In association with the Royal Academy of Arts

How to get noticed

Generating controversy isn't the only way to get your work the attention it deserves – we share the best ways to stand out, get noticed, and get loved

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Jeremy Shaw
“Introduction to The Memory Personality”, 2012. Single channel VHS installationCourtesy Jeremy Shaw and Johann König, Berlin

This article is part of a series on art today to support the Dazed x Converse Emerging Artists Award  Check out the rest of content here and make sure to visit the Royal Academy in London before 17th May to see all the work IRL. 

Right now we exist at hyper speed. Creatives battle for attention across a myriad of platforms and new names emerge faster and harder. The competition is intense. So what’s the best way to get in on the action? Should we jack into cyberspace or make contacts IRL? We find out how best to stand out, get noticed and get loved with champion of fresh young talent, curator and writer Francesca Gavin. Our Dazed x Converse Emerging Artists Award judge, and Dazed Art Editor – known for books including 100 New Artists and group shows on themes from rave music to post-digital disembodiment – spills all on how she finds new artists, incidentally giving us the best excuse to party we’ve heard in a while.

DON'T FOLLOW THE MARKET

“I love originality. I’m always looking for something fresh because things get done a lot. It’s actually weird things that stick in my head the most especially if that connects to some kind of political motivation. I definitely think I’ve been influenced by the wave of post Mike Kelley artists. I like strange individuals who resist the market.”

INSTA IT

“I sometimes find artists through instagram. I like it when artists use it as a way of showing their work. I think some peoples’ art works really nicely on it. I do discover new things largely through following other curators so you’re looking at who people like Stuart Comer or Lindsay Howard are seeing internationally.”

DON'T QUIT FACEBOOK

“Even though I hate Facebook and I’ve actually deleted almost everyone I know on it, I have a couple of friends who are younger artist curators whose stuff comes up on my feed. I’ll admit I end up finding artists through that quite a lot. Even though I was resistant to it, through Facebook I’ve discovered a lot of events with interesting artists.”

BE AN ORIGINAL BRAIN

“I’ve always been really aware of my desire to meet interesting people with unusual thinking and I think art is a place where you do get really different approaches to thought. Original heads are fun even if they’re weird. I’ve always been interested in original brains. I’ve stalked some artists for years before I could finally meet them just because I’m a fan of their work and ideas.”

GET ON BLOGS

“Sometimes you’ll see one tiny mention of an artist on a blog and you’ll go down the rabbit hole and think ‘this is amazing’. There’s so many good online spaces I find work. I save them up and go through them once a month. I love But Does it FloatTriple Canopy is incredible, they do great online projects. There’s one called Voodoo Voodoo which is kind of wild and I follow Motto who do book and small artist distribution. I’ve definitely found a lot of younger artists and more weirdo ziney ones through that.”

GET IN PRINT

“I’ve always been a magazine obsessive. I have particular favourite art magazines – Kaleidoscope definitely, I do get FriezeArt Review and Art Forum but also a lot of strange random magazines you find internationally. I’m quite into this one called Not Today at the moment. I’ve made scrapbooks for 15 years now where I collect images I like from magazines and I just keep them in mind for the future.”

SHOW SHOW SHOW

“I try to go to an exhibition a day which I can’t always, but when I do go to shows I do it in bursts of anything from 1-15 in a go, so I wander around cities a lot. I don’t always love what I see right away. It’s all about how art relates to your contemporary experience. I interviewed Mike Nelson once and he said it brilliantly - that you go to an exhibition and it may not connect to you at that point but then three years later you’ll be walking down the street and bam something will click and that’s when the work is activated.”

PARTY HARD

“There are no boundaries between work and social life in my art world… in the art world…in art. I definitely have met loads of people at openings and parties. Sometimes you’re just having random conversations and you end up seeing their work afterwards. I first met Jeremy Shaw in Berlin one really hot summer at a party with a fake beach then later I started looking at his work and I connected with everything he did. I put him in three shows and three collections after that.”

The Emerging Artists Award 2015 is free entry and is open from 18 April to 17 May at Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts