Deep Thought Thursday: Knowledge

What's missing from your art career education?

What part of the art business you wish you knew more about?

What do you wish you had more of?

What do you have too much of?

Where are you stuck?

What environment are you missing? (e.g. online chat rooms, real-life workshops, etc.)

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9 thoughts on “Deep Thought Thursday: Knowledge”

  1. environment: a small group of women (not necessarily artists) that meets regularly, cheers each other on, thinks bigger, holds each other accountable. Do I dream (I’m thinking non-facilitated).

  2. A real problem with “art career education” is that it’s easier to teach the basics to those just starting out (like starting a mailing list). A lot of people, Alyson included, do an excellent job at this. What can be tougher is to learn from very accomplished artists what helped them become successful.

    Artists usually feel once they’ve been showing and selling for some length of time they are supposed to project an image of being perhaps “above it all” when it come to marketing. When nationally famous artists come to my local museum to give a talk about their art and life, they usually try to create an image of themselves as deeply thoughtful, driven to create, and generally too profound in their emotional life to be concerned with the marketplace. I think they’ve concluded, perhaps correctly, that this is what their more high end (i.e. rich) collectors want to hear.

    The reality of course is that these artists are underneath it all very good indeed at marketing themselves and their work. I’m not blaming the artists- they no doubt struggled very hard for years to climb out of a precarious financial state and don’t want to do anything to jeopardize their career success. The upper echelons of the art market seem to want the artists to play a role a little bit like an actor. The role frequently seems to ask them to be a bit mysterious and elusive.

  3. I am in accordance with Tammy – I’d really like to be part of an accountability group. Not because I don’t get things done but because the action of interacting with others keeps the focus from straying too far when it oughtn’t (and, yes, there are times when it should).

    The other learning tool I’d like is a mentor. One who actually knows and understands art as both a life commitment and as a business.

    There is no doubt more I could add but I think this suffices to start.

  4. I have to agree with Patricia and Tammy. I would like to find a group of committed, like-minded artists. Not necessarily for accountability, but more to have a sense of community and a support network. People who have similar goals and understand the challenges facing artists. People who can give feedback and help brainstorm ideas.

    What I really want is a large studio space where several (to a dozen) artists can work at once. I would love that kind of atmosphere! Artists coming and going, discussing ideas, creating and collaborating. Not to mention, a decent studio would be nice too!

  5. Sandra Cherry Jones

    I enjoy being with other artists who are working on the same type of projects. I would like to experience that more often.

  6. I am missing the ability to see the really big picture in business. I totally agree with Philip, the basics are easy to find and learn. I would like to have the ability to wrap my mind around more of what it takes to run an art career like a well oiled machine and not churn out machined work. I have been in business for myself for over 11 years, where I am I stuck: getting my work to the next level and in turn getting my business to the next level. I want the ability to see beyond the work and commissions in front of me to see what is next, and what does the next level of success even look like?

  7. What part of the art business you wish you knew more about?
    sales, not because I am interested but because this is something I may need to know about, or else *how to find a dealer* to handle sales for me…and even then I should be savvy about sales…

    What do you wish you had more of? knowledge of art history–I’ve had college course, always read lots of books, watch documentary and educational DVDs on art and artists, have been to museums all over the world, research online, but there is so much to know, understand, study…

    What do you have too much of? lots of ideas on how to use my saved collage materials—piles of stuff

    Where are you stuck? I am expanding, but I am a bit stuck with understanding all the digital options/settings on my camera (Nikon) and Photoshop for creating best images of my art…overwhelmed…compared to film photography which I studied and know well.

    What environment are you missing? (e.g. online chat rooms, real-life workshops, etc.) A good gallery scene…

  8. Alyson Stanfield

    Philip: That’s an interesting observation and probably very true across the board!

    Rebecca: Thanks! That’s helpful.

  9. Hi Alyson,
    I am working on my website, trying to figure out how to word the products and services section. I recently listened to some marketing CD’s and they seemed to make sense until I tried to implement the ideas in terms of what an artist had to offer. I recently divided my business into two separate websites, one for fine art, photography, and print promotion, and the other site which tackles family and event video and photography. That helped a lot, but when it comes to selling art it is dificult for me to understand what my unique selling point is or why people buy my art, or what kind of problem I am providing a solution for. These were all vital parts of the marketing process I was listening to. I can do it for my family and event video site, but for this site it is a mystery to me. I am so stuck and was wondering if anyone had some suggestions…Alice

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