Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Some thoughts: My First Gallery Interview

Last Saturday I took an important step in my blossoming career as an artist. Taking that first step into working with a gallery and\or art broker...

In the past, my art was something just for me. Something I did with my creative side that was just mine. Being a pro musician for most of my adult life I felt I was giving away so much of myself to fans everyday through music. Painting and my art was what I did for me. My paintings would hang in my home and the only eyes that would gaze on them would be close friends and family that would visit my home. The only semi-public place where my paintings would be seen was at my recording studio and that was just industry folk, musicians and friends. So in the life of most of my paintings very few eyes have actually set on them. Some of the latest paintings, very very few eyes have seen them in person....This is sad to me! In person is where they really live..........So about 7 months ago I decided to change everything in my life and make painting my number one priority. I wanted something new to pursue in the second half of my life....I started my facebook page and painted a lot....started this Blog....getting some other things lined up on the internet etc. etc. etc. The next step was kinda a scary one.....The contacting a gallery and seeing about getting some of my work in their gallery step. It would also be the first time anyone in the industry, even local, would be seeing my work in front of them...I am glad I do not have stage fright!!!!!!

So I had stopped in the gallery a few weeks ago just to peek around, catch the vibe and maybe ask a few questions. The vibe was great......The visit was great. They told me to contact them as soon as the holiday was over....So I made a call last Friday and the owner was very well versed in my work by this time. We had a great conversation with the rundown being....Bring me a bunch of paintings tomorrow...

I walked around my house pulling paintings off the wall in between a few cups of coffee...Loaded them into the Jeep and headed to what I kinda felt was an interview. I carried 8 paintings into the gallery. They where set up against various stands and desks in a rough circle. It was cool to see them in a different type of lighting...and setting. Every one seemed excited? Another local artist, that has a show in the gallery right now, was there and that was exciting to have another great artist having eyes on your work. I wanted to use this as a learning lesson...I wanted to pick some brains! I wanted to really see how folks reacted to my visions I created on canvas....I had nothing to loose!

Almost 3 hours later I loaded up my paintings with a fresh view on the art world. My mouth was dry from the great conversations we had. The information I was given was very valuable and down to earth. I now knew a few things I had to do to take that next step even on the local level. I had a little work to do. First being, Getting together a retail price list for the paintings I wish to sell. This would be more difficult that even I had imagined. Being so green in the art world, I really needed to do a bit of research. Figuring out part if it is pretty easy...knowing costs you have in materials, frame (if needed) and even to some extent the time you have invested. I know what the galleries commission will be..... The real difficult thing in the rest of it! During our conversation I was asked painting by painting what I think it should sell for and why....He was picking my brain also. I got the feeling that the prices I was throwing around and my reasons where within reason or maybe even low, from the reactions I was getting? So I am on the right path anyway....The whole "price for paintings" is an ongoing conversation that warrants millions of blog entries....Anyway I am now working all that out .....I guess I would rather be a bit high than low...right? hehehehehe

The most enjoyable part of the day was the gallery owner digging in to every painting. He wanted to know everything about anything that had to do with each piece. The story, the process, my state of mind at the time, the history that lives in it....everything I could tell about it. It was awesome to just tell the whole story to someone that really wants to know. He was gauging my passion....He wanted to know if I was the real artist or someone who just paints?......That really impressed me! Sure it helps him sell my work from a sales point of view but it was good to see. If I allow someone to earn a commission off of the work I do, they need to show me that they are also invested in it and go earn it. We are doing each other a favor...lets both make some money and get color into peoples lives.

We ended our day with smiles....I felt confident that even if I was not to work with this gallery, that my paintings would stand up anywhere. I did walk away from the day with a strong feeling that what I am creating has value and worth...not only $$$ but real artistic worth. I look forward to growing as an artist and learning the business....and with the help of folks I work with and learn from along the way, I know it will become successful.....No worries right?....I just have to paint and paint and paint...everything else will fall into place. If a gallery wants to show my work, that is up to them., it is their wall space. Would I dig it....of course! Sometimes business is business.....I also look forward to my future conversations with this gallery, and working with them in the future....I learned a lot on this day!!!!

And thanks to you for even taking some time from your day and reading a bit about my Saturday adventure.....If it was not for you, my friends and fans, I would not even have to guts to even take my art to a gallery interview...thank you for all your support.......Lots of Love coming your way!!!
 Two of the paintings I showed

*DISCLAIMER I didn't want to mention the name of the gallery or some folks involved for privacy reasons at this point...We still have some conversations to have.......... If they read this and would like to comment... that is cool...matter of fact encouraged! I just wanted to share my thoughts and day with you...

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