Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Thought Process Wednesday: PROBABILITY VS. POSSIBILITY

Before I post about E-Read My Tweets and its designer I had a few thoughts which I thought may give a bit of insight to the thought processes of an artist.  

I have recently created these two pieces (maybe three) which I planned to submit and include in an exhibit.  


Acrylic paint, paper on braced birch wood

12 in x 12 in x 1.5 in



Acrylic paint, paper, pastel, collage on braced birch wood

12 in x 12 in x 1.5 in

Probability vs Possibility...

So, here is the thought process: - Three years ago I heard of this art show, I applied and payed the submission fee having read the contract a month or so ago.  Getting the paintings ready to take to venue, hmm, I am now at a completely different place as an artist than I was three years ago... what was my reason for going ahead with this again...? - Oh yes, the pressure of getting work shown, to have work out there after the solo exhibit...

But wait, things just don’t feel they add up: submission fee; the pieces could be sold for $225 (CDN tax not yet included), from which the gallery takes 50%, so I would get $112 per piece sold... ; the price I usually put on a piece at this size and quality, is above $350 (all included) per painting depending on details, materials, time spent, etc.  Also I start considering the time spent getting all this ready, energy out of studio to take the pieces down to the venue, subway fees there and back, and so on. - Why did I decide to do this again? Oh yes, having pieces in a show, POSSIBLE publicity. 

But wait, there will be thousands of 12 in x 12 in art pieces jam packed into the space at the show, some art probably not up to the standards that I expect to produce my own work to (esp at the prices they are selling for); I don’t have a particular allegiance or relation with this gallery, I am not installing it so will my work be shown in the best light, will it be presented to the possible buyer, with the care and quality, standards I usually hand over my art pieces to my clients? - Will this show bring down the calibre of my work? -The gallery does not give out info about the buyer ‘due to privacy concerns’; the buyer may contact you ‘if they want to’... so there is no connection between who maybe purchasing my work...

Then why not go to IKEA? -50% will be going to the gallery if work is sold, and I am not represented by this gallery, have no connection to them as of yet... I am completely aware of due administrative fees and costs of putting on a gallery exhibit such as this (how many people work for this gallery?  I understand they all need to get paid), okay... To make sure people do see my work, and people know my work will be there, obviously, I will be doing my own part publicizing the exhibit, in effect their gallery will be mentioned. -Ultimately it is a business. Duh, of course! -So I do all the foot work, provide the one of a kind art piece which has taken my time and energy, I publicize their gallery (in a way), what do I gain in return? $112 per piece (if sold), possible publicity, time in a venue for the public to view the work, another line on my CV.  No personal interaction or a direct connection made with anyone at the gallery yet at least, although I have paid my submission fee.  - Am I missing something here? Something is just not adding up. 

I feel there is a bit of an imbalance here, am I missing something, (scratching head)...

I may or may not be contacted by the person who was interested enough to purchase the art piece. It may have been a perfect situation three years ago, but as I go about my day, in my gut, it just doesn’t feel right.  But I would rather have my work shown in a public setting than sit around in my place, or on my website.  

What to do?. What is this the right decision?, I don’t know, its a risk either way, so long as I stick to my truths, follow my own intuition, and stand up for my work/brand/standards/business. 

The life of an artist in modern times...Probability vs Possibility...

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog.  

For more information about my work you can visit: 
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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Healthy Communication. Art, Meaning. Changing Business Market; what it entails.

For the last few months after my solo exhibit I have been on the quiet side, and taking things in.  But there is so much on my mind that I want and need to share with you, so that quiet streak is probably coming to an end.  

One reason for not speaking my mind was fear.  Yes I admit it, I was AFRAID!

Afraid of what you ask; when all your life the kind of responses you got from people have been extremely critical, irrational, and unhealthy, even when your now healthy self gets in a situation where someone aggressively hurts you, naturally there is an 'ouch', 'CAUTION' reaction.  This is exactly what I experienced, then I questioned myself, unsure, and hesitant.  If this happened to someone who was more vulnerable to relapse, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, or otherwise it could have been dangerous, even lethal.
I have created a thorough video about this as I believe it is important and more and more people are lacking in this healthy communication style.  


Putting up this video made me rethink what art is and means to me.  This is one of those questions that keeps evolving, but right now, for me it is much about self expression, having a voice, a means to communicate my thoughts more clear, sharing experiences, a creative outlet; hey no surprise, but, I've been thinking about this further.  

To me art is ingrained in all areas of my life, and it goes beyond what ends up on a canvas, to sell, for my 'career'.  Maybe I was a bit narrow minded in thinking that my art/creativity is that which only I paint, draw, cut out, or what society considers as 'visual fine arts', or 'contemporary art'.  From a commodity/market perspective it maybe easier to classify, or calculate; but people, our lives, are never easily classified or calculable!  Is my thinking a bit too abstract?  Maybe, who knows.  But my art 'work' exists as paintings, drawings, words, videos, the way I put make up on or style fashions, movements made, what I say, and how I think.  So, yes maybe I've got five different pieces in my studio right now, all unfinished and not yet on my website, but to me art roots run deep and through all aspects in my life.  To me creating videos, and the way I write blogs are considered works of art too.  

Now going back to the whole business market, commodity subject.  The world is growing and changing at a rapid pace, all can agree, so too is/are the business(es).  Speaking to people, discussing, reading and hearing, also from my own personal experience, the age old mantra of the 9-5, 5 days a week, with a company, until you are retired is just not so anymore.  Some sectors maybe, but there are major changes occurring,  and having to adapt and be flexible to these new business strategies are CRUCIAL in success, and/or survival.

In my next blog I am going to be speaking about this subject with an example from the graphic designer of E-Read My Tweets (a new software for being able to get your tweets on your kindle).  This day in age, it's probably obsolete by now, and no one even knows about it; unless of course you've got some heavy weight investors backing you.  So then, how are the 'little people' ever going to be heard, get a chance at affecting the world, and making a difference?  Is it even possible?  And how?  What are the hurdles?  Reality?  Hmm, much to think about.  

Thank you so much for reading, I truly appreciate it!!!  

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Organizing your own art exhibit and opening event without gallery representation, advice and support for artists.

I apologize for taking so long to post this, but better now than never so here we go: I had my solo inaugural art exhibit in April without gallery representation or other art institutions, this is how I made my exhibit a success.  This is just my experience, it differs depending on each individual.

A word of warning... you may end up looking like this!

It may not be a bad thing after all...

The show must go on, and you get through it.

1. Be in tune with yourself so you can identify when you are READY.
Thinking, feeling, sensing, 'ommmm...' *breathe*

2. Set DATE.  My date moved a few times, but just make sure it is not on a holiday, or other date for ex. Passover (I had to pay an extra $1000 of 'rescheduling fees', I should hope if the people are in the business of event venues, and space rentals, they would be on the ball and inform you of possible occasions, like 'that's on a holiday, are you sure?' sort of thing, I learnt but had to pay up, ouch!  They are a 'business' so don't be so naive).  
3. Decide on a venue; consider location, foot traffic, transit, parking, weather, etc.
Research, ask, go there, walk around, look, think of guest's needs, and yours.

4. Ask yourself 'what the hell am I doing?'
5. Art pieces; depending on the size of the venue you will need art pieces accordingly.  Either you have enough in stock, or you make new ones.  
6. Come up with a list; you will have many lists, (you will run out of space in your brain to store them and the words start to cascade out of your ears while you sleep), list of art pieces, list of numbers/budgets, list of things to do, list of people; invites, clients, target audience, PR/marketing/media/sponsors/etc.  List of people you want to work with, like collaborations, list of all the things you don't have and you need to get (yards of wiring, intensive hand moisturizer, the like...), list of how much help you need or want for the event..., and 10 x (multi tasking)^1000.
7. Get a calendar; I have a filofax (main), one masking taped to the wall in front of me, a larger one in my studio.  Or if you are more high tech; on your desktop, app, smart/i phone, etc.  Create a time line, even if you've never done this before and have no clue how long what/when/where/who/how/when/huh, make a rough estimate.
This goes with me everywhere, if you know me I flip this thing out, old-school style:)

8. It is good to have support; you can have meetings, brainstorm, assign tasks.
9. Initial invites; announce on social media, through email, snail mail, youtube, twitter, wherever you need to share.  It is good to come up with a logo/design/image as a focal point.
Snap shot of stickers I got made with event logo and self promotional website address.

10. Remember things take time so give yourself and other roles enough time; like my initial invites, I planned to have them all printed and real official (with a 'save the date' message first, then a proper invitation later); well, I only got my post card invites delivered 10 days prior.  When delivered, I realized opening the box that the company messed up and there were some other mix ups too. 

It may be good to work with those who are local, not international as some things are simpler done when you can see the product, and speak to them in person... thank you, point taken.
11. Learn and adapt as you go, you need to pick things up fast.
12. Phone, email, meet those involved as many times as you can fit in and is needed.  
13. Be organized.
14. Always back yourself up, stand up for your ideas, and work.  Do what is needed to get things done; like negotiating, esp important when you are an artist trying to further establish yourself and have limited funds.  
15. Gain a sense of balance between the business aspect of art and actual studio time producing; this is difficult, but when you believe in what you do, are passionate about it, have a purpose, and need to share with others, you will never give up and keep trying to find the right balance.
16. Being an artist in all sense of the word be creative in your business strategies too:)
17. Follow up with all who are involved; proofs are needed, trials, improvements, product updates, etc.  
18. Research that which you are not familiar, and get to know as much about it as possible.  
19. Remember to eat sleep and feed the dog.
20. If you have a story regarding the show or work, write it, edit, send.  Try to get the word out about the event.  I wear different hats and I interchange as I go, artist/manager/assistant/curator/PR/marketing/accountant/event organizer/business person/blogger/owner/whatever is needed.  
21. Get the invitations out; when you have a bit of a hiccup like me with getting the printed post cards on time, adjust and make it work with the new situation; don't have much time to send out snail mail so try to do as much through email (although it isn't my first choice and option), and give invites to people in person.
You should've seen me walking around during those months, I always had with me a stack of business cards, event post cards, and event posters just in case I talk to and/or meet someone and/or I ran into a store that is more art inclined, it was annoying as I had to carry a huge bag with me everywhere I went, but...  I was always ready to advertise and support my brand/event/self.  I also knew word of mouth was extremely important in my case.  

22. Small things add up, like labels and wiring; so don't leave everything to the last minute.
23. I planned as much as I possibly could, for every possible situation, from all angles, and drew everything up in my drawing journals; for my sanity and peace of mind, as well as showing others, visually, my vision and idea, so they can get a better understanding and be on the same page (or close).  
My very initial mood board.

Rough sketch of floor plan of space, printed out and cut out all the art pieces I knew were going to be in the show, placed them in the order and area I felt would be best (also looking at actual photographs of the interior of the space which I took months in advanced, with lighting and window location, etc).  

23. Try to get enough sleep the night before the opening, and on the opening try to enjoy it (as everything would have been planned, somewhat rehearsed, and ready to go smoothly).  
You will be dead tired and totally shattered by this time, but adrenalin will kick in, and in my case somehow I got my ass into that latex outfit when I looked and felt probably the roughest, stuck those stilettos on, took a few deep breaths and stepped out (and that was also my first ever time wearing latex in public, ever, so it took guts)... then to be interviewed by someone from an interior design magazine before the show actually opened, while I sweated bullets, trying to be all calm cool and collected, was probably a sight, and from the image I have in my head would definitely do it differently next time, but that's all in hindsight.

The event was a huge success, you can read all about it here: under opening event and exhibit follow up.

I knew this one would be a long one, but I wanted to share my experiences in hopes that it may aid in other artist's journeys.  Now I know that with or without gallery representation this is the caliber and standard at which I can and will operate, work, and give, it is good to know, and I will never stop learning and improving.  

Thank you for your time, and for Being!  Making art, and have a list of topics I want to film for my channel so am gettin' it done~