Taking the leap into exhibiting your first body of work can be either daunting and/or a natural progression from being in the studio. It all depends on you.
Exhibiting can be seen as solely a part of the creative process, in that if you can deal in a positive way with the commercial reality of selling your art, by having a gallery do it for you or by doing it yourself, where you can be proactive with gallery directors and staff or the general public and collectors, then you will be a natural.
In certain ways this needs you to think laterally when approaching galleries as well as when it comes to any form of business negotiations related to selling your work in general.
One mistake many young or relatively new artists have, is to be over emotional with their work once it is completed. I have stopped counting the number of times I have heard people ask “How is it to let go of your babies?” when referring to artwork sold. The assumption that your art is too precious to part with needs to be dispelled in order for you to effectively sell your work. It is your responsibility to be seen to have let go of your emotional attachment to your work so that people will buy it.
Some artists don’t want to let go and put ridiculous prices on their work because of their attachment; thus ensuring it never sells. They price themselves out of the market at the beginning of their career, basing it all on an emotional decision. It is similar to the mistake people often make in the property market, particularly with people selling the family home. Often real estate agents are heard remarking that they feel owners have an emotional price on their property, and they correctly predict that price to reduce significantly to eventually meet the market and finally sell. This same principal applies to artists.