipient to show your art, buy your work, or represent you.
Whatever the situation, you’re not alone in wanting to get it just right.
Let's see if I can alleviate some of that pressure for you.
Think About This Differently
Much of the stress of meeting new people comes from the mistaken notion that this one contact is your only opportunity.
If you think about it as your only opportunity, you aren’t leaving open the possibility of developing a meaningful relationship. And strong professional relationships are what will grow and sustain your art career.
Instead of thinking about your first contact as a one-time chance, consider it only an introduction—your first of many contacts.
You never want to ask for anything in the first contact with a new prospect.
Introduce yourself to people in order to build lasting relationships, not to try to get something from them.
It Takes Longer
Nurturing relationships is a long-term investment in your art career and life. It's a process, not a one-off correspondence.
You are building name recognition and trust throughout—proving you are in it for the duration.
There is no perfect timeline for this process. It requires patience and commitment.
If you're staying in touch and following up, you’ll know when the time is right to ask (for representation, a show, a referral, whatever).
This was first published on March 19, 2014 and has been updated with original comments intact.