The Art Edge with Brian Sherwin

Don't Disrespect Art Buyers


As mentioned previously on TAE, establishing conditions beyond the scope of the work itself is a lot to ask from a potential buyer. I'm referring to the negative side of an art marketing trend that I covered in Promotional Images and Annoyed Art Buyers. As stated in that post, demanding a photo of the buyer standing next to the purchased art has nothing to do with the art itself -- it has nothing to do with why the buyer chose to purchase the work. It is disrespectful. You, dear artist, should respect your buyers. Don't disrespect them with petty, ego-fueled demands! [...]

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Don't Let Art Buyers 'Kill' Your Art!


I've heard countless horror stories about damaged artwork over the years. Case in point: A friend of mine inherited watercolor paintings from her mother. She thought it would be acceptable to wipe them with a cleaning solution in order to remove dust. Let's just say the watercolor paintings did not stand a chance in her possession. Frankly, they didn't fair well when her mother owned them. They were never told how to care for the art they purchased. With this little story in mind, I wish more people thought about how to care for art before attempting to do it on a whim. Shared knowledge can help save the 'life' of a work of art. [...]

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Art Talk on the Edge: Interview with artist Jason Sacran


Artist Jason Sacran is known for creating visually powerful landscape and figure paintings. Jason is highly skilled at establishing a sense of mood -- offering viewers a point of introspection. He states that he is interested in documenting overlooked or forgotten aspects of everyday life. I recently caught up with Jason in order to learn more about his life and work. [...]

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Promotional Images and Annoyed Art Buyers


I realize this post may be a bitter pill to swallow for some business-minded readers. That goes 10 fold when one considers the number of art marketing gurus beating this concept into the ground in recent months. My main point is that you should not feel disheartened if you are unable to obtain images from your collectors. You certainly should not try to force them into providing said images. Asking (just once) may be acceptable -- demanding (directly or indirectly) is not. Don't annoy your art buyers! [...]

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Selling Art: Don't Rely on Myths and Generosity if You Want to See Real Profit


The key point I hope artists take from this little story is that they can't make the desire of receiving generosity the spearhead of their art marketing strategy, nor can they expect someone to magically propel them to fame or fortune. Artists need to adhere to a realistic strategy of growth or else they will be taken advantage of in the same manner the artist I mention had been. In the end he had taken advantage of himself. Now his eyes are open! Good business practice is based in solid reality. Leave the fantasies to the worlds you create in your studio -- embrace a level of ?real world' seriousness in how you conduct business outside of your studio. [...]

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Affordable Options (Wrong Direction?)


Business-minded artists should work within the same realistic approach that other forms of business take. It is foolhardy to expect to obtain a high level of wealth from day one. You have to work, work, work, work and work some more to build a business up -- and even with all of that hard work done you may never reach the profitability of your competitors. You WILL be miserable if you constantly compare yourself to the financial success of other artists -- or if you attempt to match their pricing within little to no market foundation. That said, I do think you can nab your slice of the pie by offering affordable options. I stand by my opinion. [...]

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The Art World Isn't Fair. Get Over It!


You should create and focus on what you are doing instead of focusing on whether the art world is 'fair' or not. Life isn't fair, folks. The art world is a reflection of life, is it not? We ALL have to work hard -- we may not have much to show for that struggle if we constantly compare ourselves to the achievements reached by others. Think about that for a second. The art world isn't fair. I would be lying if I suggested otherwise. Don't dwell on it. Get over it! [...]

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Art Education: Learn to unlearn what you have learned


A FineArtViews article written by Karen Cooper reminded me of one key lesson that all artists should consider. A comment by Phil Kendall hit on the idea that artists should unlearn what they have learned. Kendall suggested that artists should forsake "all those art courses, videos and books" if they desire to discover an unmistakable style of their own. In other words, if you -- the artist -- want to create art that is unmistakably yours you must be willing to work, work and work some more AND throw caution to the wind by finding your own path regardless of what you have been taught from other artists. I tend to agree with that attitude. It never hurts to unlearn what you have learned as an artist. [...]

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Bad Gallery / Good Gallery: Discovering the Bad Apples with Research


Art galleries that treat artists poorly rarely maintain a successful business. You want to look for galleries that have existed for at least five years. If the gallery has reached the five year point (I'm not counting vanity galleries) it has likely built a reputation that you can research easily. Furthermore, it is a good sign that the people in charge of the gallery know what they are doing -- AND have experienced a high level of loyalty from their represented artists (a good sign that the apple is good). [...]

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The Artist / Art Dealer Relationship: Poisoned flowers and the business of art


I was reminded recently about a story involving Cleopatra VII Philopator -- the last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt -- and her Roman lover, Mark Antony. The story involves the distrust that Mark Antony had for Cleopatra -- and the fear that he had for her knowledge of poisons. I can't verify if the story is based solidly on historic fact -- that said, there is a lesson to learn from the tale... a lesson that artists can learn from when partnering with art dealers. [...]

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