Devoted to all the sane and crazy artists & artisans brave enough to give it a go


(posted on 9 Jul 2019)

I find that as artists move closer to considering themselves "a professional artist" they also become more aware of the business aspect of getting their work out there. Often, making that first sale to a stranger triggers thoughts of being "a professional" when in reality you either see yourself as a professional or you don't and behave accordingly. 

It's true, you have to sell yourself to sell your work. You have to put it out there for potential buyers & collectors to see. It means finding places and sometimes fighting for spaces in the right shows. Even in this world of social media, Pinterest, YouTube etc. people do like to see the real thing up close and personal and may even - are you ready for this - want to have a face to face conversation with the artist. After all, you create works based on what's going on inside your heart and head. Some people will want to know what makes you tick. 

A view to professionalism by the way, has little to do with the amount of time spent creating (days - weeks - months - years) or a degree in Fine Arts or whatever measurement tool you use. It's a definite mindset toward thinking as a business person about how to promote your work to an audience bigger than your cat or your family.

That said, in my short experience as an organizer the artists who think of themselves as in the business of selling themselves and their art, while selective where and how they show their work always get their submissions, contracts and/or fees in a timely way to help secure that space. They have their bio / artists statement prepared in a few formats (different shows, events, etc. require different information) ready to go when asked or shortly thereafter. 

It's amazing how many artists / artistsans will ask for a submission form and not sent it until after the deadline and then be pissy when you inform them the spaces are full. Full with artists who see themselves as professional and sent in their submission form right away. Not after the fact. Even after an email has been sent out reminding all who requested that the deadline is near. 

The truth is I love artists. They all have interesting stories. But it is truly like herding cats.