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An art career?


So I think I want to be an art dealer.

I blame galtine1.

OK, so I've been going to sci-fi conventions for about 20 years or so, if you count way back when I used to go to Creation conventions to meet the companions from Doctor Who. After starting in the SCA I was introduced to fan conventions, and attended Gaylaxicon and Philcon. After a few years I mostly went to see friends and shop the dealers room, as the programming usual bored me. (I kind of started to feel the same way about Pride - same rainbow crap, different year.)

When I moved out to San Diego, I got involved in Conjecture, but this time I saw a con from the other side - running it, rather than just attending it - and it breathed new life into fandom for me. (I also started running booths at Pride, which did the same for me there, too.) I also knew I was going to bring Gaylaxicon with me, giving me my first taste of SMOFdom, and I'm still enjoying it (although pacing myself rather than burning out as I worry some of my friends are going to do).

So I found myself getting excited in fandom again. Then at some point galtine1 lures me into an Art Show (I think it was at Coppercon). Suddenly (I suppose with my grown-up tastes - HA!) I find myself intrigued and enticed by the amazing amount of talent I see there. I start buying a few pieces. I start noticing artwork in other places, such as Pennsic. I even start to run an Art Show auction or two at cons. Next thing you know I'm building a collection and recognizing artists by name.

Then along comes my artist boyfriend. So talented, yet so not into the business of it all. He does some pieces at Gaylaxicon and they're a hit. I realize he needs to do more, but, as he puts it, "I just want to draw - you be my mouthpiece." Suddenly I'm his manager and agent.

As this is mulling over in my mind, I realize I have other talented friends, notably akirashima, and then I start meeting other talented people, like troystar. I see them struggling, and find myself frustrated that they're not getting the recognition they deserve (never mind that I've started buying pieces from them). I see a Theresa Mather original go for over $300 at an Art Show auction and I'm thinking, "Theaddy could do that, too!" I'm starting to feel philanthropic. (Working in Development at the university doesn't hurt, either.) I find myself wanting to be some artist's wealthy patron circa 1460.

Oh that I only had the money! But I do have something else to offer - organizational skills, an administrative career of as long as my fandom career, and a bit of passion about these people and the art they create. Maybe that's what I could use to help them achieve what I think they could.

So I've been bouncing the idea around in my head of becoming an art dealer, or, rather, a small artist management company. They do the art, I get it out to convention art shows (or wherever else might be appropriate), handle the paperwork, and take an appropriate cut from their sales (either cash or artwork, hence feeding my addiction). I've even been thinking of what kind of database I'd need to track all the information on each artist, piece of artwork, show, sales, etc.

I think I want to do this. I think I could play a part in bringing some great artwork to new fans.

Am I wacked-out crazy or what?

Wait, don't answer that...

Comments

( 24 comments — Comment )
duhpens
Jul. 13th, 2005 08:03 pm (UTC)
Not crazy at all - you found something you love and thought of a way to make it work for you.

I've stumbled upon an oppourtunity as well - and I'm jumping on it. You have to take the chances your given - you never know when you'll get another. Would you rather not take a chance and always wonder "what if?" or take the chance? Even if it doesn't work out, at least you will (or should have) learned from it.
galtine1
Jul. 13th, 2005 08:06 pm (UTC)
You have the talent and time
I say go for it. And having artist friends who are producing enough to fill a panel or table is good as well. The real key is marketing and presentation. Youhave a good eye for how things should look "finished" -- either just matted or framed -- and can arrange well.

The key is start-up $$...and contracts with the artists as to who pays for the prints, and how much you make from their sales. Is it a flat-fee (like art show panels) or is it a sliding commission (a la eBay) for being teh Broker. Whatever you do...get it all in writing, even with Q.
esprix
Jul. 13th, 2005 08:13 pm (UTC)
Re: You have the talent and time
Oh that's been crossing my mind, too, namely a document to say what I have to do and what I get out of it. Hadn't thought of making their prints for them, but that's a consideration. Mostly I was thinking, "You get me the prints, I'll make sure they get to where they need to go and you get a check when it's done," but I'd either bill them or take out directly from the sales of the show postage, fees, my cut, etc. They'd have to spend money on that stuff anyway, so...

But yes, I blame you. :P
galtine1
Jul. 13th, 2005 08:30 pm (UTC)
Re: You have the talent and time
But yes, I blame you. :P

Glad to be of service! ;-)
esprix
Jul. 13th, 2005 08:14 pm (UTC)
Re: You have the talent and time
Do you think there's a call for this? How many artists do this stuff on their own and would be willing to essentially outsource the business end of the art biz? How many artists are making their living full-time doing this (meaning they likely do this kind of stuff themselves)?
galtine1
Jul. 13th, 2005 08:29 pm (UTC)
Re: You have the talent and time
You could check out Nene's Blog/LJ and her webpage. Ruth Thompson has a staff. I'm sure that artists in Canada would be thrilled to have someone on this side helping to avoid the multiple inport/export taxes and such for getting their stuff into US shows.

esprix
Jul. 13th, 2005 10:14 pm (UTC)
Re: You have the talent and time
Hmmm, didn't think of the Canadian angle. And yes, I know people like Ruth, who are making a living at it, have people for this sort of thing. I'm actually kind of curious to talk to those people to find out what it entails.

I need a snappy company name, too. :)
(Deleted comment)
esprix
Jul. 13th, 2005 08:25 pm (UTC)
As I said to sistercoyote, it's not that we're crazy, but the rest of the world is obviously far too sane. :)
cczernia
Jul. 13th, 2005 08:37 pm (UTC)
Sounds very exciting and a great idea. Of course the hard part is actually making it work but it sounds like you can do it.

Do you have any links to the artwork. Never too early to start promoting :)
akirashima
Jul. 14th, 2005 01:36 am (UTC)
you forgot Autumnshrine.com
suba_al_hadid
Jul. 13th, 2005 09:14 pm (UTC)
I think it's brilliant! It fits all the criteria for potential success that I can think of. Go for it!
esprix
Jul. 13th, 2005 10:17 pm (UTC)
And money advice I'd take from you, so I consider that a ringing endorsement. :)
suba_al_hadid
Jul. 14th, 2005 04:48 pm (UTC)
Grin!
akirashima
Jul. 13th, 2005 09:16 pm (UTC)
and considering my entry just a few minutes ago ...
esprix
Jul. 13th, 2005 10:17 pm (UTC)
Yeah, seriously. You need management! :P
akirashima
Jul. 14th, 2005 01:42 am (UTC)
i belive that is a rousing DUH!
though i still will seel some of my stuf at prices that make you and tristan wish to gouge out my eyes and skull fuck me to death simply based on the fact that indeed art belongs to all people. some of my art may indeed make it to art god prices some day but i shall always have time and wherewithall to make art for those that cannot afford a 500 dollar commision or a 10,000 dollar auction.

however i do kinow that my art needs to be more out there and that in certain places it could sell for possibly a bit (though honestly it never has so it is hard for me to belive that it ever would. not that i would not be happy for something going for big money but i am not going to get my hopes up so i can be surprised and delighted when it does sell for big money. i think you may understand)
esprix
Jul. 14th, 2005 04:57 pm (UTC)
I do understand, and reasonably-priced artwork isn't a problem, except that if it doesn't get in front of people, it could be free and no one's going to know about it. That's where I want to help.
troystar
Jul. 13th, 2005 09:52 pm (UTC)
:-) Great Idea
Al this is a great idea,

I'm horrible at selling myself.....(stop thinking that I mean my artwork) ;-) we will have to talk when I get back from Toronto Trek.

talented people, like troystar

Thank you for the compliment :-)

Phil :-)
esprix
Jul. 13th, 2005 10:18 pm (UTC)
Re: :-) Great Idea
I would love to rep your work, Phil.
paladin_of_gaia
Jul. 13th, 2005 09:56 pm (UTC)
If it will make you happy, that's by far the most important thing. Go for it
daehith
Jul. 13th, 2005 10:03 pm (UTC)
wyvernwell has some cool stuff and is a good friend of both myself and sistercoyote. I think you can see some galleries at www.wyvernwell.com (if I got the url right).
esprix
Jul. 13th, 2005 10:18 pm (UTC)
I'm already getting clients. :)
akirashima
Jul. 14th, 2005 01:37 am (UTC)
but are you a client and the head of the hair club for art?
( 24 comments — Comment )

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