Sunday, October 04, 2009

Art as Business: Progress Report I

Here we go: my first progress report. I must say that reporting back here regularly is going to be really good for me. I DO feel extra pressure!

5 weeks ago I set these deadlines
  1. website for commissioned art only – September 29
  2. sand blasted glass samples (mounted) – September 29
  3. 3 new contacts within tenant owners’ associations by mid October
  4. 3 Architect firms contacted (contacts? think think! and ask ask!) by mid October
  5. On the 4th of October I will report my progress (commissions) here on my blog
and what have I done then?
(not so hard things to achieve in all that time)
  1. my website no 2 (public commissioned art - and in Swedish!) is up and running, but not with enough content (I need more and better photos!).Check it out here
  2. I sand blasted some more glass, but decided mounting them was not a priority at this moment (lack of time). But I did relearn how to use the glass grinder and learned how to use the big formats sand blaster as well.
I asked friends for help with contacts, but have not gotten any positive answers yet (I have to remind them and start asking acquaintances as well... though I hate being a seller! This is my weakness.) I will ask my water colours students if they have any contacts. These things should happen within two weeks.
  4. Architects – not yet. Though I know one to ask now. (I've been thinking!). Two more weeks to get it done.
  5. I'm reporting back NOW!

sand blasted sketch. I'm working on a series of bathers.

Ok, I didn’t totally make it for 3 reasons: I had to stay home with my feverish son 3 days, I had to put more time on prior commitments than anticipated (2 applications for funding for artist organizations) – but first of all: the deadline 29th of September lost it’s importance! (and it is not mid October yet)

Why I didn’t do my homework properly
The deadline date 29th of September was because we had decided to give a lunch meeting with focus on public commissions for schools - as a follow up of the exhibition pedagogic art projects/public art for schools. The lunch meeting was to take place at Kc-Väst (artist run organization and Gallery ) in between exhibitions.

But we had to move the lunch meeting till the 20th of October: it turned out that the artist having the upcoming exhibition would start hanging his exhibition on Tuesday morning! No one had checked with him that the gallery would be accessible for us… In addition we had gotten just a few positive answers from possible clients (cultural administrators, project leaders etc) – and most of the artists hadn’t put any effort into getting possible clients to come.

At this moment the artist who took the praiseworthy initiative to the lunch meeting (let’s call her Miss H) seemed ready to just cancel it all. But I convinced her that arranging this event, as a follow up from the exhibition, was an opportunity too good to miss out on. So; we decided that we would put the lunch meeting on the 20th of October instead (this time we double checked with the upcoming exhibition) – and just have a simple “rehearsal” lunch meeting the 29th – as there was a cultural administrator who could only come this date. Miss H and I came to the decision that only those artists prepared to put a real effort into getting people to come should be part of this (no free riders!)

The "rehearsal" lunch meeting got kind of intimate as we were just one cultural administrator and the artists … and I made some mistakes in my presentation (I’ll get back to this later in this text). Which was good ... I won't repeat the same mistakes next time!

After the lunch meeting we, the 5 participating artists, divided municipals in the region and cultural departments in between us. We are now going to aim for getting much more people to come than we were planning for at first and make the focus for the lunch meeting public commissions in general. Every participating artist is going to first send e-mail invitations, and then follow up with phone calls. On my suggestion we decided that every artist should do their best to get five people to come. (as you might know by now I’m into putting definite goals!)

We are going to build a temporary exhibition at the gallery just for the lunch presentation and every artist will get maximum 10 minutes to present themselves and their work. Then there will be lunch buffet and mingle. (I will afterwards report back to you about the event)

So what did I do wrong in the lunch meeting?

  • I had not prepared my presentation (can’t say the other artists seemed to have done it either)

  • I should just have showed my very best public commission (school of Lekstorp) - not how broad I am (these people are used at commissioning art)
I should have brought my glass samples (calling them idea sketches) as I think they really could work for public use. Glass is a very popular material in public commissions at the moment.
I showed this photo (A2 size) at the exhibition (school of Lekstorp) and had made special business cards with the same motive. Now I've ordered more of them (moo), but with my new web site printed on them.

New to do-list (deadline 20th of october):
  • Take better photos of my first mural from 2004 and of the enamels from 2008 (good photos is SO important)
  • Rehearse my presentation (make it short but memorable!)
  • upload materials to VSBK's internal database (artist organization mediating public commissions) - I already joined.
  • REALLY get me my contacts within tenant owners associations/architects firms
So this was my first progress report. I promise the next one will be more interesting. I will then report about the lunch meeting and about my gallery approaches. Progress Report II will be on November 4.

Next week's topic at Art as Business: selling your art!
[this is part 9 in my Sundays series about Art as Business. Here you can read part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7 and part 8]


Alexandra Hedberg said...

I'm sorry that this text wasn't well written, but a little boy is getting ill right now. And crying.

So I have of course to prioritize him!

Marchi Wierson said...

I thought it was good alexandra. it doesn't have flawless and ready to print in a book, it just needs to be honest and you did that!!

so sorry to hear about all the germs!! yuk. good luck with that.

thanks as always for doing the series!!

Lady P said...

i really loved the school's building graphics - really impressive. and i love how you are fleshing out the big questions and not always perfect in your response to them - we aren't superwomen 9yet)

Veja cecilia said...

vad du har fått en massa gjort! du inspirerar mig verkligen!

marie-louise said...

Endera dan Alexandra, endera dan...skriver jag ut alla dina Söndagsskrivelser och läser dem ordentligt!

Esti said...

i hope the boy is better now. I have one big boy feverish at home too now.
What you are doing with these posts is amazing, alexandra. You are really focused on improving and things should get better and better for you. Good luck.

●• Thereza said...

the commissions website looks very professional indeed... i've got to learn something from you and get my act together too. if we just stay in the realm of ideas, things just don't happen! hmmmm
excellent post, as usual.

nathalie et cetera said...

very interesting as always and your website looks very good already. i think you made a lot of progress considering your initial goals. it means those goals were realistic and that you stick with your plan. hats off!

can you tell us what the cultural administrator thought of your presentations. did he/she give you some kind of advice or feedback?

Alexandra Hedberg said...

We actually asked the cultural administrator what she thought about the lunch meeting. She was "so pleased with it's informality". (we tried to press her to say something more .. but she was a bit like a politician in that way ... didn't want to say anything) And she loved the soup.

Christine Clemmensen said...

MAN! this is good stuff!
Tak for endnu et "afsnit". Og fedt at høre at du også lærer noget af det her.

Jeg håber din dreng har det bedre.

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