Wednesday, September 30, 2009

On being an artist seeking gallery representation

So I've decided that I have to spend about 60% of my creative time on publicity, 40% in the studio actually creating the stuff I'm trying to sell.  I do Facebook, a blog almost every day, a website, and ArtReview (an artists' site where artist-types talk art and commune with one another).  I talk to everyone I know about my work.  I pass out business cards indiscriminately.  I refuse to do Twitter - I have not yet enabled texting on my phone and don't want to.  I'm on to sell my work.  I have several bricks and mortar galleries selling my work.

I'm now looking to expand outside my hometown of Richmond, VA and to get representation in DC, Philly, and NYC, not to mention overseas as possible.

It's quite a job looking for galleries.  Recently a friend and I went to DC for the day where we tromped through at least 12 galleries to see if any of them would suit/would want us.  That was after a day of searching the internet to find galleries that might even seem to be appropriate.  It was a fun day looking at art, meeting owners and gallery reps, talking with folks to learn about the art scene.  I've now found a couple of galleries I'd love to show my work in.  I've applied to one of them.  The other one is more intimidating so I'm working very hard on my proposal.  If they choose to accept me as one of their artists, I'm guessing it would be a good 2 years before I could expect to have a show there.  In the meantime I have lots of paintings of naked women piling up in my studio, waiting for beautiful white gallery walls to hang out on and then for new homes where they can rest more permanently.

If you're an artist reading this, what's your story for how you sell your work?  How do you handle the quest to make it in the art world?  Do you live on the income from your sales?  Do you want to?  Do you believe you're sullying yourself by marketing your work?  Do you believe the galleries should come to you? 

Do you know of any galleries where you live that might be interested in showing/selling oil paintings of naked women?

If you're a non-artist reading this blog to learn about being an artist, what do you think about artists?  Should they be starving?  Do you believe in the stereotype of the drunken creative (think Ernest Hemingway, F Scott Fitzgerald, Pollack)?  Do you believe artists can make a living doing their work in sane ways?  Do you buy art?  Why or why not?  How do you feel about owning artwork?  Do you notice when you visit homes where real art (not reproductions) is hanging? 

Why do people do art?  What is the compulsion that drives people to create?  So many of us just have to create or the day isn't complete.  What is that about?  What is your creative outlet?  How do you satisfy your urge??

I'd love to have a conversation with you if these questions intrigue you/keep you up late at night too!

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