More Engaging Art?

An artist might have to find more effective ways of engaging the viewer in order to be more effective in the marketplace. Here Artist Phil Hansen has found a way to do just that. The technique, simply video and a viral approach, the CNN article gives an insight into how it came about.

Personally I like the idea of being able to connect more with the viewer and even get more viewers as others spread the word…

Consider ways Artists could do this with integrity, so they are noticed but not “sell out”.

Art Elsewhere

Amazing what you can find when you go looking… some amazing things lurking in here

Visual Arts marketing queen?

This is a site I came across via a forum I have just checked out and I was amazed at the marketing skills of this artist. worth a look, your thoughts…

Digital outline

Here’s a technique using photo program to make an outline drawing image in a photo, this could be used in so many ways. I think there are so many possibilities here that could be explored. Therefore take a look at the tutorial and jot down ways you could use this technique, perhaps drop a comment in and let us know some of your ideas or ways of adapting it further.

Fractal digital art

Check out my first effort, about an hour of fiddling in a fractal “flame” program and I got this, not sure what I was really doing, but when I opened the program it had an image as a starting point, with some tweaks, voila!

The program I downloaded off the net is Apophysis, for mac. There are others, oh and be warned it can take up a LOT of time, the results can be rather “random” too.

The business of art… Getting a foot in the door.

The artist often has a tough road to tread, in this article I came across, some of the issues explored were very relevant. Go check it out and let us know what you think.

Art Business Podcasts…

I saw this today and thought it was useful to share, I had a look at the titles and liked what I saw, note I have not listened to these yet, but liked the look of the site. If it’s useful or not let me know via the comments.

The three sources of subject matter?

There are just three sources of subject matter in art;

Come to think of it I see this list as a bit deceiving, really I think it should read “Three devices the artist can call upon to explore subject matter.”

The initial statement I came across on a search of “Artistic Inspiration” and this popped up in the middle of a spiel on children’s art… I feel sure it’s not the first place it has been seen.

So this then raises a point, am I too pedantic, to quibbley about words… or are they right?

Sources for subject matter I feel would be more akin to  – still life – landscape – figures, I could be wrong, perhaps there are others.

The thinking here is to get you thinking, therefore exploring, and it is this area the arts can cause you to work in quite effectively.

Teachers, use the above as a brainstorm starter then explore from there and see what comes up.

Students, do a bit of informal research and find out if there are other sources of subject matter.

Art Books…

Since I first saw artists books I have been fascinated by them, in an exhibition they draw me in like a magnet. So here is a 3 minute video of a few simple designs I feel sure you could make yourself without too much hassle. I think the idea of a craft and art collaboration is somehow very special and with so many options and variables available it can be a great way to explore Art in a more intimate manner. Take a look then consider exploring an art book as a way to make art.

Teachers, consider setting up a display of Art books, and demonstrating ways students can make then, illustrate and or decorate them. Consider discussing ways a book can offer a sequence of images, or a story line of some kind. There are many ways a book can be used to explore the presentation of imagery, so try brainstorming some ideas with students and see what comes up.

Students, don’t wait for the Teacher, make some yourself… Check out different papers in art stores and have a go.

getting to the media

Ever wondered how to get some media attention? Well now there’s is a starting point, which should put you in good stead. Check out this link, it has some great ideas just waiting to be tried out.

The Visual Art students dilema

With over 200 students graduating from Visual Art schools each year in Australia alone, it raises a question or three, why so many, what do they do, and how should they go about it.

Visual Arts education in Australia takes a number of forms from senior secondary levels (Yr 11 – 12) to TAFE Certificate courses and Diplomas, to Degree and Post Graduate studies at University level.

From here the students graduate out into the “real art world” to do what? To make art, to teach art, to be a part of the arts community. Either way they are aiming to find their niche in the art world and get on nwith doing it. However there are challenges to getting on with it as we are about to find.

Seemingly many graduate with indifferent knowledge about what’s involved to be an artist, an art teacher or any number of other art related roles in the wider community. Professional practice information seems to be scattered, some get the information in depth, others get some, while others appear to get nothing. (I am basing this on my own observations and discussions with Students, Artists and Visual Art teachers.)

Anecdotal evidence points to a five year “burn out” period post study, meaning many simply give up on what was once a dream of some kind to have a career connected with the Visual Arts. Sure many people change careers and some suggest many of us will change careers 4 – 6 times in our lives. However are these arts people changing due to a shift in interest in the arts, an ambivalence to the art world, a disinterestedness created by a lack of understanding of the art world or perhaps a combination of them all.

I guess it ‘s hard to tell but to bring this to a head lets try and nut out some of the reasons people get involved in Visual Arts and take a course of study, formal or otherwise.

There’s probably more categories but for now this list shall suffice, giving us a starting point to work from. Note that each category has their own intentions regarding career outcomes. While all may start out with noble intent the outcome can become different to the initial intention they had. Some may find a change in their intended study is required as their needs alter (from formal to informal or the other way around), some may find no real career prospects at the end of the study period exist, while others may be disillusioned by the “state of the arts” on having done their study.

In an ideal world the level of research done by a student prior to engaging in a course would be greater, in more detail and provide them with greater clarity of direction. However many seem to do only anecdotal research, a brief chat with secondary teachers or career advisors. A brief chat with lecturers and staff at TAFE and university open days. It can even come down to mature age students wanting to pursue a mid life career change, or a lifestyle change, wanting to explore their inner creativity in the hope it may shed some light or meaning on their lives.

The way forward for a career in the arts should be a carefully considered one, to ensure your chances of achieving what you set out to achieve are feasibile, that what you want is doable, and provides an effective level of reward at the end of the process.

The dilema for the Visual Art student should not be one of “which way do I go”, but more of, “Here is the direction is it worth getting on with it?”

You’re an artist! Now what?

Becoming an artist is one thing, doing something with that “qualification or status” is another. For the sake of this exercise lets take a fairly moderate stance, an art student has graduated after 3-4 years of study, it could be a combination of University Degree, Certificate or Diploma level study (TAFE).

Now lets imagine the student wants to  become a paid artist… So lets compare against a student from say an accounting program, a graduate. Their starting wage could be from $30,000 to $40,000 (I am sure it can be more, and perhaps even less, however there can be times when the pay rises “kick in swiftly” for these graduates.)

The Visual Arts Graduate is in a slightly different position, as there are few jobs for “Artists” so they are often self employed and run a business. They produce art works, and sell them to buyers, often through an agent… An art gallery which represents them.

To be represented by a gallery has a range of responsibilities and challenges attached to it. The first is to realise that the gallery makes money by taking a commission from each sale typically 40% so if a piece sells for $100, you get $60 and they get $40. Out of that $60 you have to pay your costs (materials, time, and the cost of doing business).

Now lets go back to our original figure of $30,000 income, the artist needs to therefore sell (via a gallery) $50,000 worth of art works. The gallery gets $20,000 for their %40 commission.

Lets equate that to real terms, to sell $50,000 worth of art, thats…

1 @ $50,000

2 @ $25,000

4 @ $12,500

8 @ $6,250

16 @ $3,125

32 @ $1,562

64 @ $781.25

There’s the bare bones of it folks, and that’s just turnover, you then have to take out the costs of doing business to be then left with a “wage”.

In reality most graduates who sell work, rarely sell works greater than $6,250. therefore the reality is you will have to create somewhere between 16 – 64 pieces of art. Over a one year period that’s one every 5 – 22 days.

The aim in doing art as a business is perhaps a little daunting due to these figures, and there will be those that say “What about creating art for art sake?” Well we started out with the premise of running a business to provide an income, the artistic “merit” of the work is another issue (sorry folks, I’m talking hard business reality here.)

Many I feel sure will also say “What about selling your work directly?” This is very possible, people are doing this via the Internet quite readily it would seem, or via an open studio where they invite visitors to drop by and check out their work. Most buyers hope to “pick up a bargain” seeing the gallery commission is not a factor, so be aware of that.

Oh and if you think the Art Gallery has it Easy, taking %40 then think again they have to pay rent, and find people to buy the works…

Clearly the aim would be to get into a position where your works are valued highly and you only need to sell a few to get a suitable return for your investment of time and effort, just how you go about doing that is perhaps a matter for a future article…

In the mean time, make art, have fun and work like crazy to sell some! (if that’s what you want to do…)

An Artists insight into the Archibald Portrait Prize

An inside view to an art prize based on contemporary artist Peter Biram’s view… yep here it is…

There is something special about the magic and frustration of the big prize known as the ‘Archibald Prize – My journey concerning entering the Prize over the past couple of years, has been a ‘double edged sword’. A story of joy and reward, and of disappointment. I feel with this statement I have just summed up the art world. But first let me take you back to the beginning, why enter the Archibald? Some say it’s “Nothing more than a chook raffle”, while other say “It’s the dunny of Australian art… attracting entries like odor attracts flies”.

What makes this article so special for students? Peter encourages his students to enter the prize with great success! Just check out the short video below!

Read more on this fascinating subject here…