Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Blog Tour "I'd rather be in the studio"

Today I’m hosting Alyson B. Stanfield, author of I’d Rather Be in the Studio! The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion. I read an article she wrote in Art Business News last year and have been a subscriber to her blog ever since! “The Art Biz Coach,” Alyson is here as part of the blog tour to help promote the book and is also giving away a free copy. She’s invited me to ask a question related to the book, so here it is. . .

RMP: I moved from a storefront public studio gallery to my private home studio enabling me to continue travels and expand my territory. I am pleased with the move and in following with your guidelines in I'd Rather Be in the Studio! my studio and office space are combined, making a world of difference! I exhibit locally in Central Florida galleries, museums, and alternative venues, with one gallery in California.

I am seeking exhibits and galleries in new places. I am somewhat cautious as I lost artwork early in my career from a gallery who skipped out of town. Is it best to go to galleries in person to develop relationships to gain representation or an exhibit? I am guessing Internet inquiries could be numerous or even lost in cyberspace. Are packet mailings for representation and shows a waste of resources until the initial relationship begins?




ABS: Robin, it’s so nice to visit you on your blog and I’m so glad you asked this question. So many artists want this information! I’m going to answer your question in a roundabout way, but I think you’ll find value in my response.

Consider all of the relationships you have--professional and personal. How did you form strong bonds? I doubt it was a matter of one contact with the person.

I believe it takes multiple contacts to build a trusting relationship. And that’s what the artist-gallery relationship is or should be. Also, do you know it takes 7-9 times for someone to see your name in order for it to click? At least that’s the rule of advertising. There are just too many marketing messages out there these days. And too many artists competing to get into galleries.

So, yes, visit the galleries. You’re not just looking to develop relationships, but also to ensure that you get good vibes from the place. All the glossy pictures in the world can’t tell you what a gallery space feels like and how the staff treats people.

You should also add the galleries to your mailing list and send postcards, announcements and so forth. Send emails, too, but don’t be a pest with them. Make sure any of your mailings have purpose. Your goal is to keep your name in front of the gallery staff. It’s always easier to ask for something (representation) when the other person is familiar with who you are. After that, you can send your packet.

I know I don’t need to tell you this, but I must mention it for your readers. Don’t forget to personalize your correspondence. Show the gallery that you know what they’re up to, that you are aware of who they are and what their mission is. Telling someone all about yourself without showing you care about them is a bad way to form a lasting relationship.


OK artist friends I told you there would be the book give away on my blog and this book is a must have so if you are interested in winning a free copy of I’d Rather Be in the Studio! The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion? Visit this site, read the instructions, and enter. Your odds are good as she’s giving away a free copy on most of the blog tour stops. You can increase your odds by visiting the other blog tour stops and entering on those sites as well.

Please link here for the free book giveaway instructions:
http://idratherbeinthestudio.com/blogtourfreebook.html
Best Wishes,

Robin




10 comments:

grovecanada said...

thank you for this question & answer...It validated some things that I have done that I was unsure about, so that feels really good...( I always research the gallery beforehand & used to wonder whether the gallery thought it was unusual that I knew so much about them...)
In my own walk, I have tended to only answer calls for artists...that means they invited the application already & won't be mad that my approach was unsolicited...
Lately, galleries accept email applications...so that is great...I often send out an application before checking in depth, because it is easy to apply via internet & I haven't wasted any serious resources yet...If I get a yes, that is when the friendship begins...I go in person to visit & decide for myself the confirmation yes...
One gallery said yes online quickly, but that evening when I drove by to check the actual physical location, (which was not that far away), I discovered a strip club almost in the same block & the neighbourhood was kindof yuck...& this was in my own city...
The truth for me has been that until they say yes to my work, I ain't flying to another city...but serendipity is always alluring...
When I begin with a new gallery, I like to leave only one good piece...then when we get to know each other, several months later, maybe another...that way I can limit potential loss...(been burned too)...
anyway, thank you both for your time & energy...

liza myers said...

This is such a difficult question to answer, since every gallery is different. There's no standard measure of excellence so it's very difficult to compare one to another. Not only do you have to determine whether the gallery is a fit for you, a safe venue and will actively represent you, but you have to find one that feels the same way about you. Alyson's recommendations are, as usual, spot-on. It really helps to visit, to have friends that you trust in the area. Following her advice will help the gallery gain respect for YOU as a professional.
It's a tough market in this economy, too.
Your work is very lovely.
Thanks for participating and sharing the process with all of us,
liza

tammy vitale said...

I am so glad you asked this question. I've tried all spectrums of this contact the gallery thing...and find it's one at a time. The next question is how to pick a group to keep in touch with as, like with everything else, this is one more time consumer. Great meeting you on Alyson's tour! I'm reading everyone's interview because I have one with her late in May - and I have so many questions! One isn't enough!

Patricia Scarborough said...

First, great site!
Galleries are as different as each of us. Imagine though, having a stranger walk up to you and ask for a favor. You'd be pretty cautious about getting into a relationship with them. Same with a gallery. They not only work to sell our product, but the agreement should be that we also work to help them. They can't know whether that will happen if there is no relationship there. My experience is Meet first, Ask later!

Robin Maria Pedrero said...

Thanks for the compliment Patricia! I was a partner in a gallery several years ago and I carefully selected and hand picked artists. Your response helped me to put those shoes on again.

Anonymous said...

Robin,

I too read many books that said to send out packets. I am so glad you asked Alyson this question on the blog tour. I appreciate the wisdom in her response. I read that you are already in several galleries even museum exhibits, so I guess an artist has gallery representation trials at any level...I'm just a budding artist. BTW your work is truly luminous!

Sharon

NSABOB said...

Beware of out of town galleries. They have their top ten artists they serve first.. The grass ain't greener some place else. Find out if you have exhausted your upclose possibilities. Long distance art dealing ain't no fun sometimes. Churn business in you own area. I f you show out of town ,it would be good if you can have some one monitor your situation. This only one opinion.' See me At www.frewebs.com/bobragland and www.readfiv.com issue 12.

Anonymous said...

Robin,

I love your blog, and think your methods are great. Thanks so much for all the input. I am going to start looking for a lasting gallery relationship today. I have been sending emails to a few dozen and I think it's time for packets.
I got a list from Mailingaide.com and I am building on it to make my own.

Your work reminds my of a Degas show I saw in Paris. Love it.

Peggy Stermer-Cox said...

Hi! I just found your blog entry and discussion through Ms Stanfield's blog. Thanks, it was interesting!

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone! I'm from London but am living in Berlin at the moment.
Gotta like this place!


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