It can seem somewhat arduous, perhaps even unfeasible for us developing artists who are trying to break the surface when we might not be best located to do so. Doubled up and with the competition as fierce as it is today, all of a sudden we're stood at the foot of a mountain with what seems like an impossible climb ahead.
Here's a little retrospective...
Before the digital age and when travel was expensive, slow and in some ways impractical, ambitious Artists striving to sharpen their eye and spark their careers, unless born by chance into the city, faced the seemingly obligatory hurdle of having to relocate to such in order to attempt to achieve a career in the Arts.
Often with little or no real connection with anyone, driven merely by their hopes and dreams.
London, Paris, New York...
A blind and major gamble of stability and security to satisfy a passion, in a hope that they might be able to scratch the chance and present themselves to an art school, prove their worth as a mere tea/coffee brewer at a studio, or as an assistant - if they cut the mustard!
One other big difference between the times of then and now is that there were far less who sought after a career in the Arts, which naturally gave the talented an opportunity to sooner gain attention and climb the ladder.
Never the less, competition was still tight! Just with far fewer players in the game.
Some of these factors still apply to the progression of the aspiring artist's career today, however with two new advantages in place...
Modern connectivity and efficiency!
Embarking on a creative career in our present day, in some ways, has never been more achievable. With the advancement of digital technology over the course of the past 10 years and the efficiency of travel, we have never been more immediately connected to anyone, anything, anywhere - so imminently!
One sure fire way for us miss-located aspiring Artists to get ourselves into the mix, get the experience opportunities and raise a distant brow is by reaching from the outside in - having a prolific online presence! That does not mean to beat the hell out of every social media on the block, force work out of ourselves to "feed the feed" or hit the idea with that all too common "haphazard" attitude. Rather, with a tactical, consistent, carefully curated and attentive presence. The Internet is a place to carefully display our work and echo ourselves effectively.
Combined with a genuine passion for our art and the motivation to make ourselves proud, we can crack this long-distance relationship with that dreamy creative promised land, gain some truly career progressive achievements, and in doing so securing far richer prospects in line for that final leap into the city.
I myself possess several testaments to the above - One example...
Late last year I received a call from a London-based Photographer one Tuesday mid-afternoon, following up a CV that I had submitted for a previous job over a year prior. She mentioned that she had recalled being impressed by my the CV and cover letter at the time, along with what was my website portfolio and Instagram. Long story short, there was a shoot that she was directing/shooting for an exclusive womenswear brand 'JIGSAW' and required an assistant tomorrow (in London) at 9AM.
"I'll take it!!"
(note: I live in the North West of England - 250 miles away from Peckham, London...)
It was 3PM the day before the shoot I received this offer. Within 45 minutes I had a Train booked, accommodation filled and sure as anything I was there at 9AM in Peckham, London the very next morning, looking live and ready to prove myself.
We might be facing the challenge of a more fierce and saturated competition than ever. We might be situated further away from the city than the next person. But readily as anything, we have - T H E I N T E R N E T! (and trains).
They still made it. So can we!