5 TIPS: Finding Motivation

5 TIPS: Finding Motivation

September is my favourite time to set goals and make a plan for success. Here are my 5 Tips on getting motivated this year in your art practice, and creative business.

1. Take stock

Before setting new goals, it’s important to take a moment to evaluate your previous work period. Decide on a timeline (the last year maybe?) and ask yourself some questions:

What worked well for you last year?

What areas did you feel required more effort? (studio work time, business strategies, marketing?)

What were you most proud of?

I firmly believe that without some introspection, it’s difficult to know which path is best for you to focus on.

2. Refresh your visual stimuli

You are likely looking at quite a lot of artwork content on social media. Since Instagram decides what we look at these days, take some time to reevaluate your social media feeds and whether they are helping or hindering your inspiration. You may want to do a clean sweep of your instagram - unfollowing accounts that are no longer inspiring, and following new artists. This kind of refresh can be effective in showing you some new content and sparking new ideas. I also feel it’s important to also follow feeds that will show you the latest design and interior design trends.

3. Aim high, and….low

We want to have success in our goal setting, so we are going to tier the goals in two ways:

High goal: pick a lofty goal that you may think is unattainable. Even if you think it’s ridiculous, allow yourself to step outside your own insecurities and just say it.

Low goal: The term ‘low’ might set the wrong tone. But…if we think it’s a simple goal, we will be more likely to achieve it, right? Low goals should feel achievable, and should also be adjusted as you meet them. For instance, your initial low goal may be to spend 1 hour focusing in your studio per day. You’re going to smash that goal, then increase it to 2 hours per day.

4. Timeline your goals

Low goals should be on a daily, weekly and monthly schedule.

Figure out which method works best for you: writing goals from high-to-low, or low-to-high. Some people find it helpful to set high goals and work backwards towards the daily and weekly goals that will help achieve it. Others prefer making a to-do list and extrapolating that to a weekly goal and then monthly. I think this is a very personal thing, and regardless of the direction, the most important thing is that the timeline works for you.

5. Write it all down

It has been proven - people who don’t write down their goals are less likely to achieve them. This can come in the form of a goal tracking notebook, one big list, or sticky notes posted all over your studio walls!

Or, if you want to do this with an app, here are some app options for you.


Read more about goal setting, and why it’s important, from Psychology Today. Or, get the alt perspective here.

If you need a hand with goal setting, we can book a call to brainstorm some ideas!


5 TIPS: Pricing

5 TIPS: Pricing

  1. With fine art, prices are set by the artist or dealer, but they are established by the marketplace. For instance, you can set any price you like on your artwork, but if no one is willing to pay it, the art should not be priced that high. Which leads me to #2…

  2. How much is your art worth? Your art is worth what someone is willing to pay. Finding the right balance of time spent, material costs, and price can be very tricky. In sales situations, clients often ask me “who sets these prices?” and I always answer them with “you do!”.

  3. Just try a price. Set a value out of thin air - this value should be reflecting what you feel your time spent amounts to, but stay on the modest side. If you sell your first few pieces in 5 minutes, then pause, and raise the prices up.

  4. Prices should be on a sliding scale, with smaller works having a higher price per square inch, and larger works having a lower price per square inch. I prefer working with a “Price per Square Inch” formula rather than a united inches formula. I help artists make price charts all the time - please contact me if you’d like your own personalized chart. With my charts, you’ll be able to reference the chart for ANY size that a client requests, and you’ll always have firm, consistent pricing.

  5. Prices should only go up, slowly and regularly. I think it’s good practice to set a comfortable price that consumers feel is a “good deal”. After all, you want to sell everything you make, so you can keep making more and more! (sidenote: the more art you make, the more you will improve) Yearly, you should evaluate and decide whether you need a 10%, 15% or 20% increase, depending on the previous year’s demand.


Exhibition Labels Made Simple

Exhibition Labels Made Simple

Here is my basic template for exhibition labels. This style is well suited for use in exhibitions that include multiple artists, or in an artist’s booth at an art show. I always make sure to include the artist’s website and instagram handle because potential clients quite often take a photograph of the label if they would like to remember the artwork.

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Note: An editioned photograph should also include the edition size on the label.

This label is sized 2 x 4 inches and uses Avery template 8923. Download your template here.

Click here to buy the labels to print on.

Let me know if you have any specific questions about artwork labels! Artwork in the image above is by Tash Damjanovic

5 TIPS: Writing an artist statement

5 TIPS: Writing an artist statement

Step 1: You can do this.

Stop thinking about this as an epic task.

Through this exercise I will break down the process of getting your artistic intents down into a digestible statement. This process works for artists of ANY experience level, trust me.


Step 2: Brainstorm, visual stage

You’re a visual artist, so draw it!

Use a bubble chart or mind map to get your ideas on paper. I find it easier to start with the outside bubbles and allow those minor thoughts to help draw conclusions towards the bubble in the centre. In this exercise, the centre bubble should end up being a 1 sentence statement that describes your practice.

Start with the outer bubbles (add as many extra bubbles as you like). Then use those statements to draw conclusions about the centre bubble, which should result in a simple sentence about what your work is about.

Start with the outer bubbles (add as many extra bubbles as you like). Then use those statements to draw conclusions about the centre bubble, which should result in a simple sentence about what your work is about.

Web example of how to create a mind map

Web example of how to create a mind map


Step 3: Now put it into paragraphs:

Use the following list of questions to gain a better understanding of your practice (answer as many as you need to help get ideas and words flowing)

- Describe your medium 

- Describe your method

- When you work, do you have a finished product in mind, or does the work take shape as you go?

- List any main thematic ethos to your work 

- List any major sources of inspiration 

- If you're able to say WHY you make art, please explain!

- School/training history

- List any important collections

- Countries your work has been sold in

- Countries your work has been exhibited in


Step 4: Structure it

A good basic structure for your statement is as follows:

Paragraph 1: Who are you and what are you known for.

Paragraph 2: What makes your work special? Describe a bit of process and how it informs your finished work

Paragraph 3: Summarize accomplishments (where your work is hanging, where you can view it, where you went to school, etc)


Step 5: Edit it

Find a trusted friend to offer a second set of eyes to help you edit, and ensure your ideas are coming off as you intended.


Easy right? If you would like more help with this process, I’m happy to assist! Feel free to contact me for statement writing from the ‘blank page’ stage, or editing once you’ve got your ideas on paper. Good luck!

5 TIPS: Photographing artwork

5 TIPS: Photographing artwork

1. A good photograph of your artwork is more important than you think.

Do I need to make a pitch for the importance of a good picture? I feel like I shouldn’t, but every day I see people posting mediocre pictures of their artwork that could be improved by taking a few extra minutes. Remember, if you are in your studio with your artwork, only you can see what it truly looks like in person. Your picture has to convey all the wonderful texture and paint that you have created. It’s not an easy task for a camera, so we have to take extra care to get it right. Once you put that photo on your website or instagram, and ask people to like, comment, and BUY, we had better hope it is showing off the artwork as accurately as possible. Speaking of buying, if you’re showing pictures and expecting people to buy from the picture, you had better make extra sure that the picture matches the painting, or you’ll have unhappy clients.

2. Yes you can use your iPhone

I’ve used many types of cameras to shoot artwork, and I’ve found that new iPhones (i’m guessing any decent smartphone) can take a great picture that is suitable for web viewing. For large scale or print images, best to use a higher res camera.

Line up edges of artwork as close to the edges of the viewfinder as possible. Keep lines straight.

Line up edges of artwork as close to the edges of the viewfinder as possible. Keep lines straight.

3. Start with a strong photo

Take the time to find a place with even lighting, prop the artwork up safely, and look it over with your naked eye to ensure there is no dust, debris, or random shadows cast across the piece.

When you hold up your phone to take the picture, make sure the grid edges line up with the edges of your canvas. This will make a huge difference, as many phone programs don’t include the ability to ‘skew’ the picture back to square…so best to start off with straight edges.

4. Go outside on a sunny day

Never, EVER, shoot indoors. Unless, of course, you have special photography lighting. No amount of interior light or sun shining in the window can do as well as diffused or direct sunlight when shot outside. here are some lighting examples using the same Andrea Soos painting.

As you can see above, diffused sun and full sun create the most appealing, lifelike and saleable image.

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5. Edit: Crop, brightness and levels

Once you’ve taken your great picture outside, use your phone’s software to crop out any slivers of background. Little skewed slivers on the sides of canvases always stand out to me, and they are so easy to fix! Some photos need a little extra brightness - you can do that in the Edit screen as well. If you have Photoshop, and you’d like to make it extra perfect, the tool called ‘Levels’ will be your best friend. But, if you use the steps above, you won’t even need to edit in photoshop.

Do you need a website?

Do you need a website?

Ah, the age-old question…do artists need personal websites anymore? Or does Instagram suffice?

Ok, this is not an age old question. It is probably a one-year-old baby question that will be sorely outgrown by next year. Alas, in my circles it is quite a popular question.

If you choose Instagram only:

So you’re going to save your money and time and just do instagram, great! If so, you should be able to curate a beautiful feed that all has the same ‘look’, and accurately conveys the motives and intent behind your practice. Some artists are great at it! Look at Danielle Krysa:

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Good instagram feeds should not only look great, but they need to tell people how and where to buy your work. Your profile description will have to include details on how to get in contact with you. Your motives and ideas behind your work will have to be told in pieces throughout the feed, which creates the need for your viewer to piece the story together themselves.

Is a good instagram feed essential?

YES

Is a good instagram feed essential even when you have a website?

ALSO YES

So, do you need a website?

YESSSSSS

I’ll explain.

Life in the gallery world is busy. Most gallerists (including myself) scroll instagram as much as possible to see great art. Once you see it, you head to the profile and give it a once-over. If you get to that point of having a potential gallery looking at your profile, you want to make sure they are getting what they need. In most cases, they don’t have a lot of time. So when I was in the position, I liked to scoot over to the artist’s website, check out their bio statement, physical location, and CV (if time!). Then, if you like what you see, use the handy contact info that is on the website. I liked to get right to the point by contacting through a web form, email address or phone call. I never DM’d artists of interest as that would mean contacting through my personal Instagram account which would be inappropriate.

Want more?

You may attract followers by presenting a beautiful instagram feed. But what about BUYERS? (Isn't that what we are here for?) Your potential buyers should look at your feed, like it, and be able to easily connect with you for more info. Now…buyers are often secretive during this ‘interest phase’ of a sale. In my experience, after a buyer likes something, they will scour the web doing ‘research’, so ideally you’ll have a personal website at the top of google that will effectively convey more information about your artwork, and show the client more examples of your work. This research will help the client make a decision whether to buy. If you are selling through a gallery, it is appropriate to link your sales galleries from your personal website, so that they become part of the sale process (teamwork makes the dream work!). Aside: For more information on client and gallery relationships, head to this post.

So, that’s my pitch on why artists still need websites: to attract gallery representation and to convert instagram followers into buyers. I think those are pretty important things!

Related: Here are some instagram tips

Even more related: I can make a website for you (really fast and inexpensively! And you’ll be able to update it yourself!)

Should you do an art fair?

Should you do an art fair?

There are many types of art fairs out there, I have experience with both Artist-led fairs and Gallery-led fairs. An example of an Artist-led fair is the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, where artists present a booth of their own artwork, and act as the salesperson. Gallery-led fairs such as Art Basel instead have galleries setting up in an exhibition space, presenting sometimes multiple artists in one booth, and staffing the booth with gallery professionals.

In this post I will share some pros and cons of doing an Artist-led fair.

Note: If you have gallery representation, you should discuss doing artist-led fairs with your gallery first, as they will have important insight, and it may also go against your agreement.

PROS

  • You can present your work to a wider audience.
  •  As you will be in the booth selling your work, you will get to hear direct feedback from potential clients.
  • This feedback can help inform the future direction of your work (if you choose to take it).
  • Good opportunity to engage with other artists that you're working alongside.
  • Artist networking is a great way to meet peers and hear about other selling and gallery opportunities.
  • Showing at a fair can attract galleries to your work, as they may not have seen your work otherwise.
  • Chance to make some direct sales.

 

CONS

  • Fees for art fairs can be extremely high. If you're doing the fair to make profit, you need to consider the hard costs that come off the top.
  • Don't forget the opportunity cost of being tied to an art fair booth over the weekend when you could be creating more artwork or making money another way.
  • Also consider the cost of transporting your work, installing and potential damage that can be caused.
  • If you do not create an attractive booth presentation, you may do damage to your brand.
  • Basic people skills, and skills at selling are a MUST. If you do not have either of these, you may not be suited to being the spokesperson for your artwork.
  • You will need a point-of-sale system with the ability to take credit cards (Such as Square). These services have a cost attached.

 

I personally love visiting The Artist Project in Toronto each year

I personally love visiting The Artist Project in Toronto each year

If you've decided to do a fair, here are some tips:

  • Plan accordingly - applications happen very early for fairs!
  • Mock up your booth on paper and be sure that the size of artwork that you make for your booth will fit, and make a cohesive showing.
  • Next, built the booth entirely before as a 'dry-run'. This will help show you what tools you'll need on set up day.
  • Have a trusted friend look at your set-up and provide feedback. Even better, invite someone who hasn't seen your work. That person can help point out where you may need to add more information about the work.
  • Imagine the role of a new viewer. After they see the work, are they easily able to spot wall labels with information? Where do they go to get more information?
  • Ensure your name/logo is bright, simple, and visible. 
  • Present social media follow info and website details.
  • Create cards to hand out to visitors (most large fairs require 300-500)
  • Have pricing visible.
  • Engage viewers in meaningful conversation about the artwork. 
  • Plan ahead for a way to collect emails from visitors, and be sure to follow up.
  • Sell yourself!

I would love to hear if you plan to do any art fairs this year! There are some details that I can help with from afar including booth planning/design and curation. Contact me at alissalsexton@gmail.com if you'd like some assistance with your upcoming fair.

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Sharing a post-it note I stuck to my office wall a few months ago. I love sharing this tidbit!

5 TIPS: Instagram best practices

5 TIPS: Instagram best practices

Instagram is the best marketing tool for visual artists, in my opinion. With some effort, a professional artist can create an online portfolio of their work on Instagram which can undoubtedly engage more visitors than that same artist’s personal website. Instagram’s reach is so vast, it’s worth spending some time learning best practices for this platform.


If you’re already on instagram, but hoping to improve, please know that it’s never too late to start using my tips. You can even change your handle if it’s not the best handle for your use. After reading this article, it may also be beneficial to go through past posts on your feed and delete any posts that aren’t winners.

These 5 tips are specifically related to instagram accounts for professional artists. My clients get the full article emailed to them, complete with pictorial examples and inspiration. Email me for a 'First Hour' consultation!

1. Present a uniform ‘look’

When you open an instagram page, it shows your most recent photos in a grid. This grid should be representative of the brand you are creating as an artist. It should have a mix of post types, but overall convey a uniform message. A viewer should be able to get a good idea of what you do by looking at this page at any given time. This should also create an appealing look to draw followers. A good presentation provides a cohesive set of imagery while showing work in progress, studio views, the artist at work, finished work, and inspiration images. A viewer will know at first glance what this profile will be about, and will know if they want to follow.

2. Decide your personal style

Get Personal: If it feels right for your personal ‘brand’, include some posts that share intimate details of your artist life: studio shots, pets/kids, inspirational imagery, home life, or images of you at work. These posts can be sprinkled into images of your finished work, and can help create engagement with your followers

Or, Make Instagram More Formal: Rather than present personal imagery, it’s also appropriate to treat Instagram like a more formal artist portfolio. Showing images of finished work, along with some process shots, and artwork details (title, size, medium, etc) can make a cohesive page for followers. You have to decide how much personal information you want to share, and what feels right for you. Deciding this from the start will help create a seamless experience for your viewers.

3. Be Consistent

No matter what style you decide on, try to stick with a basic schedule of posts and relatively regular posting. This refers to how often you post, what type of content you post, and the general aesthetic of your posts. Post consistent content that aligns with your particular message and aesthetic. You may not consider yourself a “brand,” but you do have a style that people have chosen to follow you for. Stay on brand. Stay consistent with your posting activity so your followers not only get to know you, but depend on your content.

4. Edit your photos:

Not just any photo will do. Your photos must be bright, and have true-to-life colours. This is a visual medium, so the first step is a bright, focused, well-composed photo. Even if there is a great story behind a photo, if the photo isn’t top notch, it shouldn’t be shared.

DO NOT use instagram filters, just use their editing tools within the app to increase brightness, contrast, etc. Smartphones offer many great apps for editing photos.

5. Connect with your audience:

Captions on photos: Captions on your photos are crucial. A caption should help tell your followers what is happening in the photo. If it is a work in progress, you may want to explain a little about what you’re working on. If it’s a finished piece of art, share a bit about why you like the piece, a challenge you faced during it’s creation, or where to purchase that piece. Above all, captions should be authentic, honest, and in your own voice. Imagine you are speaking to your followers in person.

Tagging Photos: Instagram allows you to tag people or companies right in your image. It may be beneficial to tag any brands or products shown in your photo. Engaging with products that you like/use could mean that the brand re-posts your image, which could help with follower count. Mention anyone pictured in the photo, or any instagram users that inspired you, or who you feel compelled to connect with.

Comments and likes: Make an effort to ‘like’ images that you genuinely like. When you have an interesting comment to make, comment away! Comments should be on accounts that you actually follow, and should add value to the post. When a follower comments on one of your photos, be sure to respond. That type of reciprocal engagement will increase follower count, and the quality of your feed. engaging and that offers value.

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Artwork shown: 'Hidden Gem' from Lindsi Hollend's new 'Tapestry' series which will be unveiled at the Toronto Artist Project, 2018

 

Artist/Gallery Relationships: What should you expect?

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Artist/Gallery Relationships: What should you expect?

All relationships require some understanding of expectations between the parties. This is especially true for the sensitive relationship between artist and gallery. For an artist seeking feedback or guidance, their gallery is often the #1 source of info. And for galleries, the artists they represent are their main source of income, while also contributing to the longterm reputation of the gallery. Both sides have expectations - here are some I've compiled from years in the industry.

It is reasonable for an artist to expect the following from a gallery:

  • Artwork sales, at a rate that was either previously discussed, or can be explained
  • Full payment in a reasonable amount of time (30 days post-sale, or at the agreed-upon interval)
  • Artwork exposure in a physical gallery space - “Wall time”
  • If sales are strong: contributing factors that could help the artist keep that momentum.
  • If sales are slow: Possible reasons or explanations relating to the slow sales. (All good artists will experience highs and lows in sales)
  • Positive feedback from staff or clients that could increase studio success or lead to more sales.
  • Group or solo exhibitions within the gallery, or connections to exhibition opportunities elsewhere.
  • Promotion on any channels that the gallery uses (social media, paid opportunities that may be shared with the artist)
Art Toronto 2017 featuring Michelle Nguyen, Chris Temple, Jill Greenberg, a sliver of Darlene Cole, and Tom Burrows. Bau-Xi Gallery booth.

Art Toronto 2017 featuring Michelle Nguyen, Chris Temple, Jill Greenberg, a sliver of Darlene Cole, and Tom Burrows. Bau-Xi Gallery booth.

It is reasonable for a gallery to expect the following from a represented artist:

  • Steady artwork production on a schedule that was previously discussed
  • Conversations in advance about any major changes to practice (aesthetic, styles, production speed) A gallery must know this in order to properly market your current and new work.
  • The artist should not be in competition with the gallery regarding sales - in most cases this means not selling direct to clients, and allowing sales to go through the gallery.
  • Artwork should arrive to the gallery in exhibition condition. Photos should be framed and ready to hang, paintings should not be wet. You may have other arrangements for framing etc, but know that if a piece that is ready to show, is more likely to be hung and sold. It is more challenging for a gallery to present unframed paperworks and photos that live in a drawer.
  • The artist should be willing to respond to feedback that can increase the saleability or quality of the artwork
  • All artwork should be made using archival-quality materials, and artists should be willing to provide some loose guarantee on the material stability.

If you feel that I have missed some crucial expectations, I'd love to hear it! Comment on the related Instagram post, or email me at alissalsexton@gmail.com and I'll include your comments if you wish.

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How to: start working with an artist consultant

How to: start working with an artist consultant

If you are considering hiring a consultant to discuss your professional art practice, you may be wondering how the process works. I want to share a few details about how I begin work with a new client. Everyone is different, of course, but here are some basic topics I find myself coming back to.

Many artists appreciate help in the following areas:

1. Creating/refining your artist statement

2. Narrowing your focus, creating a cohesive curatorial look in your physical and online presentation

3. Discussing how to approach a gallery, which galleries you'd like to be a part of

4. Reviewing gallery agreements

5. Assistance with pricing, creating scaled price charts

6. Website curation or website re-design

7. Social media strategies

8. Strategizing sales (through all channels)

During my last trip to Saatchi Gallery

During my last trip to Saatchi Gallery

My favourite starting point:

Show me your work, as many finished pieces as possible. Pictures with sizes and prices do the trick. I'd like to see which have sold, and for how much. From there, I can learn what has been successful for you before making recommendations. I never like to fix anything that isn't broken!

The 'first hour':

After receiving these lists, my first step is what I call the 'first hour', where I spend one hour researching and making specific recommendations. When you see these recommendations, you can decide if my suggestions are in line with what you're hoping for in terms of help. From there, you can decide to hire me for future work (carrying out the recommendations) or work on those on your own.  I always strive to be helpful, and I only charge for work that I've completed, not in advance.

I am able to make studio visits in Toronto/Montreal & Ottawa (and anywhere in between)

Louise Nevelson at the Tate Modern

Louise Nevelson at the Tate Modern

Contact me

It never hurts to send an email! I can let you know right away if I can be of assistance, and you can decide whether you'd like to move forward with the First Hour consult.

EMAIL: alissalsexton@gmail.com or contact here

The Brain Project

The Brain Project

I had the honour of being a curator for The Brain Project this year. Read more about The Brain Project below, and explore the brains in public spaces across Toronto

 

SEE 100 SCULPTURES INSPIRED BY 33 BILLION NEURONS.

The TELUS Health Brain Project is a large-scale outdoor exhibit that brings brain health, art and imagination to the streets of Toronto. In 2016, The TELUS Health Brain Project launched its inaugural exhibit across the city to start a public conversation about brain health and bring awareness to diseases like Alzheimer’s.

As The TELUS Health Brain Project returns for its second year, one hundred artists from around the world will transform blank brain sculptures into beautiful, energetic and thought-provoking pieces of art. The sculptures are sponsored by corporations and philanthropists, and will be displayed in more than 15 locations around Toronto and the GTA.

Funds raised through the project are donated to Baycrest Health Sciences, a global leader in brain health and aging.

Learn more about Baycrest and the impact of funds raised through The TELUS Health Brain Project.

5 TIPS: Going Pro

5 TIPS: Going Pro

HOW TO TAKE YOUR ARTWORK FROM AMATEUR TO PROFESSIONAL LEVELS

Starting a career as a professional artist can be both daunting and exhilarating. I have summarized a few tips below for artists starting out.

1. Look at as much art as you can

Look at art in person at commercial galleries, public galleries, regional museums. See how paint is applied to the canvas, or how photographic presentation styles differ. See which ones resonate with you. Look at art online, and follow 100 new artist instagram accounts for daily inspiration. Read good magazines, and keep a record of favourite artworks and techniques.

2. Learn from the best, without imitating

If an artist's work inspires you, try making a painting or photograph just like theirs. Be a copyist as a learning exercise, and be sure to keep it to yourself. Use the information that you learned from the copy to define how your work will be different. See the inherent differences that evolve in your own creative processes, and expand on those areas.

Image detail of a Dani Cooperman artwork

Image detail of a Dani Cooperman artwork

3. Start a website or instagram account dedicated to your work

Your public artist persona starts from day 1. Define a mandate for your public profile, and stick with it. This refers to the look and style of your page, and the type of information that you want to share. Some artists feel comfortable showing parts of their process and studio, others simply post finished pieces. In any case, ensure the photos are bright, clear, true-to-life. Presenting high quality photos is the most important part of instagram. Get advice from a respected friend or professional artist advisor as you build the look of your profile or website.

4. Create a portfolio

Your portfolio should be representative of your recent work (not everything you've ever done). It should show a refined and highly curated selection. Once you've perfected your portfolio, (more tips to come in future posts), you will be better prepared to start introducing yourself to collectors and galleries. Artist consultants are integral to creating a polished portfolio  

5. Meet other working artists

Learn about other artists' experiences, where they are showing, what type of work they enjoy doing most vs. what work is selling, etc. A great place to meet artists is at gallery openings. Don't forget to keep your meetings concise if the artist is at their own opening - don't take their time away from waiting collectors.

Detail of a Vicki Smith painting 'Float'

Detail of a Vicki Smith painting 'Float'

Stay tuned for future posts in the "How To" series for artists:

- How to: Create a Portfolio

- How to: Approach galleries to request representation

- How to: Host your own art show

- How to: Create an amazing art instagram account

- How to: Create an online store for your artwork

Artists as brands

Artists as brands

A recent article on Artsy summarized a panel discussion held at the Nasher Sculpture Centre, Dallas. This article by Anna Louise Sussman does an incredible job of bringing forth some important changes in the art world that artists need to be aware of.

From this article, an excerpt titled "Artists are brands now. Deal with it." 

"Thanks to—no surprises here—social media, the internet, and the influx of money into the market, artists are transparently marketing themselves as brands, “with no apologies,” said Sara Fitzmaurice, “just like corporate brands.” Those brand names tend to rise to the top, thanks to both the structure of the market (in which ultra-wealthy collectors compete for a handful of trophy artists) and the media landscape."

READ THE ARTICLE HERE - Article by Anna Louise Sussman

While on the subject, check out how the Economist wrote about the 'Artist as brand' Damien Hirst in 2001 here.

Moving

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Moving

My time in the commercial art world has primarily been spent at Bau-Xi Gallery, one of Canada's most established contemporary fine art galleries. It has been a time of incredible learning and personal growth. Since joining Bau-Xi in 2005, I have facilitated representation for emerging and established artists while developing strong relationships with patrons and art industry professionals. My projects for Bau-Xi included identifying market trends and recruiting talented artists, advising collectors on acquisitions, coordinating year-round exhibitions, and building artist profiles in international markets at fairs in Toronto, Miami, and London. This is, I believe, the most important portion of my working life. 

Wrap night of Photo London 2017 with artist Joshua Jensen-Nagle

Wrap night of Photo London 2017 with artist Joshua Jensen-Nagle

Installing artwork by Janna Watson and Cara Barer at Art Miami 2016

Installing artwork by Janna Watson and Cara Barer at Art Miami 2016

The feeling builds over time, seeming like almost forever, but then suddenly the time arrives. It is time to leave the city and return back to my roots in eastern Ontario, answering the call of the relaxed St. Lawrence River lifestyle. Even more important, the piles of friendly family members who double as willing babysitters.

 The Still Life is my plan. Enjoying life to the fullest, taking time to look around, getting re-acquainted with nature, horses and family. I will use this space to discuss our family journey (in our 75 acre forest) while sharing the ever-inspiring stories of the artists I work with. This is the next chapter.

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