Australian Fine Artist

Presentation of Artist’s Statements

Today we were due to have more artist’s statements from fellow classmates. The ones booked for the day were not in class and they have now missed the opportunity to present for the semester. I don’t know what this means for their assessment, and frankly it isn’t my business as a fellow student to worry about. As a potential trainer I may have views but not for this blog.

Absence meant that the other subjects for the session were given more time, which was good for me as they were very interesting.

We talked about Benchmarking. This means comparing against the best, or setting standards. Something that my partner and I talk about a lot in reference to what I am producing in my arts practice and where it is going.

What are your expectations in the future for your practice?

  1. University
  2. Employment in the arts
  3. A business of your own
  4. Teaching

David has started the process of asking each of us where we are intending to take our art, what sort of job or business we are looking at entering or starting and how we intend to get there. IE: A business plan.

These are some of the results form questions asked of students so far.

Picture a good or ‘alright’ job. What does it entail?

  • Working with others
  • Being in the arts in some form
  • Supportive environment
  • On the job training
  • Good hours (9-5)
  • A degree of autonomy (no micromanaging)
  • Room for creative problem solving

So, how do you get there? what is the next step?

Identify a Critical path:

  • Get qualified for teaching if you wish to teach
  • Start interacting with schools you’d like to work in if teaching is your goal
  • Think about incursions – Volunteer as a visiting artist for example

Analysis (with teaching pathway as your goal)

  • Select topics for incursions in order to start liaising with preferred schools
  • Get contact name/s
  • Write a letter (not email) to introduce yourself and what you want to talk about. State when and how you will follow up for a meeting with a phone call. (EG I will call you on Monday 30th July at 4pm if that is convenient for you. If you would like me to call at another time suitable for you could you please contact me on this number and I will be happy to work in with your schedule) I am interested in a career in teaching art and would like the opportunity for a brief chat.
  • NOTE: For sponsors, people like a definite idea of how and where their money is going to be spent. Having a clear plan, professional manner and objectives shows management of your business and the potential of good use of their investment in you. This starts with the first contact.
  • Contacting a school early or mid semester show initiative and enthusiasm rather than sloppy planning.
  • Send out to various venues.
  • Keep track of where you send what and follow up on all of them.

Public Galleries VS Private Galleries

Public galleries are more about public service in contrast to commercial ones which are a business and the profitability of the business is the main objective IE: Sales. Positions in public galleries are mostly divided into the following descriptions:

  • Director
  • Assistant Director
  • Education Officer
  • Conservator
  • Curator
  • Marketing Manager
  • Exhibition Officer
  • Security
  • Registrar

Further education is required in most of these roles after the Diploma of Visual Art, with a degree course at a minimum. Conserving required chemistry, physics and other education as well as art history, very good eyesight, a steady hand and extreme eye for detail.

Solo Exhibiting

Holding your own one person shows requires the ability to business plan, promote and produce art unless you are willing to get people in to help you with these things. Not all artists can juggle the time to get all of the paperwork let alone the promoting and venue organisation. So why go solo?

  • Easier to keep to a theme or genre
  • The ability to attract a niche market with the expendable money
  • The ability to combine several of your interests into the one theme for unique artworks
  • The profits are all yours rather than shared
  • No possibility for conflicts or disagreements about how the event is run

It was suggested that for this it would be a good idea to get a list of good venues to display at, as well as the interest groups (EG: Model train clubs, steam train enthusiast clubs for train paintings) so that you have an already interested group attending the exhibition. This is why horse portrait artists advertise in racing, stud and general horse magazines, and dog painters in dog show and breeder publications.

These chats will be continued next semester, so the rest of us now have a chance to have a good think over the next few weeks about what we want to do, how we want to do it and how we are going to respond when we are asked. I look forward to trying to articulate the two pronged plan I have in my head for my business and how I hope to get there.

Meanwhile, I doodled in class today, and here is the drawing straight off the note book! I hope David is not insulted by the result! 😉

david salter

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