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« License Your Art: Make More Money from Your Originals | Main | Art Marketing: What's in a Title? »
Friday
Oct192007

The Productive Artist: Attract the Hidden Dealers

© 2007, Artist Career Training

You can now listen to the Tip-of- the-Week!



 
Did you know that there are invisible "go-betweens" in the art world? They're called Art Consultants and Artist Reps.  They can have a huge influence on how much art you sell, and they don't even need a "bricks and mortar" retail store to do it.

If these arts professionals choose you and your art, you enter a unique and often mysterious world that exists between traditional and alternative venues. But first, you have to know how to attract their interest.

Art Consultants and Artist Representatives are constantly busy creating connections with buyers of all kinds. They are not looking for you unless your accomplishments and your art suit their clientele. If they like your work, they'll come and find you.

Art Consultants are often large-scale buyers. They acquire art for businesses that have bare walls and a suitable budget. Art Consultants handle every kind of art imaginable for corporations, hospitals, hotels, restaurants and resorts.

Artist Representatives are a mix of agent, private dealer, gallery dealer, interior designer, curator, and business advisor. They sell art, sometimes a lot of it. And you've probably never heard of most of them. Artist reps don't advertise nationally and they don't all have shows of artists' work.

Last week, in Pasadena, I met with A.C.T.'s "alternative space" expert and author Margaret Danielak. Here is how she describes her role:

"An effective art rep is like a film agent; each performs a similar function.  If you were an aspiring movie star, rather than a visual artist, one of your greatest assets would be your agent.  Your agent would be contacting people on your behalf who could help advance your career, and to gain you opportunities that you would never otherwise enjoy.  Your agent would introduce you to important people in the film business, to up-and-coming directors and producers, and would be aware of the "behind the scenes" goings-on in that business.  Each and every day, your agent would be attempting to make you - your face and your work, the focus of the entire world.  Art reps, like agents, attempt to do the same - only they operate in the ArtWorld to promote their artists. Unlike a gallery, art reps usually represent a small group of artists.  I represent only seven, including Toni Scott and my late father." From "A Gallery without Walls" by Margaret Danielak

In order to work with an art rep and/or art consultant,
·    you will need to produce artwork that has broad appeal;
·    your prices will need to be competitive;
·    and you will need to be well organized and professional.  

Are these mysterious mavens for you and are you ready for them?


With the knowledge and support you get from Artist Career Training
you'll save time, effort and money.  We gather all the information you
need to market your art and build your art career so that you can make
money and get back to doing what you love - making more art.


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Reader Comments (9)

Hi. I do many of the activities you have described in promoting my artwork.
I make sales calls to corporations and alternative spaces where new audiences will see my work. I create all of my press releases and marketing materials. I am enrolled in a 4 credit marketing class. My artist friends want me to represent them on sales calls. Am I an art consultant?
Denise

Denise, I am passing this comment on to Margaret for an answer from the source.
October 20, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDenise
Hello Aletta & Margaret:
This topic on Art Reps and Art Consultants is intreging. How does one follow up an expressed interest in one's work by a rep or consultant?
October 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia Barnett
I believe the best way to follow up with an Art Rep or Art Consultant who has already expressed interest in your work is to telephone the Rep in question and ask to make an appointment with them to see your work at their convenience. Be sure to leave the day and time you called and your phone numbers and the best time to reach you back. The second best way to follow up would be to write a lovely letter to them via email with a link to your web site that reminds them of who you are, what your work is about, and has all of your contact information on it. Something in the order of "HI. I'm Carole. We met last night. Here is my website" will not invite a response of any kind. You need to make your response a formal one! This person is thinking of taking you on as an artist-client. They are thinking of working with you to promote your work. You should therefore make your communications with them concise and professional. If you do not hear back within ten days, try to reach them again. If you emailed last time, try calling them. If you called them and they did not call you back, try emailing them.
October 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret Danielak
First of all, Denise, I applaud your efforts to promote your artwork. It sounds like you are being proactive in your art career. That is great to hear. BRAVO!

To answer your question, if you are promoting your artwork yourself, then you are a savvy artist who is promoting yourself and not an Art Consultant. If you are promoting the work of other people and are currently taking a percentage of the sale or being paid a set fee by other artists to submit their artwork to corporations, hotels, etc for consideration then you are becoming an Artist's Rep - one who represents artists to help them sell their artwork. If you taking that a step further to help plan a space, work with an interior designer and take it "up a notch" in the Art Rep category, then you are an Art Consultant - consulting with others to find the best fit for the art. If you are providing an advisory role to the corporations in question, advising them on what to buy and when, or to major art collectors - advising them on what to buy and where to buy and how to create a great art collection, introducing them to artists, gallery owners and even, perhaps, flying with them to the Biennales and major Art Fairs around globe then I would say you are becoming an Art Adviser.
October 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret Danielak
I like Aletta's comment: "There is no harm in having your work reach a wider audience.
And there is certainly no shame in making money from your talents. You are no less of a fine artist - you still have to create the original art. "

I totally agree with Aletta's comment; however, I was wondering WHY do so many artist's seem to think that it is evil to make money with art? I personally feel that by making little money in art, I have to do other things and this is not supportive of art of any kind. Why do so many artists seem to think that making money with art is a "sell out"?


October 30, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRhonda
It is not a mysterious world at all when you have realized that if you want to sell your art you have to be a business person.
What I miss in all those recommendations is the time factor:
it takes years to build up a body of work,
it takes years to promote yourself and build up a resumé,
it takes years to find your right contacts which is working through word by mouth or through trial and error!
If you have enough money to pay a professional to do the promotional part for you - then you might cut off some time. If not there is no easy way out and no marketing expert nor any other person can do the job for you.
And you need another - most important - "tool" - which is perseverance. You only get to know what this means when you are just in the middle of it all!

Publisher's Note:
We agree, and repeat often, that it takes 5 - 7 years to build any business. Art is no exception. This is one of the reasons that we offer 12-month programs for artists who are serious about their careers. Each memberof our artist community is willing to take responsibility for their careers, regardless of representation. The time factors is often seen as an obstacle by artists who want it all and want it now.
October 31, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterVyala
they must have a loose screw!
December 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJack W. Phillips
Sounds right to me.
December 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJack W. Phillips
I am thrilled to find this information. This is exactly what I was searching for when I started looking many hours ago.  I paint and paint and paint and now I need to sell and sell to keep on painting. Jo Allerbach http://www.AllebachArts.com

Jo, We are delighted that you found us. There' a lot more where this came from. We hope that you will get another thrill in the A.C.T. TeleClass "10 Tips for Success as a Professional Artist". Thanks for posting your delight!

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJO ALLEBACH

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