The Modern Museum of You
As an artist, there are a lot of times when you need to explain or show what you can do.
It might be in a bio for a show you’re working on, a grant submission, pitching yourself or your band for a new gig, auditioning for a role or interviewing for a job.
It’s great in these situations to have a short intro prepared. A narrative that is informative, entertaining and compelling. But while telling someone how awesome you are is one thing – pointing them towards the evidence is the clincher.
Wouldn’t it be great if there could be a place where someone curated special exhibitions that highlighted your various projects and passions for all the world to see?
The Modern Museum of You. Where you’re the director, the curator AND the featured artist.
At first, this doesn’t seem like a new idea. Chances are you’ve already got a website that you built one, two, or five years ago. It was up to date then, with a bio that listed your greatest achievements and a media page that archives photos, audio or even video of your finished masterpieces.
That website is perfect if you only want a fan to visit once.
The site that is The Modern Museum of You is constantly evolving. It offers a true and interesting narrative around your history, your expertise and your trajectory. It’s an archive of where you’ve been, but more importantly it signals where you’re headed.
Austin Kleon, author of “Show Your Work” says “Don’t think of your website as a self promotion machine, think of it as a self-invention machine” and implores us to fill our museum with our work, our ideas and the stuff we care about. Your site is the place where the world can see who you are, what you believe in, what you have to say, and how you choose to express it.
Consider the exhibitions that have excited or moved you. If you can’t remember the last time you were in a brick and mortar museum or art gallery – make a special visit.
Create and curate exhibitions for your own site that are interactive, immersive, confronting and invite engagement.
- Host a ‘guest artist’
- Share and discuss the work of a colleague or hero
- Package a ‘touring exhibition’ of your own that can be shared by your colleagues and fans
Don’t focus solely on the finished product, the final draft, the polished edit, the mastered track.
Show your work. Put the process on display. The person who appreciates your work and loves what you create is also incredibly interested in how you make it. The narrative about how the work is made is often as interesting as the finished product itself.
There will always be a shiny new social network to explore and many of them have a lot to offer, but why rent a storefront on social network when you can own your very own piece of online real estate?
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has stores in international airports and touring exhibitions in far flung locations around the world. They take their product to new places in order to reach a wider audience gathers, but the heart of the collection will always be at their home in NYC.
It’s time for you to level up as Director of The Modern Museum of You.
If you don’t have a digital stake in the ground yet, it’s time to claim your online location. If you have a site but the current galleries are gathering dust and cobwebs, it’s time to assign your curator-self the task of putting together a fresh exhibition.
The number of ways you can showcase your work is limited only by your creativity, but if you’d like some further advice to get you started, I’d love to help.