The second in last week’s Calgary PD talks happened at TRUCK Contemporary Art with Tim Belliveau of the Bee Kingdom glass art collective. Tim did a great job of using the story of Bee Kingdom’s journey into the public eye to explain the essentials for marketing yourself as an artist.
The structure of Belliveau’s talk (part lecture and part slideshow) ended up providing information that, like Watson’s talk, expanded upon a lot of the basic information that artists hear when going through art school or looking up information on marketing for artists. Many artists have already heard advice like: take all the opportunities you can or go to lots of events in your community, but through descriptions of the Bee Kingdom’s journey from Western Canadian craft fair artists to speakers at international exhibitions and glass facilities, Belliveau took the old advice and honed it.
One of the things I found very interesting specifically was how the Bee Kingdom developed through taking advantage of what was available to them. One of the most important aspects of “putting yourself on the map” is seeing what unique opportunities are available to you and how you can utilize them to do things like find exhibtion or studio space, or land a job, or collaborate with figures in your community. For example, the Bee Kingdom had access to a piece of real estate that was perfect for setting up their glassblowing studio, so they utilized before they were even out of college. That studio has been the cornerstone of the collective’s operations ever since.
I personally think one of the best pieces of information provided was the Bee Kingdom Self-Defense Sale (made by Ryan Marsh Fairweather and Kai Georg Scholefield), which summed up some of the most essential tools needed to succeed within your artistic community: