Making it: Three artists replicate on their first huge break

By Stephanie Gavan in Art And Culture


Every artist begins someplace. Whilst expertise and tenacity are must-haves for any artist hoping to make it huge, the highway to success isn’t at all times a easy trip. The business could be daunting and fiercely aggressive, particularly for these on the threshold of their careers. Often, it’s one second of recognition that propels a trajectory ahead. Whether you’re a painter, sculptor or sketcher, what does it take to get your foot within the door? And the place do these doorways lead? ArtNet talks to a few burgeoning artists about their first huge break, the way it took place and what got here subsequent. These success tales show that hard-work can take you far, however typically, a stroke of excellent old style luck could make all of the distinction.

Hugo Brazao, ‘TO FILL IN A GAP, TO PLUG IN A HOLE OR HOW TO POSTPONE AN IMMINENT PROBLEM’, MUDAS, Contemporary Art Museum of Madeira, Madeira, Portugal, 2017

The solo exhibition: Hugo Brazao (Madeira, Portugal)

Hugo Brazao is an artist dwelling and dealing in London. In 2017, he was invited by the director of MUDAS, Contemporary Art Museum of Madeira to stage his first solo exhibition. “She’d heard about my work through word of mouth, Madeira being such a small place, and was trying to show more of the younger generation of artists from the island,” he advised ArtNet.

Two years after graduating from his MA at Central Saint Martins, London, this chance got here at a pivotal time in his profession. “It was important to have a space where I could experiment with my ideas and show it to an audience. In many ways this exhibition shaped the work I make now. For example, it was for this exhibition that I started working with textile and making my work site specific.”

For Brazao, this exhibition turned a catalyst for development, however it didn’t come with out hesitation. “At the time I was very anxious about it, returning to the place you grew up to present yourself in this way can be very scary. But, it made me take my work to a level I haven’t been able to explore before.” He has gone on to win the VIA Arts Prize (2018) and safe a string of solo exhibits.

Every artist begins someplace. Whilst expertise and tenacity are must-haves for any artist hoping to make it huge, the highway to success isn’t at all times a easy trip. The business could be daunting and fiercely aggressive, particularly for these on the threshold of their careers. Often, it’s one second of recognition that propels a trajectory ahead. Whether you’re a painter, sculptor or sketcher, what does it take to get your foot within the door? And the place do these doorways lead? ArtNet talks to a few burgeoning artists about their first huge break, the way it took place and what got here subsequent. These success tales show that hard-work can take you far, however typically, a stroke of excellent old style luck could make all of the distinction.
Dominic Myatt, ‘Top 10 Useless Limbs’, Christies London, 2019

The dream collaboration: Dominic Myatt (Leiscter, UK)

For London-based drawer Dominic Myatt, it wasn’t an exhibition however an artist e book that catalysed his inventive profession. “A friend from university was working for MNK Press in Japan and contacted me about making a book of drawings, which became (no kissing).” Though it wasn’t an in a single day success, it afforded him a sure notoriety, with retailers similar to Dazed, Wonderland, Huck and HungerTV all operating options on the publication.

“The opportunities that lead from that came slowly but steadily, although there was lots of attention about it online”, he famous, including that quickly after “the book was purchased by TATE for their library, and eventually led to Vivienne Westwood reaching out to collaborate on a collection.”

Following this, Myatt was awarded a scholarship to the Royal School of Drawing (2018–19), leading to a gaggle present at Christies, London (2019). He continues to promote his work by his quickly increasing on-line platform, and commonly collaborates with up-and-coming style labels similar to ART SCHOOL, London.

Every artist begins someplace. Whilst expertise and tenacity are must-haves for any artist hoping to make it huge, the highway to success isn’t at all times a easy trip. The business could be daunting and fiercely aggressive, particularly for these on the threshold of their careers. Often, it’s one second of recognition that propels a trajectory ahead. Whether you’re a painter, sculptor or sketcher, what does it take to get your foot within the door? And the place do these doorways lead? ArtNet talks to a few burgeoning artists about their first huge break, the way it took place and what got here subsequent. These success tales show that hard-work can take you far, however typically, a stroke of excellent old style luck could make all of the distinction.
Eleanor McCaughley, ‘They like to arrange their toys before sleep’, Avenue Road Gallery, Dublin, 2012

The confidence trick: Eleanor McCaughley (Dublin, Ireland)

Irish painter Eleanor McCaughey was a 12 months out of faculty when she got here throughout an open name within the Visual Artists Ireland bulletin for an public sale at Avenue Road Gallery, Dublin. “They discovered my work when I entered one of my paintings into an auction there, it was a fundraiser for the new gallery,” McCaughey advised ArtNet, illustrating the significance of getting one’s work ‘out there.’

“The show was an important milestone in the progression of my work. It was the first time I had the opportunity to work with a curator and discuss my art in the public realm.”

This exhibition sparked a domino impact for McCaughey, and was instantly adopted by a second invitation to exhibit, bestowing her with a brand new sense of decision. “After these experiences, I had the confidence to apply to more open calls and it gave me the determination to push and develop the work.”

Eight years on, with quite a few exhibitions and awards beneath her belt together with exhibits with the National Portrait Gallery, London and Galerie C.O.A, Canada, McCaughey’s profession demonstrates that confidence is vital.