Well my friends  –  fellow artists and those who are thinking of becoming one – do you want the good news or the bad news?  Let’s  take the bad medicine first – art is a business and unless you can get someone else to market your work, you are going to have to learn to think like a business person.  I hope you haven’t passed out on the floor yet.

Perhaps you might like to get a cup of tea or something stronger.
Tea anyone?

Tea anyone?

Not only that you are always going to be the best person to sell your work because you created it.  No one – I repeat NO ONE  else loves your work like you do.  You art works are like your precious children, Your blood, sweat and tears have gone into producing them, don’t you want to be the one who finds a good home for them?
But wait there’s more: not only is art a business it is also a partnership.  This partnership begins the moment someone looks at one of your ‘children’ and wants to take it home with them.  Are you going to encourage them, give them instructions on how to best look after your child, and then lovingly let that child go.  This ‘partner’ has now invested in a part of you, and that relationship, if you foster it can grow and blossom if you look after it.  What can you do for your ‘partner’ to help them.  Can you suggest a companion painting that might want to join its sibling in their household? Can you provide information on how your ‘child’ likes to be cared for?
As artists we all too often forget about the other half of the painting’s experience.  We neglect our side of the partnership.  We tend to be solitary beings and forget how important it is to build relationships, so we can foster our art works out to good homes.

ART IS A PARTNERSHIP

The relationship between galleries and artists is one often fraught with pitfalls. What causes this?
Generally an inability to see things from the others point of view.  If the two vital ingredients in getting a painting sold, were to collaborate in a more open and honest way, then perhaps  artists could stop feeling so hard done by and galleries could quit believing that all artists need them and that they can call all the shots. Many galleries seem to have the attitude that they are doing the artist a huge favour by hanging their work, there used to be a big name gallery in Sydney which expected a debut artist to give 90-100% comission to the gallery and to pay for the opening.  How little value they accorded  these artists.
If the galleries could thaw their attitudes somewhat they may find the artists much more eager to participate in their own promotion and eager to do unpaid help even.  A shift in attitude is called for from both sides of the fence, let’s get rid of the razor wire first……..
razor_wire
razor_wire
Photo Credit:  http://geekwhisperin.wordpress.com