How Many People Do You Really Know?

October 8, 2010 · Print This Article

Lets take a short break from news and events in the Art World to ask an important but often misunderstood idea, how many people do you really know?

I don’t mean know their name, or went to the same school, town, program, gallery or even concert with but how many people do you really know? In this day and age of social media/networking/six degrees of Francis Bacon its easy to mistake being linked to someone being equal to knowing them. If I asked you to name a good lawyer, cook, programmer, printer, accountant or Mr/Ms “get the job done no matter what” could you? Do you know someone you could promote for a project and they could not only be relied on to do a job but do it well, on-time and the first time? If so how many, even I admit it isn’t as deep as I would like and thats a shame.

I have worked for or with many companies over the years and what often amazes me is not that there is lack of work/contracts but the amount of time and trial/error that goes into finding good people to do any number of skills.

Wasted time and mispent money.

The Art World in my estimation is the epicenter of “Jack of all Trades” skill sets. I have meet people that have skills so varied and rich that you would be forgiven for thinking they have Multiple Personality Disorder, thats a benefit we have, a asset if you will and we need to leverage it in the 21st Century.

Working in the Arts will always be precarious and fragile but we know change, we know projects, we know guerrilla style zero budget business models and we know people and we need to promote that. I will be doing this myself over time but its high time every blog/website in the art world spent some space helping people know how to contact the best individuals for any skill. It should never be who/what company should I contact to do this job but how do I organize the funds to pay [insert name here] to complete this project for me.

If you don’t know a good cook, caterer, programmer, designer, printer, lawyer, copywriter, editor (in this town who isn’t?), media production, animator, auto repair, public relations, ect then it might be best to start adding to your list since having a team you can rely on is more valuable for you and especially others then the funds it takes to hire them. Who has the time or energy to suffer through multiple bad suppliers to find that right person. The person or company that has that up to date list is the one that will hit the ground running and execute their idea the first time on half the actual budget.

Don’t build your list of friends, acquaintances, followers or warm bodies but your cabinet of professionals for the job of today and more so the one right over the horizon.