Getting your foot in the door at an art gallery can be a long process. It may seem daunting, but try to take it one move at a time. We have here some of the preparatory steps an artist should go through, before even thinking about gallery representation. Having this all prepared neatly beforehand will ensure the artist interview goes smoothly.
Before even approaching the gallery, an artist should do their homework. Talk to other artists who are being represented there. Ask them for advice on preparing for the gallery interview. They may even divulge some of the questions commonly asked by the art gallery owner.
How to prepare for an art gallery interview in 10 steps
- Create a portfolio
Making a portfolio is completely explained here: Designing an Art Portfolio
- Write an artist statement
- Have your artist bio ready – This will soon be the topic of an article at Artpromotivate.
- Include a resume along with the portfolio
- Contacting the gallery
This can be done on the phone, or by actually visiting. Do not beg, but just tell them that you are interested in an interview appointment. Let them know that you will be bringing along your presentation portfolio, along with an artist bio, statement, and resume.
- Travelling to the gallery
Ensuring you have adequate transportation for the interview beforehand is obvious. Try to leave early to account for delays because of traffic and weather. 15 minutes before the interview session is the optimal time to arrive.
- Entering the gallery
Stay cool, calm and collected. Take some deep breaths if you are nervous. Be very friendly and greet them.
- The artist interview
Let them be in charge of the whole interview process. Answer the questions as articulately as possible. The interviewer may ask about the theme behind a specific artwork, so please be prepared for this.
If the person asks “Do you have any questions?”, do not answer with a simple ”no”. It’s always a good idea to think of possible questions to ask them, before even going in for the interview.
Below is a list of some common art gallery interview questions. For preparation, it is recommended to write out the answers on a notepad, or even in an artist sketchbook. If you are nervous, try practicing in front of a mirror.
- Thank them when the the interview is finished and give them an artist business card. Also, ask him or her when you can expect to be notified of acceptance or denial.
- Following up
If no call is returned within a week, try phoning and simply state that you are enquiring about the status of the application for gallery representation.
List of common art gallery interview questions and tips
These are some of the questions commonly asked by the interviewee.
- Have you developed a unique identifiable style?
- If so, why do you use this style?
- What are the mediums that you prefer?
- Who influenced you the most for becoming an artist?
- Have you narrowed down your particular art audience?
- Where have you displayed art in the past?
- How long have you been creating?
- Do you have any regrets about being an artist?
- Why do you want to show art at our gallery?
- How often do you create art? The gallery owner has to know if you are dependable to continually produce art for display at the gallery.
- Do you have a job outside of creating art? If so, how do you balance work and making art?
- How much do you charge for your artworks? For tips on pricing art please visit Art Pricing Tips
- Where do you see yourself as an artist 10 years from now?
Remember, if you are not accepted for gallery representation, do not get down about it. Ask them why, but certainly not in an angry tone. You may have to gather a larger body of work, or demonstrate more that your art is saleable. Instead of directly going to another gallery, the artist should work on these things in order to ensure they are more prepared for the next gallery interview.