Hello dear readers! As you may have noticed this blog is a little late, this was because of the IFCC festival in Zagreb, Croatia that ran from the 23rd until the 28th of May. So this week I'd like to do a recap of the festival as well as talk about the importance of socializing and getting your work out there.
First off, a little bit about the festival. IFCC started many years ago as a small scale festival called "Judgement Day" but since 2015 it's exploded onto the scene as one of the biggest international art gatherings with a record 60+ speakers this year. Big names including Dan Luvisi, Anthony Jones, Even Mehl Amundsen, Björn Hurri, Marko Djurdjevic, Adrian Smith, Shaddy Safadi, Svetlin Velinov, Suzanne Helmigh and many many more. Yours truly had a talk there too for the second time #humblebrag.
Now I don't think it's a stretch to assume everyone understands the value of the knowledge that being thrown around here like lawn darts however what's more important is the opportunity to connect to like minded people. One of the things that people, inside or outside the industry often forget is that when seeking a job you are, by and large, appealing to the human side of the client. Weird right? No really. It's not just about how good your work is. Especially in art it's about how you are as a individual and how expressive you are. In order to show this you will have to show people.
How to socialize like a boss
Here are a few very simple do and do not's of socializing.
- Be polite, when introducing say your own name and "Nice to meet you (person's name)"
- Talk about normal stuff, not just weird shit you are into.
- Don't fanboy/girl out too much (it's sorta weird! Remember, we are all humans)
- It's ok to hang out but maybe don't linger for too long, mingle!
- If you are nervous, just say so. It's cool.
- If you don't know what to say, just say so, it happens a lot.
- Ask follow-up questions. Listen and reply but never leave off with just a fact. Example of how now to do it: "Modern art is bad." Example of how to rock it like a pro "I don't like modern art, I find it hard to get into, how about you?"
- Don't insult people. Don't gossip. It's a extremely small world.
- Don't be afraid to be yourself, people tend to see through fake persona's real easy.
All of that came out a bit more jaded than I had intended but it's the simple truth. Socializing is hard on all accounts and since this is a blog all about sharing experiences I will let you in on a little secret. I am a HUGE introvert even though many people who meet me never notice.
So here is a bit for all my fellow introverts out there. Socializing is hard, I get it. However it's also extremely necessary. Getting out there and meeting people is sometimes difficult and it takes a lot of energy but you gain so much. From new friends and jobs to a feeling of satisfaction because you break through the barrier. After this week I probably need 2 weeks of pure solitude to recharge that battery but after 6 years as a pro I have come to learn and accept that this is a integral part of being a artist. So no matter how difficult it it, I encourage you to get out there.
There are plenty of art events out there such as Industry Workshops, THU, and as mentioned above IFCC. In addition to this there are plenty of Fireside chat's and meetups. From big to small. And I know, tickets are pretty expensive but it's extremely important to understand that this is a investment in your future. You are not throwing away the money, you are taking yourself serious as a artist, which often means investing. Now of course this is easy for me to say but it's true nevertheless. If you want to talk about it join us on Discord here.
If you were at IFCC or IW or THU please share your experience in the comments below, I would love to hear them. I will leave you with some pictures from my adventure: