Monday, February 27, 2012

The Business of Art: Are you a risk taker?

An entrepreneur is one who is willing to take risks in order to make a profit. It is also one who is enterprising, ie. marked by imagination, initiative, and a readiness to undertake new projects. (source: The Free Dictionary by Farlex)

Are we risk takers with our creativity? Do we risk a bold stroke and miles of canvass, or do we tinker with a timid line and remain stingy with one piece of paper at a time? This could be a clue to how we are in the business of our art as well.

Jim Hart has an interesting article, What If...Artists Were Trained as Entrepreneurs?, posted on The gist of his essay is that higher education doesn't prepare artists to make a living and that they should introduce more business courses in school. This isn't big news for most of us, nor does it help the majority of us already employed as artists. He also does not address the historically proven approach of learning under a mentor or in an atelier, which are all but extinct in this country. But whether or not you agree with the educational part, Hart does make some interesting points about artists taking an entrepreneurial approach to their careers:
Entrepreneurs look for potential gaps or opportunities within the market. If a market is over-saturated, it is probably not the best place to be to be setting up shop, as one will have to compete with sizable odds and obstacles. More competition, more risk and the less likelihood of success. However, if one chooses an alternate path to the typical (of New York and Los Angeles) and, instead, looks to markets where there are sizable cultural gaps or interests under represented (potential audience), artists have the opportunity to fill such a gap and create a niche, which can dramatically increase the artists’ chances of making a living.
What steps could you be taking --what risks could you assume-- to be more entrepreneurial in the marketing and business side of your art, as well as your creative processes? I'm not suggesting we "sell out" for a profit...but rather that we create a bold vision.

What opportunities might be found (or found missing) in your immediate communities or in neighboring cities, or even distant lands that may be a possible market for your work?

What moves might you have to take to be more entrepreneurial--a risk taker--in your business of art?

Monday, February 13, 2012

SOLD! - Art Auction Raises $30k for State Hospital

12x9" pastel, "Variations No. 2"

I donated the above pastel, Variations No. 2, to the ASH Insights Art Show & Sale, benefiting the Austin State Hospital. I was thrilled to learn that it was purchased by state employee and show organizer, Donna Brown. And, over $30,000 was raised to benefit the hospital through this benefit!

The following is an announcement from their program. To see it in its entirety online, click here:

Through ticket sales, the purchase of professional and patient art, and generous sponsors, over $30,000 was raised to enrich the lives of children and adults receiving treatment at the Austin State Hospital.

One of the most successful activities at the recent event was the community painting. Guests had the opportunity to contribute their artistic talents on a painting which was auctioned off at the end of event. View additional photos of event, including the live community paintings. Without the support of individuals, companies, and foundations, the Volunteer Services Council would not be able to provide funding for special programs and services.

Thanks again for partnering to find solutions towards wellness.

Special thanks to the oustanding artists who believed in our mission:
Piercarlo Abate, Milli Apelgren, Kerry Awn, Ethan Azarian, Gilbert Beall, Kim Bernson, Eric Beverly, Matt Bowman, Laura Caffrey, Carol Calvery, Jo Castillo, Paul Civiletto, Douglas Clark, Shawn Corbett, Andrea Crawford, Donna Crosby, Chuck Croslin, Anne Ducote, Mike Etie, Jane Fier, Graham Franciose, Suzanne Gandy, Ann Goldsmith, Chase Heard, Britta Herzog, J.M. Hicks, Steve Hopson, Robert Hurst, Megan Jaster, Rusty Jones, Barbara Kelly, Sue Kemp, Suzanne Kfoury, Rita Kirkman, Melissa Knight, Allyson Lipkin, Andrew Long, Michael Long, Denise Mahlke, Maggi Miller, Bunny Oliver, Eileen Pestorius, Libby Peters, Jeanne Philquist, Terry Pittsford, Gabrielle Stein, Robbin Robertson Polter, Molly Reid, S’zanne Reynolds, Darrell Keith Roberts, Priscilla Robinson, Andrew Rockenstein, Jeri Salter, Larry Staida, Terry Starnes, Julia Teachey, Eliza Thomas, Billy Tice, Robin Tripaldi, Virginia Vaughan, Phillip Wade, and Jerry Walters.