Off-Campus Networking

Long Beach State

Long Beach State University is a wonderful campus filled with so many academic, recreation, and social facilities. The School of Art is rich with people, equipment, galleries, and everything needed to create and consider works of art in many media. We have so much on campus that you might never leave campus!

The World

Nonetheless, the reality is that your career will be built and lived off-campus. It’s important to get out there and engage with the “real world” beyond Long Beach State.

Adobe Max. Image: Shantell

Networking Events

Networking events, like:

  • Conferences
  • Exhibitions
  • Art Professional Group Meetups
  • Open Studios
  • Art Galleries & Museums
  • & more

are priceless opportunities to build relationships with both emerging art peers, and senior professionals who can help advance your career.

This semester I’m asking you to go to at least 2 off-campus networking events. One ever week would be even better! But at least go to 1 event by Week 7 and another by Week 14.

CAA (College Art Association). Image: Glenn Zucman.

Events List

If all else fails, you can visit an Art Gallery or Museum. But it’s far better to go to something focused on your career:

  • Animatorgo to Anime Expo!
  • Make overlays for streamersgo to TwitchCon
  • Graphic Designergo to AdobeMax
  • Illustratorattend an SILA (Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles) event
  • And so on.

Our Conference & Events Calendar has a list of events in Los Angeles. I’ll try to add many more. If you know of one, please add it as a comment on that page!

Student Volunteers

Many conferences have student pricing that is much lower.

Many conferences, including expensive ones, use Student Volunteers to help run the conference. This is a priceless opportunity! You work some hours and then get to attend the rest of the conference for free. Plus, working the conference you’ll meet other emerging artist peers who are great to network with as well as seasoned professionals that you might not have access to otherwise.

Student Volunteers typically have to apply early. Look for events in the next year that you might be interested in and apply now.

Brewery Artwalk. Image: Glenn Zucman.

At The Event

You can listen to speakers, look at art, learn professional practices and do many other things at these events. But don’t let all the art & information distract you! Your mission is to meet people!

Business Cards

With other young artists you might exchange contact info phone-to-phone. But for older artists it can’t hurt to have cards to give them. Better yet, think about making a small creative piece that you can give them. An origami experience! A tiny zine of your work! Something memorable.

Connect, Connect, Connect

Other emerging artists like yourself are great contacts for collaboration and support. Older, more established artists might have great advice and career connections.

Pick 6!

If you’re an introvert like me, pushing yourself to talk to strangers can be challenging. Do your best not to fade into the wallpaper! Conferences, exhibits & events not only bring lots of artists together, but they put people in a sharing and connecting mindset. At these events you can talk to people that are otherwise hard to connect to.

Do your best to introduce yourself to at least 6 people at the event. Learn about them. Don’t be in a rush to show them your work. Instead, be a great listener and learn about them. Exchange contact info.

Your Canvas Post

On canvas list:

  1. The Name of what you went to
  2. The website URL for the event, conference, gallery, etc
  3. The names of the people you talked to
  4. Any comments about the experience
  5. What you’d do differently at the next conference
TwitchCon. Image: Dot / Pokimane

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