27 July 2006

From the "WTF are you thinking?" file.

Scene:
It is a beautiful day in the art world. I am sitting with a clients who are considering a $25,000.00 Tissot etching. A fabulous work, museum quality.
A young man walks in, sits down 'between' my clients, pulls out a stack of bent and dirty photos of 'his' work and starts to tell them why they should be buying his paintings instead of whatever it is that I am showing them.
So I ask him,"WTF are you doing?"
He tells me the owner is going to start showing his work in the gallery so he wanted to get a jump on things.

As I politely took him by the dirty dread lock mess he called hair and showed him out the door, I mentioned that "I" am the owner of the gallery, and there will be snowmen in Phoenix before he ever shows his work in my space. I shut the door behind him and locked it. He was still yelling obscenities at me through the glass and reminding everyone with in several blocks of ear shot that he was a great artist and I was making a big mistake. I would be sorry!

I am sorry I didn't drop kick him as I showed him the door.

My clients sat there with their mouths open, stunned at what had just happened.
We had a good laugh about it and they went on to buy the work. They will have a great story to go along with the piece they will no doubt share with their friends.

I wish I could say that I had made this up. This actually happened. Sadly it is not uncommon.

So, to young artists everywhere. WTF are you thinking?
Do art schools teach nothing about the business end of art? Have you never been into any type of business in your lives? Did you just crawl out from under a rock?

Ok, having been to art school I know the answer to my first question. Art schools do not teach anything about the business of art and what they do teach is of little use in the real world.

If you want to get your work into a gallery there are certain things you must do.
I do offer a service if you would like a coach, you may contact me.
But here are a few pointers:

1) Make an appointment, and be on time!

2) If you can not get an appointment, bring a professional looking portfolio you can leave. Photos, CD's, DVD's work best.

3)Make sure your art will fit into the gallery you are approaching. Do not waste everyone's time showing abstract work to a traditional gallery or vise-versa.

4)Take a bath, wash your hair and dress accordingly. If you show up in cut offs, a tidied shirt and flip flops, you have no chance, no matter how good you think you are.

5) Last and most important of my free advice, NEVER, NEVER interrupt gallery personnel. Think about how you would feel if a consultant was trying to sell one of your paintings and was interrupted by another artist trying to get their work into the gallery. It is unprofessional and its rude and it will end your chances before they start.

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