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Art is a fun and practical pastime for seniors. According to Lesley University, creative expression can improve mental and emotional wellbeing in older adults. If you're a senior artist, networking can help you get your creative work out to the world. Whether you're creating as a hobby or to make money, getting recognition can be hugely rewarding.
Connect locally in your community
If you look around, there are likely many opportunities to show off your art in your local community. The Art World offers a comprehensive directory of galleries across the United States you can browse. You can also check local farmer's markets, craft fairs, and charitable events for opportunities to present, promote, or even sell your work.
Prepare an elevator pitch
If you do go to events to network with other artists or present your work, prepare an elevator pitch in advance. The Balance Careers explains that an elevator pitch is a 30 to 60-second speech that tells who you are, what you do, and what your goals are. For example, you might share your name, the medium you work with, and whether your pieces are for sale.
Focus on connecting, not promoting
When attending networking events in person, prepare to make a stellar first impression. Harvard Business Review recommends preparing talking points and focusing on commonalities with your conversation partner. Try to concentrate on connecting with the individual instead of just promoting your work. This is how you build bonds to sustain a long-term network.
Use social media for online networking
In-person events may not always be readily available in your area. Luckily, you can still network online using social media. Checkli provides a guidebook for using social media as an artist. Tips include posting regularly, using hashtags, and engaging with others. You might also consider running social media ads on your chosen platform to further boost your profile.
Create a stellar online portfolio to share with your new network
An online portfolio is a great way to promote your work online. You can direct people to your website via your social media profiles. It's easy to create a digital artistic portfolio using ready-made template sites like Jimdo. Make sure to take high-quality images of your work so that it's accurately and clearly represented online.
Get modern business cards
Have custom business cards made to carry with you when you go to in-person networking events. This ensures people you meet know how to reach you. You can also include a QR code on your card to direct people to your online portfolio. Brandly explains that a QR code is a scannable barcode. The other person's phone can read the code to visit your website.
Get a new phone so you're continually connected
As your network grows, you want to ensure you can stay in touch with your new contacts. With a new smartphone, you can stay connected via email, text, call, social media, and more. Invest in a top-quality screen protector to help keep your phone safe. Verizon has options for every budget, so you can find an option that fits your wallet.
As a senior artist, sharing your creative work with the world can be personally fulfilling — and, if you sell your work, financially rewarding. The above networking tips will help raise your profile and get your work seen.