Thursday, October 11, 2012

What Happens to Art After it's Finished

I have no new art to show you, partially because my wrist has been hurting (again again again again.)  But I assure you I have been sketching and pondering on my next paper cut.  So since I can't give you a blog post without any images, here is a painting from 2010.

"Boxes: Self Portrait" (detail) Oil on wood,  28"x28", by Heather Clements, 2010.

"Boxes: Self Portrait" Oil on wood,  28"x28", by Heather Clements, 2010.

Most professional artists today would tell you that they spend about half of their time making art, and the other half is dedicated to the business side of it all.  It should be pointed out that by professional artist, I mean someone who makes a living from their art.  I can't just create art and then close my eyes tight to hope that someone will magically want to buy it.  I'm stilling growing as a professional artist, but I have started to set certain routines that have been very beneficial.

Today, I thought I would share with you just one part of the business side of being an artist.

The journey of a piece of art after I finish it:

  • Come up with a title
  • Photograph artwork, including detail shots
  • Frame artwork
  • Attach title and artist information on the back of the frame
  • Photograph artwork with frame
  • Edit Photos in Photoshop
  • Save full artwork image in 3 different sizes (one full size, one for internet use, and one for inventory list)
  • Save detail image(s), save framed image
  • Price (There is a formula for this)
  • Add to personal inventory list with image, title, size, date, medium, price, hours, cost, etc.
  • Blog about it
  • Share blog on Facebook and Twitter
  • Add it to Flickr page
  • Add to Facebook page album
  • Add to Etsy (sometimes)

I think that's about it, although I feel like I may be missing one or two small things.  Then, of course, every time that piece of art goes to a different gallery or exhibit, the place and duration is added to its section of the inventory list.  Every piece on my inventory sheet has "Currently at ______" so that I know where every piece is at any given time.  Once a piece is sold, the date, income, and buyer information is also added to the inventory.

So there you have it.  In short, each work of art is titled, priced, photographed, documented, and shared.  When you make as much art as I do, you have to be super organized.

Inspiration Source #8: Yes! Magazine.  Yes! Magazine reframes the biggest problems of our time in terms of their solutions.  Online and in print, they outline a path forward with in-depth analysis, tools for citizen engagement, and stories about real people working for a better world.  It is a non-profit, and is payed for by subscriptions and donations, so advertisers have no influence on the content, and the magazine is ad-free!  Through powerful ideas and practical actions, Yes! Magazine is always an inspiration for me.  I highly suggest you check out their website and become a subscriber.

Thank you for the read,


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