Marketing Mondays: On Your Own Terms, A Final Baker's Dozen

Gallery representation is not for everyone. Artists are fully capable of creating careers in more independent ways, especially with the options afforded by Cyberspace.  If a gallery is your goal, your independent successes may make you a more attractive partner for an artist/dealer relationship. Today I offer you the third and final baker's dozen, on having a career on your own terms. Be sure to read through the Comments to reap the benefit of a good deal of collective wisdom.

4.13.09: Promotion
An artist posed this question: “I was wondering about self-promotion versus promotion through a gallery. Do these work together or do they conflict? What are the boundaries?”

6.8.09: Defining Success
The art world paradigm is not the only viable option.

My interview with the author ofThe Artist’s Career Guide. Battenfield is an artist who has also founded and run a gallery, and who now teaches career issues--in addition to having an international career.

The commission process varies widely, because there are many different kinds of commissions—everything from major corporate jobs with architect, consultant and dealer involved, to the small private project that takes place between artist and client.

Midcareer artists ask "How do I get into a gallery?" but many emerging artists have a different question: "Do I need a gallery?"
5.17.10: The Sofa
“What if you don’t want your work to go over the sofa?”  We want to sell. We don’t want to sell out. So beyond that specific piece of furniture, "the sofa" becomes a metaphor for any commercial transaction we feel will debase our work.
7.12.10: How Did You Find a Gallery?
Recently I recommended an artist to one of the galleries I work with. The dealer liked the work, and the artist is now scheduled for a show. Just like that.  For artists who are sending out package after package, this anecdote is no doubt infuriating. But the fact is that more artists find shows through networking than postage.

Don’t pin all your hopes on an art professional’s visit. But prepare anyway. Related: Selling Out of Your Studio

 We're not corporations but we are sole proprietors, and we can all be helped with feedback and good advice. 
Think a gallery is the only place to show? Think again
Entrepreneurial spirit has led to many respectable opportunities: apartment galleries, flat files, curated online projects and more.
A contract is typically written to protect the writer of the contract. So if a gallery presents you with the contract, you should know that the document is first and foremost designed to protect the gallery.
A dealer doesn’t represent just one artist. Why should you have just one dealer representing you?
3.7.11: "Should I Do An Artists' Fair?"
At the recent Pool Art Fair, held at an East Side hotel during Armory Week in New York City, I took the time to talk with some of the exhibiting artists to see if or how their assessment differed from my own. I went on Sunday afternoon, the fourth and last day of the fair.

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annell said...

Good review of past posts.

Mary Zeran said...

These past two posts have been invaluable. You spell it out for people in a way that isn't intimidating, easy to understand, and broken up into pieces so it isn't overwhelming.

Thank you Joanne! You are a godsend!

Debu Barve said...


Thank you so much for your great writing. It is indeed very helpful. ‘Marketing Mondays’ is sort of benchmarking when it comes to sharing knowledge about art as a profession. Thanks again!