Art Basel reminds Visual Artists that folks still value original works!

Art and Money Matters Mondays

The Art Basel Miami has become a popular event for Artists, Creative Professionals and their supporters alike! After seeing all the reviews, photos and comments from the weekend, I was inspired to write a piece for the Virtual Artists and get some insight into how they’re succeeding in a tech driven world.

Craft and traditional artists affectionately referred to as “old media” artists (those involved in pottery, glassware, textiles, painting, sculpting, 2-dimensional illustration, etc) rarely find full time opportunities that allow them to practice their craft and get paid for it.  They are more reliant on income from collectors, freelance work, commissions or exhibitions. And in a technology driven environment, visual artists meet even greater challenges:
– maintaining ownership of their work when images are free online
– connecting and building relationship with a virtual audience that turns into a sale

On the other hand, technology has made the art more accessible to a wider audience.  A recent NY Times article  shares that cultural institutions and curators are embracing and in some instances shifting to an “open content” concept where curators are putting holdings online without copyright restrictions. But the looming question is how can traditional artists thrive in this economy? Jill Kurtick (http://jskartstudio.com), an Award winning NY/CT based painter influenced by the Impressionists and Abstract Expressionists shares the following 3 points.

1.  Use your time at Arts-related conferences, fairs, professional development workshops and other opportunities to not only promote your work but also to network with a purpose! Connect with people that have varied skills to support your Art business (Fundraising, Marketing, Administrative, etc).
2. Think out of the box.  Leverage multiple mediums to promote your Art.
3.  Have alternate income sources.

“Today’s world is rife with copycat artwork at minimal prices…to fill a wall…While this is distressing to artists who are passionate about their craft, folks still value original work as exemplified by the massive attendance at art fairs around the world. Having just exhibited at the Miami Art Basel Red Dot Art Fair, I can attest to the fact that buyers were buzzing all over town and purchasing original works! Being a successful artist requires a varied tool kit of skills — from marketing to finance to creativity! If one isn’t lucky enough to have such a multifaceted background, then reaching out to those that do is essential (except for the creativity piece!). Being willing to think out of the box, work your contacts, and try new ideas can all help to differentiate an artist from his/her peers. Believe in yourself, have alternate income sources and never give up the dream.”

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