On Success: Tips for Artists

For whatever your definition of success is


Shoebox PR’s manifesto for surviving in the Art World

Find your community or make one
Patience and perseverance
Be easy to work with
Follow Directions
Show Up!
Get Involved
Generosity begets Generosity
Be brave
Be authentic
Make bad art (Thanks Kiel!)
Read/Research – keep looking at art and keep learning about art
Have meaningful experiences
produce good quality and original work
Learn to say no
Don’t be afraid to ask, you may get a yes
“The Only Rule is Work”
You be you – Stay true to your vision and yourself
Compete only with yourself
Keep working (hard)
Stay humble
Consider your endgame (goals, goals, goals)
Be open to the twists and turns on your career path
You can’t sell art if you don’t show your art
Learn to live with rejection. It is not you, it’s them.

Practical info for artists:

Have the best photos possible of your work for submissions
– No reflections, angles, shadows
– make sure the coloring in the photo matches the actual artwork

Use Facebook and Instagram to its fullest potential

Have a mailing list and send out newsletters quarterly

Check your emails/texts/FB messages daily and answer immediately, especially if it pertains to your work.

Have your work ready to hang when dropping it off at the gallery AND have all of the info/paperwork signed and filled out.

Meet Deadlines and promote the shows you are in on social media and in your newsletters.

Support your artist friends, galleries, institutions either by going to the openings, visiting/studio visits during business hours or following and engaging on social media.

Build a large body of work(s) for several shows. Be ready when you are invited to show.

Start a blog on your website to help drive people to your website.

Surround yourself with supportive people

Perfect your elevator speech about your work. Learn to talk about your art in an easy and articulate manner. Be honest, humble, meaningful. Be a storyteller for your work.

Once you set a price for your work, you can never lowe that price. be responsible when pricing your work. Do you want to get it out into the world or keep it close to the vest and only sell limited pieces for more money?

Business outreach is critical – be proactive and follow-up

Have all of your supporting materials, CV, BIO, Artist Statement ready to go at a moments notice. If you don’t have a professional artist statement, hire someone to write it.

Make it easy to buy – have a square reader with you at all times, or venmo AND a price list on your phone. When someone asks you for a price, you can easily look it up.

Pay attention to detail

Huddle – A Postcard Show at Shoebox Projects. Photo Credit. Kristine Schomaker

**UPDATE** I am so excited to announce, we raised $1400 to be split between the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and the Trevor Project!!


The #equalityforall #resist postcard art show

Hosted by Shoebox Projects and Art and Cake

Curated by Kristine Schomaker
Sponsored by Shoebox PR

From womensmarch.com…

“First, we marched. Now we Huddle. We will gather together in our neighborhoods all over the world to define our next steps, and envision how to transform the energy we saw at Women’s Marches into local and national action.

Huddle (n.) – a small group of people holding an informal conversation”

I was part of a recent huddle in Los Angeles. It was an amazing experience to feel like we aren’t alone in our thinking about the current political climate. We talked about what is going on in our country and what we could do to make a difference.

This is one of my next steps. I am curating a postcard art show at Shoebox Projects in September 2017.

Sales: All work is donated to the show and sold for $25 each. 100% of proceeds will be donated equally to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and the Trevor Project. Payable by Check, Cash or Credit Card (additional fees may apply) at the reception.

Thank you for sharing your voices!!

Follow Art and Cake, Shoebox Projects and Shoebox PR to keep up with the latest information on our HUDDLE.

Kaipaipai at Donkey Mill Art Center, Summer 2016. Photo Credit Laurie Sumiye


07/24/2017 10:00 AM – 07/28/2017 04:00 PM ET


How to apply: This special program requires an online application through CaFE.org. Apply Here. Applicants will have the opportunity to upload photos of their work, answer questions, and include their exhibit resume. 12 participants will be selected by our Jury through CaFE. The $50 application fee includes a 1-year membership to the Donkey Mill Art Center. Accepted artists will be notified by Saturday, May 20, 2017 and must pay their tuition of $850 in advance in order to hold their place. Artists are responsible for their own travel and housing expenses, housing recommendations will be made during the acceptance process.

Workshop will run Monday – Friday, July 24-28, 2017 from 10am – 4pm, with optional morning and evening activities

This special program Kipaipai, meaning ‘To Encourage and Inspire’ will focus on professional practices in areas of gallery representation and museum exhibitions, self-promotion, use of social media in promotion, the importance of relevant critical writing, presentation and identifying and strategizing personal/professional goals. Participants will have an opportunity to be chosen for a show of their work at Lyons Weir Gallery in NYC.

Apply Here: https://www.callforentry.org/festivals_unique_info.php?ID=4168


Kaipaipai at Donkey Mill Art Center, Summer 2016. Photo Credit Andi Campognone

Through private one-on-one sessions and group meetings, students will have the rare opportunity to meet with a team of guest professionals including:


Betty Ann Brown is an art historian, critic, and curator. She received her Ph.D. in the History of Art in 1978 and joined the CSUN faculty in 1986. Her research and teaching have ranged from the ancient–Precolumbian Art of Mexico–to contemporary–Los Angeles Art Today. Brown has curated retrospective exhibitions for Hans Burkhardt, Roland Reiss, Linda Vallejo, June Wayne, and John White, as well as numerous themed exhibitions. Her most recent curatorial project was Time, Space & Matter: Five Installations Exploring Natural Phenomena, which featured the work of Lita Albuquerque, Suvan Geer, George Geyer, Mineko Grimmer, Tom McMillan, and Christine Nguyen.

Shana Nys Dambrot is an art critic & curator. She is based in Downtown Los Angeles, SND is currently LA Editor for Whitehot Magazine, Contributing Editor to Art Ltd., and a contributor to KCET’s Artbound, Flaunt, Huffington Post, The Creators Project, Fabrik, VS. Magazine, Palm Springs Life, and Porter & Sail. She studied Art History at Vassar College, writes loads of essays for art books and exhibition catalogs, curates and/or juries a few exhibitions each year, sometimes exhibits her original photography and publishes short fiction, and speaks in public at galleries, schools, and cultural institutions nationally.

Diane Costigan provides coaching to individuals who want to enhance themselves and maximize their performance. Through her work with leading law firms, professional service organizations and other businesses, Diane helps attorneys and business people at all levels. Her clients are high potential, open-minded, creative individuals with an unlimited capacity for learning and growth.

Diane’s approach to her work centers around the development and leveraging of emotional intelligence—particularly self-awareness and self-assessment. How we choose to implement self knowledge is at the root of sustainable behavioral change. Diane gives clients the tools to make positive, productive choices at every level.

Diane earned her B.A., cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from the College of the Holy Cross and her M.A. in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University, Teachers College. She has a certificate in Organizational and Executive Coaching from NYU, is an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) with the International Coaching Federation and is a Certified Health Coach (CHC) through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She is currently pursuing certification in Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT/Meridian Tapping).

Merry Akane Karnowsky is a Los Angeles art dealer and gallerist of Japanese and Polish-German ancestry. Karnowsky was born in Eastern Washington State and educated at Pitzer College – Claremont, California. In 1997, she opened The Merry Karnowsky Gallery in Los Angeles, California, and became another figure in the underground “Lowbrow (art movement),” pop surrealism, and Street Art scene, with exhibitions by Shepard Fairey, Camille Rose Garcia, Mercedes Helnwein and Todd Schorr. Her gallery has recently opened a second location, KP Projects, in Chinatown Los Angeles.

James Panozzo – Founder/Executive Director or LAUNCH, LA James created the non-profit social enterprise LAUNCH in 2010 to oversee the production of TarFest annually while also providing unique programming and exhibition opportunities to important artists in Los Angeles. He served as the Director of Lawrence Asher Gallery from 2004 – 2010, exhibiting emerging and mid-career painters, sculptors and installation artists. James co-founded TarFest in 2003 and continues to develop and manage its programs which provide opportunities to emerging artists at venues in the Miracle Mile District of LA.

Andi Campognone is California-based curator, author, and film producer, known for championing contemporary Southern California artists. Andi has over 25 years of arts experience in the southern California region. She is the Owner/Director of AC Projects, a private consulting organization focused on promoting arts and culture. Projects include developing museum exhibitions, public engagement, mentoring programs and book and film publications of historically relevant southern California artists. Campognone is also the Museum Manager/Curator for the City of Lancaster. She is responsible for the development and maintenance of partnerships and community engagement initiatives with local artists, local businesses, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Los Angeles County Supervisors office and higher level institutions. She develops curatorial direction for exhibition programming and educational programming and additionally she is directing the Museum accreditation process for MOAH. She has previously served the City of Pomona as Cultural Arts Commissioner where she co-wrote and implemented the City’s Master Cultural Arts Plan and the adopted Arts in Public Places Policy. She volunteers as a regular speaker and mentor to art students at both the undergraduate and graduate level and is on the advisory boards of ARTltd Magazine and Los Angeles Arts Association. She is a current member of ArTTable.

Cliff Benjamin is exhibition and sales manager at the Steven Arnold Archive and Museum in Haiku, Hawaii with over thirty years of gallery experience. Owner and Director of Los Angeles based Western Project for over 20 years. He is an accomplished teacher and lecturer with experience at Otis College of Art and Design, Art Center College of Design Pasadena, and California State University.

Testimonials from Kipaipai 2016 Participants:

“The Kipaipai Artist Workshop in Hawaii, hosted by Andi Campognone and all of the quest speakers was beyond my imagination! Getting to spend one on one time daily with an art critic Shana Nys Dambrot, 2 top gallery owners, Michael Lyons Weir rom New York, Andrea Schwartz from San Francisco, Jim Daichendt dean professor and scholar of street art, Diane Costigan, Mike O’Connor, and Museum Director Andi Campognone! When and were in the world would an artist be given time daily to ask for advice on our journey as an artist ….. only in this workshop. This was a life changing experience for me. I not only took home so much knowledge, I formed everlasting friendships with everyone involved in the workshop.” -Lisa Schulte

“My hope was to make a few connections and learn some tools for my art business. What I received was more than I could have imagined. I walked away knowing my true worth as an artist and as a contributor to the art world. There was a fundamental core of professionalism that imbued itself within me from the very gifted speakers and I walked away encouraged and ready to light the art world on fire. One year later I am teaching classes on Maui and from my studio with sustained, dedicated students. I’ve found an amazing apprentice who has brought so much extra time into my life. I’m wrapping up an art book of tips for artists due out next month. All in all, this was the best career move I’ve ever made. I can’t recommend it enough.” – Rose Adare

“Attending the Kipaiapi workshop was such a gift. I came away with a firm understanding of how to better present my work in public and in writing. I gained a wonderful peer group of fellow artists and connected with an amazing group of professionals in the art world. It was a game changer for me and I hope I get the chance to participate again.” – Margaret Shields

“Kipapai was a life changing week for me as an artist. To begin with I was on the beautiful island of Kona and got to do what I do best, photograph local surf spots. Andi was so generous with me and treated me like family allowing me to photograph her family surfing and to enjoy sunsets on the beach together.I did not rest for a minute. I came away so inspired and completed a new body of work and immediately was offered a solo show with dnj Gallery this past November. I also sold a commission to a new hotel in Newport Beach from the same body of work. The art professionals I met there and my fellow artists have become this magical network of support and friendship. Cannot recommend enough!” – Annie Seaton

Apply Here: https://www.callforentry.org/festivals_unique_info.php?ID=4168

Get the most out of your Social Media

Tips, tricks, strategies for obtaining more followers and engagement


  1. Tag all artists, galleries, institutions, etc. Use @ to locate their ‘username’ for tagging. Each platform may have different usernames. Branding tip: try to have the same username across all platforms.

  2. Hashtags are keywords. USE THEM on Twitter and Instagram.

  3. Research your favorite artists and organizations to see what hashtags they use. Find hashtags that your art relates to.

  4. When sharing multiple images on Facebook – “Add a description” in the caption. Otherwise there is no information for that image.

  5. Proof read everything!

  6. Photo quality is important- don’t post blurry photos. When sharing photos of your friend’s artwork, make sure the art is centered and there is a good composition.

  7. All of your art posts should be public so people can share them. Social media is about sharing. When you share an image from Instagram onto Facebook, be sure to go to Facebook and make the image public. It will automatically post as private (only friends).

  8. Share, share, share. Support your friend’s events, artwork etc.

  9. On Facebook events, mark that you are at least interested. This bumps up the algorithms so more people see your friends events.

  10. Spelling, Spelling, Spelling… especially names. Most of the time their name is right there in the post so this should be a no brainer.

  11. Ask permission before re-posting someone else’s images under your name. (Saving the image to your computer/phone and reposting) Always always always give credit (and tag) the photographer.

  12. @ and # are your friends.

  13. Always create events from your Facebook artist page, the gallery or PR company. Not your personal page. This will allow you to boost the event and automatically notifies people on your page that you have an event.

  14. Sometimes TMI is TMI.

  15. If you are working on building a successful art career, be professional, serious, committed and friendly. Don’t create negative posts. If you have to, create a special group of friends who you feel you can complain to. Anyone looking to buy your work or show it in a gallery won’t give you another second of their time.

  16. Engage. Be sure to comment on your friends/galleries/artists posts.

  17. Patience and perseverance

  18. Be authentic.

To be continued…


If you would like help with your social media presence or more support for your art career, check out our list of packages and contact us for more details.

Shoebox PR is in Professional Artist Magazine

April/May 2017

Shoebox PR is honored to be included in the new issue of
Professional Artist Magazine!

Carel Schmidlkofer interviewed Shoebox PR director Kristine Schomaker about the support her team provides to artists looking to start using social media, get press and how to create more opportunities for exhibitions.

You can order this issue HERE

Shoebox PR has recently updated their list of services to include workshops, social media management and more! Check out our website for more information: https://shoeboxpr.com/