Articles

Curatorial Toolkit

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Credit: The Museums & Galleries of NSWThis toolkit is designed primarily for emerging curators. Although written mainly for independent curators, a lot of this information is relevant for individuals working within an institution. The toolkit assumes the curator will be working primarily in the non-profit sector with public art galleries, museums and/or artist-run centres in Canada, although the information can also be relevant for contracts within the private sector and with institutions outside of Canada. Characteristics unique to working within the private sector, including with commercial galleries, are not contained in this document.

What Your Art Business Will Cost You

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When you own your own business, it’s important to look at expenses as well as income in order to remain profitable. I looked into various (not all – not even education or supplies and materials!) expenses for artists and thought it might be interesting to share the results. Feel free to add to our completely unscientific list in a comment on the Art Biz Blog. Studio Space These numbers are based on responses I received through Twitter and Facebook. (sf = square feet) Central Virginia (476sf): $355/month Key West, FL (750sf – 3 rooms): $1600 for studio + store front Ravenswood, Chicago, IL (600+ sf): $540/month Downtown Chicago, IL (sf n/a): $485/month Gages Lake, IL (1200sf): $500/month with utilities Albuquerque, NM (175sf): $200/mo in nonprofit art center, includes utilities, not air-conditioned Colorado Springs, CO (400sf): $455 includes utilities San Francisco, CA (154sf): $431/month and says most of her friends pay around $800 for an equivalent space San Diego, CA (185sf): $550/month is on the high side because it’s in a retail space and on the art walk path Los Angeles, CA (800sf, skylight, private bathroom, gated parking): $1050/month .... Read more
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"Best Grants Available for Young Artists"

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In the cutthroat art world, subsistence generated by one’s work is often the ultimate goal of the young artist. Of course, that entry into a broader, financially supportive sphere can be a tough slog—generating an audience is one thing, generating revenue entirely another. And yet artists somewhat consistently overlook the possibility of endowment to further their work, considering the marketplace the real socially valid point of entry into financial equilibrium. Grants and fellowships are both viable and variable. There are countless institutions out there ready to hand over wads of cash to further the arts. Then again, it’s hard for artists at the fore of their career to find funds available to them; many grants are set up to sustain already established artists. Complicating things further, organizations and foundations rarely give funding to individuals. With all that in mind, here are a few of The Best Grants Available for Young Artists. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.
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20 Top Artist Grants from Blouin Art Info

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See the original article here...Or download a PDF of the article below. 
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How to Write an Artist’s CV When You Don’t Have Much Professional Experience

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From the blog, The Practical Art World:The post How to Write an Artist CV in 10 Steps is the most popular in the history of The Practical Art World. Some of the most frequently asked questions people have after reading it are “What if I don’t have an exhibition history?” or “What if I didn’t go to school?”For new and emerging artists, creating an artist’s CV can be a bit of a Catch 22. You don’t have much or any experience to put on your CV, but to apply for “experience” in the form of exhibitions, grants, and schooling, you are asked to provide a CV.Fortunately, there are ways to tailor what relevant experience you have into an artist’s CV format. Just remember: don’t lie, and don’t make up anything that doesn’t exist. Just tell the truth, shaping it a little (creatively– it’s what you do best, right?) into the established CV format. If you haven’t already read How to Create an Artist’s CV in 10 Steps, start there. Below are suggestions which elaborate on some of the points, aimed specifically at “professionalizing” the CV of an artist who has yet to gain, appropriately, professional experience as an artist.To read more, click here. 
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How to Write an Artist’s CV in 10 Steps

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A great resource from the blog, "The Practical Art World." A CV or curriculum vitae is an overview of your artistic professional history and achievements. Although it looks similar to a resume, it contains different elements which are only related to your artistic professional practice.One mistake emerging artists often make in writing their CVs is trying to oversell their work. Less is more. Your CV should be neatly organized, and only include information pertinent to your artistic career.What should you include on a CV? Here is where how to compose one in 10 steps...Click this link to read more.
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Tax Write-Offs for Artists

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Courtesy of the Houston Chronicle. The career of a professional artist can be a battle to succeed. Making a living is tough and utilizing IRS tax deductions at the end of the year can allow an artist to keep more of what she makes. Tax write-offs are similar to those used by other self-employed workers across the country; they include costs such as office space and equipment deductions...read more. - Art Supplies and Materials- Art Studio Space- Education Expenses- Travel and Promotion .
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How Any Artist Can Price Their Art For Sale

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Courtesy of ArtBusiness.comPricing your art is different from making art; it's something you do with your art after it's made, when it's ready to leave your studio and get sold either by you personally or through a gallery, at an art fair, online, at open studios, through an agent or representative, wherever. Making art is about the individual personal creative process, experiences that come from within; pricing art for sale is about what's happening on the outside, in the real world where things are bought and sold for money, and where market forces dictate in large part what things are worth. Read more....
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How to Respond to Difficult Clients (Using 4 Readymade Answers for Artists)

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 Courtesy of Empty Easel.com As a young art entrepreneur, I can remember being on a sales call where I was asked to estimate my final price without having designed the project yet.I tried to explain to the interior designer that such a request was nearly impossible, since I hadn’t even sat down and sketched out possible designs. . . the best I could do was ballpark a range, and even at that, I would need to adjust for variables.This answer was unsatisfactory for my client, and I had what I now refer to as a “retail awakening.” You see, the client was unwilling to pay for my design time if they couldn’t afford the final project.In the world of traditional interior design, quoting a price based on square footage is a perfectly normal thing to do. In my world of murals, on the other hand, creating a fee out of the air, without even a basic design in hand, would be sheer folly.Most artists, whether selling commissioned pieces or finished art, will invariably find themselves in similar sticky situations. To keep the client happy, get the sale, and maintain professional relationships, it helps to have a healthy amount of social finesse and verbal skill.The following paragraphs will give you some “readymade answers” for a few tough situations that most artists—at some time or another—will likely find themselves in.First, understand what the buyer really wantsEver since my original “retail awakening” I have come to learn that the buyer, most of all, wants reassurance.Like in any sales scenario, the buyer wants to know the product is worth the price. Knowing yourself and your own worth becomes a critical part of speaking with confidence and transmitting your professionalism.When I was younger, I was afraid of two things:First, that I would quote a price that would end up being too low for the work I would want to do, and second, that my price would be too high for an unknown idea in my customers mind.For many artists, of course, previous sales will set the price for your work and the artwork already exists (hanging up in the gallery, most likely).But if you do custom or commissioned work, every new idea has size variables, design variables, production variables, research time, and installation variables that will make quoting a “ballpark” price a disaster.What’s the solution? Well, today, when I am asked, “What will this artwork cost me?” I have a short 1-paragraph response that I use over and over again. I say:“Your final price will be determined by my time, the size, the complexity of design, the production of the actual work and whatever installation might be required. Since this work is custom, you decide all those requirements which means you’ll have a great deal of control over your costs.”Then I begin the design idea process and show them what’s possible.I have found that “price fears” have less to do with the actual amount, and more to do with what the client is getting for the money spent. In other words, if the client is excited about what you are suggesting, and can see the visual impact of what you can do, then price is not even an issue—price only becomes an issue when the client is worried they won’t get a good product.By using the example paragraph above, I show confidence and knowledge of my process, which helps allay any fears my customer might have, before an idea is even in the wind.What to do when the buyer starts negotiatingIf you are ever in a situation where a “patron” wants to negotiate a price, you’ll probably find yourself uncomfortably wanting the sale, but not wanting to be taken advantage of or disrespected.For example, if your price for an original is $1000, and the patron “lowballs” you, I recommend the following conversation that, at its heart, has a win-win attitude.“Will you take $500 for it?” a potential buyer might ask. (Be warned, my next answer here will shock you. . . )“I would love to take $500 for it.” (Disarm them by not being offended or defensive.) “When my art goes to a good home, I feel great. Unfortunately, all my other collectors would feel cheated because I would be immediately devaluing their artwork. I am sure you wouldn’t want me to do that. . .”Then—and this is very important—ignore the question of price and immediately begin a conversation to discover why they liked your work.Ask them what they see in it, and refrain from telling them what you see in it. When the customer has connected to a piece of art, it really is all about them at that moment. If you validate what they see, you may learn more about your own work than you thought possible—and they’re more likely to buy your art.Here is another thing that might shock you. Had you accepted the lowball offer of $500, you would have immediately devalued the piece in the customers mind, and nine times out of ten they’d say, “Okay, well I’ll be back. . . I have to think about it.”The reason for this is simple. If you don’t believe your art is really worth $1000, then maybe it isn’t worth $500 either. . . read more.
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Navigating the Art Gallery System: An Introduction

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 Courtesy of ArtBusiness.comAs astounding as this may seem, there's a structure and a protocol to the art world, and to the gallery system in particular; it's a system that's been in place pretty much as long as galleries have been around, and one that's not about to change. So the quicker you learn the basics, the more time, effort, money and especially heartache you'll save when searching for galleries that are right for your art. The good news is that once you understand how things work, you can purposefully and effectively make your way through artland in order to get where you want to go, wherever that may be.You see, artists proceed from exhibit to exhibit and gallery to gallery during the course of their careers in entirely orderly and predictable manners; nothing is random. There are always reasons why certain artists and certain kinds of art end up at certain galleries, institutions, museums and other established art venues. Likewise, art careers advance step-by-step, deliberately, incrementally and over extended periods of time. Sure, an occasional art star materializes suddenly out of nowhere, but this is by far the exception rather than the rule. And even these occasional materializations become orderly and predictable once the surprise wears off.Just like in any other profession, artists early in their careers have to begin at the beginning, and in the art world that means showing your art pretty much anywhere anyone will have you. The only criteria at this point is that no matter where you show your art, be sure that some segment of the general population will see it, especially people who have never seen it before. Possible venues include coffee shops, restaurants, furniture showrooms, fashion boutiques, hair salons, lobbies of commercial buildings, renting an exhibition space with artist friends, private viewings at someone's home or apartment, juried or non-juried shows, open studios, and anywhere else you can get warm bodies through the door-- that's the key. Not only does this provide experience and feedback in terms of seeing how others react to your art, but it also maximizes the number of people who'll have opportunities to see it. And the more people who see your art, the greater the chances that someone will tell someone will tell someone, and one of those someone's might own a gallery or know someone who owns a gallery and like your art enough to either want to make contact with you or convince someone else to contact you. That's how gallery shows often originate.Admittedly, those of you who've graduated from art school have an edge on the competition, at least during the early stages of your careers, meaning that during the course of your studies, you've likely been exposed to local gallery owners, critics, curators, collectors and other notable members of the art community-- so you kind of know who's who. Learning your area art scene geography is one of the great benefits of a formal art education, but it doesn't mean any of these people are going to do anything for you, and it sure doesn't mean you can walk into Triple A Fine Arts and get yourself a show just because you met the owner once. You've got to work your way up the ladder just like everyone else, but at least you know where to find the ladder.Those of you who've acquired your art-making skills outside the academic realm (and there are tons of you too) can circumvent this logistical disadvantage simply by immersing yourself in your local art communities. Go to gallery openings, museum shows (especially for local or regional art and artists), talks, tours, open studios and other known art hangouts. Openings are especially good because you get to see large numbers of art people all at once. Don't go to one or two events and think you've done your duty; go to plenty and keep on going. You can either talk to people or not while you're there, although talking is better. Either way, the upshot of repeatedly seeing and being seen is that (a) you begin to see the same people over and over again, (b) sooner or later you find out who they are, (c) sooner or later they find out who you are, (d) conversations eventually break out, (e) you share information, and (f) you eventually figure out how to navigate the art scene just like everybody else . . . read more at artbusiness.com 
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