I understand you have to take some measures to gain visibility for yourself, but I personally live in the hope that my art would speak for itself. And that by taking part in projects and doing my work well would in itself be sufficient enough to make people aware of my excistence. And hopefully give me future job offers (talking about animation here).
Ah, I was afraid someone might say that. But I undesrtand it. It's a valid point. I'm just hoping that it would be enough to attend some happenings and take part in projects. Or join associations (I'm a member of Finnish comics society as well as the animation one). It's also good for my mental health, not feeling like I'm doing this alone, but having a sense of belonging. Like I'm part of a group. These networks also give a lot of support and inspiration.
@metesae - A fellow Scandinavian then - I am from Denmark. I am in my forties and have been in the Danish fine art world since I was in my early twenties. (Now i work solely on the internet under this pseudonym).
I think all artists would prefer that the art would do the trick itself, but there is also good thing about doing promotion and networking. I have meet many friends being part of associations and groups, just like you describe. A good way to get around all the annoying public stuff is to do it together with others. Exhibitions, Fanzine, film are all easier if the workload is distributed. There will also be a lot of quarrels of course, but it does give all participants a possibility to expand their network, visibility etc.
And it can be a great way to make friends and uphold a social life. Being a pictorial artist can sometimes be a very lonely activity.
Yes, I've noticed it can get pretty lonely working on your own. That's one of the reasons I decided to give networking a chance, and it's actually not as bad as I imagined. I'm just really shy and meeting and getting to know new people can be exhausting and overwhelming. I'm quite social once I start to feel comfortable, but that usually takes some time. I've reached the conclusion, that it's worth the trouble though. I'm still not at ease with people, but it gets better every time.
And thanks for sharing your policy on how you use your name! It's all food for thought.