6 easy steps to Social Networking Success
Step 2: LinkedIn: Why, what and how?
by Susan Mumford


This is the second post in a 6-part blog series on social networking, written for South London Women Artists (SLWA). Today, we look at why LinkedIn is growing in popularity for artists, the basic steps for having a complete profile and how much time investment to anticipate.


Why should art professionals have a LinkedIn profile?
In presenting your artist profile on the social media platform for professionals, you demonstrate that you take your art career seriously. Therefore when peers, collectors and gallerists spot your listing, they know they are dealing with a professional.

Furthermore, LinkedIn is an excellent platform for displaying credibility, achieved by fully listing experience and receiving recommendations. I have personal experience of an art collector analyzing my profile, to be certain of my expertise as an art consultant. The same kind of background research is conducted by collectors and gallerists who are considering approaching artists with new opportunities.

Importantly, you stay connected with LinkedIn contacts when someone moves to a new job, so you don’t lose contact if a client’s email address changes. This is important when connecting with corporate clients, as people in corporate roles generally move to a different company every few years.


What should be done to present an effective profile?
Your listing should be complete, including all relevant experience – providing achievements within each role, not just what you did, or do. For example, you might incorporate completed or current jobs, stating positive impacts on the commissioning business, organisation or individual. This brings to mind what a private client once said to me in regards to a completed art consulting job:

“Thanks to your art consultancy, we are proud of our home for the first time, having lived here for twenty years.” That’s a powerful statement to list as part of one’s experience. It states the achievement, not only the less-clear what. As with artist websites, best practice is to write your LinkedIn profile in the first person. It looks odd to present your own information in third, and this happens surprisingly often!

Creating your personal ‘vanity URL’ means that you can share your LinkedIn profile URL with a short and sweet web address, as opposed to a long sequence of bizarre-looking numbers. It’s a less distracting URL and once more, helps present you as a professional. You can see how to do that here. And last but not least, artists running a gallery or studio should create a Company (as opposed to personal) profile for the business.


How much time does LinkedIn take?
You can be an active or occasional LinkedIn user. The initial setup for anyone will take up to two hours. A complete profile revamp takes one hour – and feels great to accomplish! Ongoing time investment ranges from 30 minutes per month to 30 minutes per week, depending on how engaged you are with groups and in writing updates, recommendations and more. Actively using LinkedIn works well for the life of solo practitioners, as you can be less involved when you have exhibitions or other deadlines, picking up where you left off when you have more time available. Thanks to LinkedIn apps for smartphones, the majority of activities (responding to connection requests and messages) can be done on the move.

In conclusion Sound easy? It really is! Get round to setting up, revamping and completing your profile now. Readers with a publicly visible yet incomplete listing will feel much better about having a more up to date rundown for visitors to see. Connecting with established as well as new connections provides great satisfaction, and is invaluable for maintaining contact with your network. And remember, generally maintaining an up to date profile and regularly responding to connection requests needn’t take much time, unless you also want to get involved with groups and profile updates; the choice is yours.

Susan on red sofa at One Alfred Place 2011 - low res


Susan Mumford is an entrepreneur in the art world. As Founder of Be Smart About Art, she is passionate about helping art professionals enjoy a successful career doing what they love. Based in London, she works with artists, gallerists and art professionals from all over the world.

“Art is your life. Make it your living.”

agm2013-leonieSome 4 years ago, I bumped into the SLWA bookmark during Dulwich Open House.  The little flyer was beautifully designed and looked really professional (thanks to Julie Bennett, as I was about to learn, but more about her in one of the future videos). 

I asked about the group and how I can join, and the artist told me to email this girl, called Leonie. “She’s very nice” the artist said “she runs the group”.

 So I had a look on the website, back then a simple blog, and sent Leonie Cronin my artist statement and 3 images. I couldn’t believe such a vibrant and supportive community of female artists existed in my area. It was the single best thing that could have happened to a foreign girl who had pretty much just moved to London and knew no other artists.  

SLWA has provided me, and I believe all our other members who have been actively involved with the group, with the kind of support network that we need as female art professionals. Today, Leonie is taking a step down from running SLWA. Many members join and leave the Steering Group, but as Melissa Budasz put in her introduction ‘without Leonie, the South London Women Artists wouldn’t be’. So, thank you, Leonie!  

Check out this video to witness one of the most emotional moments from our AGM this year and to hear Leonie speak about starting SLWA and the spirit of our community. 


agm-2013This is the first of a series of videos of members of the SLWA steering group I took at the 2013 Annual General Meeting, marking SLWA's 5th anniversary. It was an emotional evening, filled with laughter, excitement, good food, orchids and even a few tears and I enjoyed every second of it.

In the last few years we've realised numerous exciting, successful and ambitions art projects! Our future is looking bright, too! We have put so many new plans in motion already, we are growing and changing in new and unexpected ways. I'm convinced it's for the better.

I'm really thrilled to be a part of this big change but first things first, with this video I'd like to present to you Melissa Budasz, the new Chair of the South London Women Artists. Here, she's reading an article she wrote for FWSA - the Feminist and Women's Studies Association in the UK and Ireland. 

If you'd like to read or reference the publication, here's the link of the FWSA's website:

Susan presents workshop on Pricing Art at EuroArt Studios London May 2013 low-res

Blog 1: What, why and how?

by Susan Mumford

This is the first post in a 6-part blog series on social networking, written for South London Women Artists (SLWA). Engaging online is an increasingly important activity for artists, and the good news is that it’s easier than you think.

What is Social Networking, anyway?

Social networking has been around for many years, and in context of the 21st Century, the term refers to the act of building communities and engaging with others via dedicated online platforms. The platforms that are utilised are known as ‘social media’, with popular ones including: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and ArtStack.

Why would an artist be interested in social networking?

The internet – and social networking in particular, has helped to democratise the art industry.  Makers have broken through old art world barriers and achieved great successes as a result of effectively utilising social media. Artists have prospered in self-representing vis-à-vis online platforms, and many who are represented by or are working with galleries have significantly contributed to growing their audiences and increasing sales, thanks to online activities. Remember, collectors enjoy getting to know artists, and with online connectivity they not only get to ‘meet’ artists, they often see inside the studio, albeit in an online form.

By embracing social networking, artists build communities, develop fans and entice people to events. One great example that comes to mind is Marcus McAllister, an American artist in Paris. His social network of choice is Facebook, and he utilises his professional artist page (that fans ‘like’) to great effect. Not only does he post images of completed works of art and promote upcoming events, he invites his followers to become involved in his practice. A recent post reads:

“A week that I've hardly left the studio--but everything is back in place and organized post-Portes Ouvertes, and I'm finally making some headway on some new paintings. Here is the start...”

He then presents a clearly unfinished painting, enticing his supporters to comment and ask questions. His 1,707 followers (as of 14th July 2013) are actively engaged with his journey as an international artist, and he regularly sells directly from Facebook albums.

How can an artist find the time for social networking, anyway?

I have come across many artists who don’t ‘do’ social media because they fear being overwhelmed.

A golden rule of social networking is to concentrate on what you are going to do, and do it well. I recommend that artists do two things – and two things only:

      1. Have a LinkedIn profile (more on this in a later blog)

      2. Select one other social media platform.  Only consider adding other platforms if you find that you love social media so much that you want to do more.
This is exactly what Marcus has done. He has a LinkedIn profile and a professional Facebook page. And… that’s it. He has no interest in spending any time on other social media platforms. As a result, he runs a great ongoing social media campaign with his platform of choice and is left with plenty of time to do what he loves most: make art. 

Susan on red sofa at One Alfred Place 2011 - low resSusan Mumford is an entrepreneur in the art world. As Founder of Be Smart About Art, she is passionate about helping art professionals enjoy a successful career doing what they love. Based in London, she works with artists, gallerists and art professionals from all over the world.

 “Art is your life. Make it your living.”



Art, Democracy and Women - Taking place from 27.09.13 until 21.11.13


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 After the success of The Dinner Party SLWA are going to embark on another large-scale collaborative project. Two exhibitions with events that are programmed under the theme : Art, Democracy and Women.
The project will comprise of two parts: Part 1. A selected group show, entitled Swimming against the tide and Part 2. The Parliament Week events and exhibition entitled Can you hear me now?
It is our intention that the project provides SLWA members with the opportunity to come together as a group and to meet with other practitioners who identify themselves with feminist art practices. We hope to encourage debate and an exchange of ideas and discourses around the theme Art, Democracy and Women, asking what place do women play in democracy and if democracy equals having a voice and being heard, why for so long have women struggled to get them selves heard?
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Swimming against the tide will present selected works from SLWA member artists and inviting submissions from their diverse practices of painting, sculpture, drawing, print, photography, mixed media, installation and video. The curatorial team seek work that responds to the title Swimming against the tide, that can for example, speak of the location of the gallery,  near the Thames, historically marginalized women like the Winchester Geese, or that conceptually tackles the difficulties faced by women, free will and freedom of speech. The artists will be selected from an open submission. Artist talks and special events will also take place during the exhibition.
The exhibition will take place at:
Hide Project Space
22 B-C Leathermarket SE1 3HP
The exhibition is programmed to coincide with The Art Licks Weekend 2013 October 04, 05 & 06 2013
(Art Licks celebrates the creative energy of the London art scene. For this three-day festival young galleries, not-for-profit projects, artist-run spaces and independent curatorial projects are open to the public with exhibitions of work by emerging artists and special events.)
The exhibition is also programmed to coincide with Frieze London. October 17–20 2013
(Frieze London is the contemporary art event of the year. The fair presents over 170 of the most interesting galleries working today from Berlin to New York and London to Tokyo.)
Part 2: Can you hear me now? Set to music, we will stage a choreographed mobilsation of  notionally undervalued women. 3 or more performances are planed to take place during Parliament week. Starting in the Aylsham Centre, Peckham SE15, culminating somewhere near The Palace of Westminster.
Given the project’s performative nature we want to give it a physical location, so we will use the Hide Gallery as our dressing room and whilst not there, exhibit our costumes and props, mirrors and lights, and documentation of the project’s  development, and research and historical background.
Art is political and the role of the artist as social commentator is an important one. The artistic output of any given time is a historical document and an indicator of the wider social and economic climate. Many artists work for nothing. Many women are artists. Many women artists work for nothing - analogous to the overlooked and undervalued role of women in society, we are in an appropriate place from which to comment on the undervalued roles within society that women carry out.
We will represent these roles, without conforming to stereotype, to give strength and impact to our message. We want to respond to this with humour and high production values. Working with a choreographer and composer. We prefer not to call our coming together a flash mob, rather a performance.
We are looking at carefully chosen choreographers and music, and handcrafted wigs and costumes and props to tell the tale and set the scene. We expect the costumes to touch on culture, politics, the domestic, media, advertising, fashion, media, law, and religion.
A flash mob (or flashmob) is a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and seemingly pointless act for a brief time,then quickly disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment, satire, and artistic expression.
In 19th-century Tasmania, the term flash mob was used to describe subculture consisting of female prisoners, based on the term flash language for the jargon that these women used. The 19th-century Australian term flash mob referred to a segment of society, not event, and showed no other similarities to the modern term flash mob or the events it describes.
We are drawing up a survey to kick start our research into the undervalued roles of women and to find the women we want to represent. We will poll our members and other interested women (and perhaps men). The project will be implemented using our own democratic process and we will be  transparent in our decision-making processes. We will throughout the project document the process, decisions and outcomes.
Research topics
Historical background
Anecdotal evidence that supports our project
Women’s stories
Democracy and the democratic process
Previous female MPs
Current female MPs inc.
Harriet Harman
Glenda Jackson
Tessa Jowell.
Kate Green
Joan Bakewell
Oona King
The 100-year anniversary of the night militant suffragette Emily Wilding Davison hid in the crypt of the House of Commons on census night, and her death running out in front of the Kings’ horse
The Westminster Art Collection
Seek collaborative partners, including finding Members of Parliament or members of the House of Lords who would be willing to complete our survey and participate in some way
Visit Westminster
Consider how our actions will be read in to and interpreted
For all enquiries please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.