The Art Biz ep. 124: Being an Artist with Geoffrey Gorman

There are thousands of people out there who can teach you how to make art. 

Here’s how you throw a pot.
Here’s how you make a mold.
Here’s how you mix colors. (As an aside, don’t ever skip that color-mixing class! It’s easy to identify the artists who think they can get around it.)

wood and found object sculpture of krill catcher fish | on Art Biz Success
©Geoffrey Gorman, The Krill Catcher. Apricot wood and found material, 14 x 21 x 7 inches.

Yep, you have plenty of people who teach you how to make things.

There are others who will teach you how to promote it, how to hack Instagram, or make a video of your work. Or, like me, who help you focus on relationship marketing because it’s the people you know and connect with that will make the biggest positive difference in your art business and career.

But to know what a real artist’s life looks like on a daily basis, you have to study and talk to those artists. Short of visiting their studios, you read their biographies. Watch their videos. Listen to them on podcasts, like The Art Biz.

This latest episode is one of those episodes about being an artist. About living and being committed to the artist’s life.

Geoffrey Gorman talks about what it’s like to be a working artist, an identity he came to later in life and has sustained for nearly two decades.

Geoffrey and I discuss his background as a furniture maker, gallery dealer, and artist consultant and how each role has contributed to his life as an artist. He also talks extensively and instructionally about how he approaches his work and where he finds inspiration.

You’ll hear Geoffrey’s take on how the art world is changing and his advice to artists in the rapidly-evolving market.

Like gallery director Jeremy Tessmer in episode 123, Geoffrey says flat out: Your best resource is another artist.

Highlights

  • “You can make something from anything.” The evolution of Geoffrey’s process. (2:35)
  • Journeying back into the arts after a 30-year break. (8:45)
  • Geoffrey’s timeline from furniture maker to gallery dealer, artist coach to full-time artist. (11:08)
  • What does being an artist look like in Geoffrey’s material-driven world? (16:02)
  • Carving a whale and honoring the passing of time. (23:21)
  • Tactics for increasing your credibility as an artist. (28:02)
  • Evolving with the demands of a constantly changing art world. (31:16)
  • Navigating your relationships with dealers. (36:02)
  • Feedback worth soliciting as an artist. (38:55)
  • The importance of connections as a small business owner. (43:00)
  • How can artists utilize social media to find collectors and curators? (48:00)
  • A look at where Geoffrey is putting his efforts next. (50:22)
wood rabbit sculpture images shows where artist found the materials he uses | on Art Biz Success
The various materials that Geoffrey used to create one of his found object sculptures.

Geoffrey Gorman Quotes

  • “I realized I had to create this world that I was producing.”
  • “You are the number one expert about your work in the world.”
  • “A lot of old benchmarks are now gone for artists.”
  • “There are so many opportunities for us as artists out there.”
  • “Your best resource is another artist.”

Related Episodes

How Dianna Fritzler went full time with her art.

Changes Sara Schroeder made to be more serious about her work.

How to get better feedback when you want to improve.

James Holmes reveals his criteria for knowing he was a real artist.

About My Guest

Geoffrey Gorman was born in Paris, France, but eventually moved to and grew up on an old horse farm in the countryside near Baltimore, Maryland. The dilapidated architecture and abandoned quarries of his childhood influence and inspire the found material sculptures the artist creates today. Gorman has worked as a contemporary furniture designer, gallery dealer, curator, and art consultant before becoming a full-time professional artist. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, including in China and South Korea. Gorman’s work is in public and private collections, including the Racine Art Museum and the University of Colorado.

Follow him on Instagram @geoffreygorman

artist Geoffrey Gorman leaning on pillar with many signs displayed | on Art Biz Success

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4 thoughts on “The Art Biz ep. 124: Being an Artist with Geoffrey Gorman”

  1. Thank you for the terrific podcast. I appreciate Geoffrey’s generous sharing of insights, experience and candor about life as an artist. Well done Alyson and Geoffrey!

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