My kids accuse me of saying obvious things, along the lines of, "The car won't get you there if you don't put gas in it," or "Your clothes won't be ready to wear tomorrow if you keep them in the washing machine." But I wouldn't need to say this kind of stuff if the needle wasn't stuck on empty or shirts weren't wet, clammy, and wrinkled when someone is getting ready for work.
|There are times to be a free spirit, and times to sit nicely behind the desk and color between the lines. Wild Child by Steve Henderson, oil on canvas. Courtesy Steve Henderson Fine Art.|
In the same way, I have talked with artists about their submissions to galleries and have heard comments along these lines: "They said they didn't want any calls, but I wanted to make sure that the submission arrived okay so I just called real quick."
"They asked for a CD disc with images of my oil paintings, but that's too much trouble, so I attached a bunch of images of my oil painting art to an e-mail and sent it to them that way."
"They wanted a prose biography, but all I had was my résumé, and I figured that was just as good."
Art galleries receive lots and lots of submissions–especially in today's economy–and specific submission requirements enable staff members to process portfolios more quickly and efficiently. If they want images on a disc but not e-mail, that's because they don't want their e-mail inbox inundated. If they want e-mail images but not discs, then they don't want to spend time going through discs. If they don't want slides (and nowadays, who does?), they're not going to hold the slides up against the light and peer to see your work. There are plenty of other submissions, on their desk, that do fit the criteria they asked for.
The easier you make it for the gallery staff–and one of the crucial ways of doing this is adhering to their guidelines–then the better your chances for not having all the hard work you put into setting up your submission tossed to the side.