Sunday, April 25, 2010

Art as Business: Evaluation I

EVALUATION - part 1

It is so easy to just set deadlines and work to meet them, set deadlines and work to meet them … and forget to evaluate if you really are getting somewhere! I feel it is time for me to ask what I’ve done and what I’ve achieved. (For anyone new to my blog it would help to read my starting point and commission I first - to really understand what I'm evaluating)


Public Commissions - time and effort invested since August 2009
  • I spread the word to all my contacts and distributed my folder
  • I printed special business cards with a photo of my best mural
  • I participated in an exhibition about Public Art (focus on schools)
  • I presented my art at 3 lunch meetings focusing on Public Art and made a lot of phone calls
  • I took better photos and updated my materials
  • I joined VSBK (organisation mediating public commissions), went to a portfolio presentation and afterwards adjusted my materials according to their recommendations

Results
  • I painted a minor mural, BUT that contact had already been established in spring
  • I made a suggestion (paid) for a tenant owner’s association, BUT didn’t get the commissions
  • I was asked to write a suggestion on how to think when making Public Art for a School Project involving 3 schools, BUT didn’t get that job (which would have been huge)
  • I was asked to send in more materials for one of VSBK’s meetings with clients, BUT heard no more about it
  • I got a project making murals together with schoolchildren (in many ways more of a pedagogical project) thanks to one of the Public Art lunch meetings.
  • I got to make murals with schoolchildren under Creative School during two very intense days (this was thanks to a former watercolour student and I don’t know if I really should count it under public commissions)
  • I was asked to represent an art organisation at the board of VSBK - and declined
sketch (bear) for a commission that didn't happen

Conclusion
Some things have been about to happen, but they didn’t. But being asked and not getting jobs is better than not being asked at all, right? (Before writing this list I felt like I had had absolutely no results, but that’s not totally true) BUT I would be utterly surprised If I manage to get any incomes from making Public Commissioned Art during 2010 (especially considering how slow these projects work)

Recommendation to self
Follow up! Schedule a concentrated effort again in September. Properly document the ongoing mural project with the schoolchildren (good photos!).

Confession: I feel like just forgetting about the whole thing. I need some confirmation that I should continue with this.


Galleries - time and effort invested since November 2009 (I started concentrating on this later than the commissions. Or rather: I did one thing at a time)
  • I have followed up contacts (which I wouldn't have done properly if I hadn't given myself the task for my progress reports)
  • I have defined where I want to exhibit in Gothenburg and started working on that (a slow process)
  • I have defined at what Public Art Galleries (Konsthallar) I want to exhibit in the region
  • I have applied to exhibit separately at one of the above
  • I have together with a colleague applied to exhibit at two galleries
  • I have written a list of where to apply to exhibit - with deadlines
  • I have managed to get some concentrated work in the studio

Results
  • I have made some new materials that I am pleased with - and taken proper photos of them.
  • I have put together what I think will be a really good little separate exhibition opening on the 8th of May. (this will be my 10th separate exhibition)
in the studio

Conclusion
It is too early to see much result yet. It will be interesting to see if the people I want to visit my exhibition will do so (for example: I have one promise and a half promise from the two galleries where I want to exhibit) - and if that will lead somewhere. I haven’t visited galleries as much as I should have - and especially not in other cities. This is partly explained by me "loosing" a month of work in the beginning of the year because of being home with sick child.

Recommendation to self
Follow up. Really DO apply to exhibit in those places on my list. Plan autumn with MORE gallery visits, Stockholm trip etc

Next Sunday I’ll evaluate: Time management and Teaching Art (I've been a bit quite about teaching, but it is an important source of income). I will also have a look at it all in relation to my main goals - should I reconsider my strategies?

5 comments:

caramela said...

Really fascinating Alexandra- Thank you so much for sharing this-
Your determination, and organised thinking are very impressive.
Annamaria :)

gracia said...

I really enjoy these posts of yours and I am curious to read what you have to say about art teaching and similar next time too. And, that bear! He or she is wonderful. Captured with a few considered and masterful strokes.

Always interesting to read, A.

Kitty Kilian said...

Just reading it makes me tired.. such hard work! Good nose on that bear..

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Judith Gaston said...

Oh, so that's how you write a business evaluation. It's just like a guide where you can put your achievements and areas for improvement. Your blog shows that if you make your hobby into a business, it will be successful because it comes from the heart and creative hands.