319. May 24th…Nobody said Crayons and Paper…couldn’t make you a living …Junior….

“Blinded by the Light” 2010

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”-  George Bernard Shaw

this quote is a sort of sit on the porch and watch or get out there and try something…anything no matter what the outcome is….anything will produce something….even if the result is completely deflated….it is funny how running a business…is much more of a labor of love than having a job….people love their jobs…but at the end of the day…they can peel that coat off and put on their coat…be themselves for the next few hours…..

as  artists we rely heavily on galleries to promote…and propel our work and ourselves to a different level of  financial success and professional success….and that all sounds really great if the gallery has that same philosophy….. then seems both of us are on the same page and fundamentally the team does their job…one produces art…the other sells it…..sounds perfect….yet it doesn’t happen that way….the focus seems to be on the stable of artists that produces the success for the gallery first and foremost…once that has been accomplished…..that then produces some degree of success for the artists….yet despite the gallery success….the artists may never see personal success within the gallery….it  really offers a random possibility….one that the artist really needs to frequently watch….

artists are often the “Other” decoration for the artists that are being promoted…the cannon fodder if you will….a gallery representing one artist will sell very little…yet a gallery representing a few top drawer artists with a select group of “Supportive” artists….always stands a greater chance of more sales….the artists job is clearly defined by the relationship they establish with the gallery……work for the gallery….work with the gallery….or work for yourself and the gallery has the potential to be another possible venue for sales…..

artist have been defined as many things…what I’ve seen is most artists are lazy when it comes to self-promotion…and marketing….thus results are very predictable…..and rather than accepting there is a large portion of the art career that requires cold calls and marketing…it is much easier to wait for the prominent art dealer to be involved in an auto accident in front of their studio and need a telephone…and it just so happens….you have yours…. and there is the discovery…..

then there is the work ethic…..the most prominent aspect for success in any field….did I mention that the work ethic is the most prominent aspect for success….any field…..as John Cage said….. “It’s the people who do all of the work all of the time who eventually catch on to things“….artist are entrepenuers…..successful entrepenuers work for an end result…with a good plan that is flexable…and changable…they review that plan regularly…they have established short-term…mid-range and long-term goals for their business/careers….the key factor of entrepreneurship is one thing….the entrepeneur always drives the sales….you as the artist  should always drive the sales of your work…..a very interesting experiment to do…which requires a great deal of honesty is….see how much time you put into producing art…..each week for a month……I know artists that work a 40 hour week at another job….and put in a minimum of 36 hours a week painting….I’d say they are in the game…..your end number of hours worked per month on producing art will…..1. establish in or out of the game professionally….2. define if it is time to seek out a gallery. ( artists should have enough work for 2 shows at all times)…3. if it’s about the work…or if making art is a hobby….and….4. if it is time to ramp up marketing and sales startegies….get more visible

your art may speak for itself and the notion of marketing and self-promotion may not be in your vocabulary and hopefully your art just doesn’t speak…but screams and screams loudly…all of the time….because the hardest part is being seen…noticed….and to be seen and recognized without spending the time introducing yourself is almost an impossibility…many artist think that they just need to make the art and sooner or later “Their time will come“…might as well lie down in the boat….and hope it lands in Tahiti….

I’ve been invited to attend many Gallery Talks, where the Gallery Director tells artists how to get into galleries….yet what the director is failing to tell the artists…..is this seminar is how artists get into his/her gallery…..and for $100.00 their going to tell you that information…I’d much rather attend a seminar by an artist that can tell what they have done to get into galleries as….each gallery is as fickle as each artist trying to get into the gallery….the artist was once in the same position I’m in and knows what I am enduring…what struggles I have and can perhaps enlighten me about what I do to get what I want….

the bottom line is as an artist…regardless of the type of work you do….the truth is the standard…if you want to get into galleries and you produce 1 painting per year….truth is a bit elusive…..if you are not prepared with…a good portfolio…..great images….artist statement…bio…a bit of show history….education…. all of the things a gallery is looking for…maybe now is not the time to approach galleries…..

there are 2 things I know empirically and from experience….artists and galleries are like marriage….they require a great fit….and artist have to have very very thick skin…as rejection is an integral part of being an artist…I submitted 53 portfolios….in 2009……9 were interested in the work and like it yet had no space or were not taking on  new artist at the time…..1 was interested in carrying my work but it never worked out…(Gallery went out of business)  and some of the remaining 43 sent me some of……………..the best rejection letters I’ve ever received…..

good luck….and in the words of Andy Warhol –

“Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.”

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One thought on “319. May 24th…Nobody said Crayons and Paper…couldn’t make you a living …Junior….

  1. ….drawing the line between the serious artist and the kitchen table hobbyist.

    10,000 hours. 10,000 plum blossom petals. 10,000 cold calls and 10,000 meals you spent eating ramen so you could purchase more paint.

    Like

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