Working With Art Galleries - Tips for Artists!

While working or exhibiting in an art gallery is most artists dream; it may not necessarily be the end all be all! Here's why; as a self representing artist I've come to understand many angles as to what makes an artist/work sell. Success is subjective, so I wont touch on that since, everyone has their own idea for it. We cannot measure success. It could be to exhibit in a gallery for many artists, but for others like myself success looks something like this; to exhibit in many galleries, sell multiple times, and at high prices, and become the best artist I can possible be!

Now with that being said; I'm going to talk about selling artwork - since that we can measure. Many artists have the idea that if they exhibit in a gallery, they are set, and thus begin to sell there artwork and gain recognition. However, selling, is selling, is selling! We cannot go around that aspect of the work if you want to live from your art! This is almost never the case. Just because you have an art exhibit it does not mean much in the greater scheme of things (in your career - unless you have it at the Guggenheim, and even that may not cut it alone).

Many galleries tell artists that they want exclusivity of their work, however they don't have the push power to create revenue for you. So while you become exclusive to a mom and pop gallery or online site, you are not benefiting much from that! They are covered because they have exclussive/unique artwork to sell (and from a handful of artists), but you are not...since you have to depend on their sales. Remember here artists...they are not only trying to sell your artwork (it's multiple artists).

One fair way of doing this, as I've expressed this to many smaller galleries; would be to allow the artist to show elsewhere, so that they to have an opportunity to create revenue and not just depend on the good will and enthusiasm of a mom and pop gallery.

I hope we can get to a place where we can all benefit each other! And not just a one way game. 

Please comment your thoughts on this below. Or share if you agree!

The Power of Persistence!

Why do I start with this line? What is it about persistence that allows to stop and become fascinated by the word and meaning? When I use to hear this line; the power of persistence, I would get excited about it's meaning. It meant that all I had to do was keep going. 

However, right after that line, people usually add something like; do the right things and do them with persistence and it will all pay off! I'm beginning to believe that most people are confused when they use this line or give advice on the subject of persistence. 

Persistence is continuing no matter what. Even if you're doing the "wrong things" or going the "wrong way" eventually you'll find your way. Most people put all kinds of stipulations when using powerful work hard and smart. Well what the hell does that even mean? How do you know you're working smart? I say work hard (without any judgement) and eventually (very quick) you'll get smarter at it. 

Many of us are not even working hard...we tend to be repetitive when working and we're fooled to think we're working hard. All I'm saying is don't forget to put the horse before the wagon! ALWAYS!! The horse before the wagon. And if nothing is happening for you, then put more horses!! Then, and only then will you know how to adjust and thus become smarter at it.


When it comes to art be the artist, but to the process; Keep it simple!

I know this may sound's because it can be! Look, most artists will try to romanticize the artwork and they use words such as the 'artistic process'. Sounds cool right? Well yes, yes it does; however most of us (because of our great imagination) tend to stay in our minds and thus labor, and labor, and labor the conceptual aspect of it to the point...that we paralyze and not take action.

So remember, romanticize and enjoy the conceptual aspect of art...but move your hands while you're doing it.

What To Do About Criticism and Negative Feedback If You're An Artist?

If you're asking yourself this question, you're not alone! Just about every artist that I've ever met has to talked to me about this. What to do? Short answer NOTHING! Most artists; especially when we're starting out - we tend to look, want, and almost beg for feedback (positive feedback to make it more clear). 

We tend to hide under the umbrella of the 'I'm just looking for feedback to see if my work is any good' thing! Look, you're as good as you need to be right were you are!!! I give you my blessing and permission to suck and suck and then get better. 

Most of us are begging for positive feedback because we don't really believe in what we do. And the reason we don't believe in what we do is because we're not committed enough to it. Other people and artists feel the same way about themselves...and try to get rid of that feeling by handing it over to you. Don't take a TRAP! 

Now you know, so that next time you hear something negative headed your way; just step aside, it's not for you. You don't have to take it. 

Do What You Love...And Go Hart At It!

I decided to write about this today, because it servers me as a personal reminder that in anything in life is hard and it's harder when you don't love it. I'm not suggesting to quit your job and take on your favorite hobby - however what I am suggesting is that you'll only love what you're good at. And many times we don'd do enough at our work and we believe that we're not supposed to be doing that. This reminds me of the movie 'Groundhog Day' where the hero/antihero needs to come into terms that he's not going anywhere might as well enjoy the ride and above all do his best. This approach sounds cliche, but it is the basis of all success. Real success that is!

The Importance of Being a Persistent and Consistent Artist

These two words; consistency and persistence - are words that we wouldn't normally associate with artists. We've heard them over and over from our parents and possibly our bosses. However, these words are not just for the office jobs and non-artistic en-devours; these words will make you or brake you in any undertaking in your life. 

I personally believe that if an artist does not embrace these concept - he/she is headed for a rocky road. You see, the whole thing is about; how responsible we are to our convictions. It is about nothing else but this in the end. We need to take as much responsibility with our art careers or else we'll just watch it slip away or worst yet...never even get close to touching our goals.


Having Success As An Artist, Is An Inside Job!

I know that many of us think that this is the most cliche thing to say...and I would agree. However, I believe that it is worth saying it again. We humans have a very forgetful memory when it comes to uncomfortable things. I've learned again and again over my career that success is an inside job. It really has to do more with the way we approach life from the inside out.

Often we think that if something good comes our way, our life's, career, emotions will change. However - fortunately is the other way around. Why fortunately; because we get to control it. You see...this is awesome!!! We don't depend on anyone or anything else to bring us success!! That is the best news ever!

Process is key to becoming a better artist!

Most of us (artists) tend to work on the fly, unless we are full time artists - we'll tend to be more mindful of allocating time to paint. However, I've noticed in my own life as an artist that having a process in place makes all the difference in the world when it comes to getting things done and moving forward. Try to put a process in place as to how you do things...I know that it does not come natural to artists, since we tend to be more free and emotional about how we work. However, if you want to take your artwork to the next stage, you have to be willing to do things differently. 

Resisting The Temptation of Being Too Fancy From The Start!

As artists we're all about images! However we tend to get lost in the idea of a perfect self-image and this may cause us to not move forward. I remember doing this when I first started working towards my art career. I wanted everything to look nice and perfect. This idea came from the notion that if everything was elegant and clean cut, designer-like - I was going to be perceived more valuable and thus my artwork too...and as a result; sell artwork at higher prices. 

This sounds good all and all...however it really only sounds good in theory. When we're starting out; one of our invisible stoppers is exactly that - getting too fancy and picky too soon. Next time you're ready to take on a project, music gig, or marketing piece ask yourself; 'I'm I being too picky...too quick?' and then listen to your gut. 

Why do most artists fear the idea of being consistent in daily tasks.

Lately, I've been thinking about the word consistency and what it means in everything we do. As artists we tend to not pay attention to a word like this, since it would mean that we would be locked into a system or encapsulated into a time-frame - and that scares us! I believe that we have it wrong. Based on my experience as a full time artist for the past 5 years; I believe that consistency is our best friend. You see, I believe that we're afraid of this because we want to be free and as artists this is what we strive for. However, without consistency of any kind we will not trully get that freedom we so much seek.