Friday, November 1, 2013

Small Works Show and a Rant

I have started a new series that I call the Utility Series.  Here is the first piece in the series.

T-Square #1, 2013
fabrics hand dyed by the artist,
fused appliqué, machine stitching
10" x 10"

This artwork, along with four more in the series, will be in the Lisk Gallery's Small Works Group Show. There will be works by 21 local artists and the opening reception is First Thursday (Nov. 7).

I dropped the artwork off at the gallery yesterday.  Each artwork was labeled on the back, had a hanging rod, was in it's own clear, flat bag with a copy of care and hanging instructions and one of my business cards as well.  This is so that when they sell a piece, it can go right back in the bag and be ready to transport.

I also had two copies of a consignment list which I had signed.  One for the gallery and one for my records after having the gallery person sign it.  

I introduced myself to the gal working there and pull out the artwork and list.  She says to me, "I like you already.  You are punctual and organized."  She indicated that in general most artists are not.

So, this brings me to a little bit of a rant, which I don't normally like to express here on the blog. But this topic irks me somewhat.

I think of myself as a professional artist.  This means I make artwork and sell it.  There are two words in that phrase "professional" and "artist".  I think many artists forget the first part.  

There is a generalization that since artists are creative, they can be a little scattered brained about other things.  I have been around other artists and I have also worked at the museum and have seen the flip side of dealing with artists.   And there is a reason this generalization exists. Some artists don't seem to think the "business" of art is important, or think they are too busy being creative to deal with that stuff.  Or maybe they feel they are predominately right-brained and have a hard time with left-brain tasks.

Well, I think that is a cop out.  If you are an artist that wants to sell your work, then you are a small business.  I don't see being creative as an excuse to not be professional.  It is not hard to follow directions, meet deadlines, write legibly, return emails/phone calls in a timely manner and pay attention to details.   

I do have a business degree, in addition to my art degree, but you don't need to have a business degree to be professional.  This is just common sense.  And I realize that artists aren't the only ones.  There are also businesses that don't run their business in a professional manner.  (You are not going to get my business if you tell me you will call me back and never do.)

As an artist, it would be nice to spend all your time creating while somebody else takes care of business. But many artists can't afford to hire someone to do that.  So they really need to take care of business themselves.

If you are an artist (or anybody else) and have different views on this subject, please feel free to leave a comment. This rant is just my opinion.

1 comment:

Connie in Alabama said...

What a great post! It comes down to a basic respect for your customer, and how they feel about your product. No art, however wonderful it may be, should leave a bad taste in the customer's mouth.