I had in the past downplayed the idea of exhibiting my work, or never attempted to apply for any available artists grants. It was one of the main reasons I returned to University to complete my Fine Art degree. I needed to get out of my comfort zone, over come my fear, get over myself, my preconceived notions and misconceptions and really learn about the business of art and being an artist.
Many art students and artists are not comfortable in promoting or marketing themselves for a whole host of reasons. During our art education we are often not schooled in the marketing end of art. Art is business and we can, and need to educate, and advocate for ourselves, fine tune our skills through a number of resources, instead of the hit and miss lessons we often learn the hard way, that can be disheartening, disillusioning, and set us up for discouragement and failure; all those 'd' words.
Business skill is such an important matter for any artist. As an artist of a mature age who returned to University at 56 to complete my BFA degree, that I had started way back in the early 70s at NSCAD. At that time, there was next to nothing in the way of learning about self-promotion as an artist, or being educated in the business of art and marketing. Having the opportunity to return to art school, I did in fact see some improvements in this area, but there is still much work to be done in terms of educating and preparing the art student about self- promotion, and the fundamentals of business, particularly relating to the art world which can be very daunting.
Agora Art Gallery has a great article entitled, How to Promote Your Exhibition in 9 Steps in their blog about getting reading for an exhibition that is very helpful and informative in preparing the artist to promote their work and how to go about doing so through a number of promotional and logistical steps.