Surviving Art

Surviving Art
The art world is a magical place full of complex conversations about unmade beds, buttered-up chairs and urinals, but nobody seems to want to talk about how it actually works. I want to change that. So, welcome to Surviving Art, a safe place where trigger words like job security and pension fund are strictly forbidden. But what isn’t, is making sense of the art market; how to price your work, approach galleries and get exhibitions, as well as tips and strategies on how to sell your art directly to collectors and get your creative message across.

Chatting with Oreet Ashrey about the art world
Dec 20, 2019 • 36 min
After a (too) long hiatus, we’re back with a conversation with performance and conceptual artist Oreet Ashrey, and we chatted about the art world, not being boxed up as an artist and how there actually was a time when being an artist was considered as…
Denis Maksimov about art institutions and the future and power dynamics in contemporary art and society
Oct 24, 2019 • 74 min
Welcome to another very special episode at Surviving Art. We’re doing market research in London as part of a cultural residency, provided by Slovenia’s Ministry of Culture and will be conducting a series of interviews and talks about the art market in…
Chatting about art school and creativity with Lizzie Reid from Lizzie’s Lines
Oct 18, 2019 • 52 min
Welcome to a very special series of episodes at Surviving Art. We’re doing market research in London as part of a cultural residency, provided by Slovenia’s Ministry of Culture and will be conducting a series of interviews and talks about the art market…
Getting your story across (Marketing and brand awareness)
Oct 10, 2019 • 14 min
Art is obviously emotional and as such its value is determined absolutely subjectively. The big question though is how, because even though ambivalent, subjectivity can still give us a lot of various starting points to think about our target audience. How…
Polishing your story (The artist statement)
Oct 4, 2019 • 19 min
Artist statements, even though they might appear like a load of pretentious art-talk (which many of them sadly are), serve a very important purpose: presenting your passion in a bite-sized package, to be easily consumed and understood by the reader or…
Story is everything
Sep 29, 2019 • 18 min
Be it online or in person, there’s a lot of competition in the arts. And the fact that the art world is much smaller compared to the world of business, law or medicine, only makes it harder for any one artist to succeed. While everybody online is telling…
Pricing your art the right way Part III: Constructing and communicating your price
Sep 13, 2019 • 22 min
In the last two blunders we discussed the importance of calculating ones base expenses and all-around financial needs on a monthly basis and the concept of added value. Today, I’d like to combine the two and take a deeper look into how various models can…
Pricing your art the right way Part II: Value and Worth
Aug 28, 2019 • 17 min
Oscar Wilde once wrote: “A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.” A true artist therefore should be the exact opposite, but not due to ignorance towards the ever-present concept of money; the real truth of the matter…
Pricing your art the right way Part I: Expenses and Resources
Aug 21, 2019 • 17 min
Creating a beautiful work of art is hard by itself, but when it comes to putting a price tag on whatever we made, it does tend to get even harder for most of us artistic types. The question for today (and a few future blunders) is therefore: How much is…
Natural and artificial symbols
Aug 14, 2019 • 17 min
Just as with sweeteners and coffee, you have natural and artificial options to spice up your art, too. Both sweeteners and symbols are created by moulding reality to our will, but unlike aspartame and the like, artificial symbols don’t have negative…
Art and entertainment
Aug 7, 2019 • 15 min
More and more you see art shows being coupled with support programs that, to an art goer from a couple of decades ago, would resemble more a visit to the local club than an actually gallery — albeit a club that, for whatever reason, seems to also have…
Art has no purpose, only consequences
Jul 30, 2019 • 17 min
An interesting sentence, uttered by a friend of mine while we were chatting over drinks, was that “Art has no purpose, only consequences.” and these six words really struck a chord with me. In today’s blunder therefore, I’d like to explore this statement,…
Interview with Amy Whitaker - About the art market, art economy and the business side of art
Jul 26, 2019 • 69 min
Welcome to a very special episode of Surviving Art (done for the 33rd Biennial of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana! What makes this one so special are the interests of my guest: Amy Whitaker. She is an assistant professor at NYU with a Masters degree in business…
How to make art that transforms people
Jul 17, 2019 • 16 min
Creating art is a two step process; first you obviously have to make it, but then you also have to show it and present it to the public, and hopefully leave an impact on the world (preferably for the better). But these two steps could not be further apart…
How to create a system in which your art practice and career can flourish
Jul 9, 2019 • 20 min
A few days ago I had the great pleasure to interview Amy Whitaker (she has an MBA from Yale and an MFA in Painting from Slade University — an incredible mix!).She is also an associate professor at NYU and the author of two very interesting books: Museum…
Why playing by the rules is sometimes imperative for creative progress
Jul 2, 2019 • 20 min
A wonderful quote of which the author eludes me even after 5 min of thorough Google searching goes like this: “Life is a game. You can be a player or a toy.” And the question I’d like to pose today is: How does making your own rules, and sometimes even…
How to build a good foundation for your creativity
Jun 27, 2019 • 18 min
When we think about creativity and inspiration, we might picture an image of a spirit, a muse, that comes forth from the heavens and touches us in funny places at the most random of times imaginable. But these moments aren’t random, and there really is no…
Form and function — The never-ending search for meaning and purpose
Jun 18, 2019 • 16 min
To be frank, all comments on either the meaning or purpose of anything are irrelevant in the grander scheme of things, because all are but a form of ideology, a kind of software that runs in our minds if you will, and contrary to common belief that humans…
Is this art?
Jun 12, 2019 • 17 min
Countless figures throughout history have tried to explain this incredibly complex question: What is art? And more importantly, what isn’t art? But still the institutions have no real answer, no common ground upon which they could define a normative of…
On finding your place and making a stand
Jun 4, 2019 • 24 min
People have two intrinsic desires; to know themselves and to find a place in their environment. We constantly search for better ways, a clearer image of who we are and continuously try to place that projection of ourselves into society and our environment…
The trap of mastering a craft
May 28, 2019 • 12 min
They say we are born as empty slates, pure white canvases onto which life leaves its marks and in the end produces a singular, unique imprint of colours, shapes and forms. While this may or may not be true, today I would like to think about the process…
Art Commissions - Selling Art or Selling Out
May 27, 2019 • 11 min
Let’s stop with this romantic preposition that one hears all to often when talking with artists in academia. We go through a list of 8 steps to keep in mind when creating a commissioned work.
Determining the value of your art — Creating attention
May 26, 2019 • 5 min
Art is emotional and as such its value is determined absolutely subjectively. The big question though is how, because even though ambivalent, subjectivity can still give us a lot of various starting points to calculate value from. It’s all about perceived…
What’s my worth in society
May 25, 2019 • 6 min
I have struggled with this question for years. Not only with figuring out the value that I can provide to society, but the value I have for myself. But, even though you can find blueprints of how to build an atomic bomb online, answers to the question:…
Museums and galleries need fresh talent
May 24, 2019 • 5 min
A lot of us may think that artists are the only ones in the art world that are struggling with the changes, happening via social media platforms, online sales platforms and other PR, marketing and advertising related content, that now have to be made in…
The importance of critiques
May 23, 2019 • 5 min
Jasper Johns’ first show at the Castelli gallery was an enormous success for the artist and started off his career in an unprecedented way. But they exact method used by Leo Castelli (one of the biggest galleries to have ever walked the streets of New…
The problem with large artworks
May 22, 2019 • 5 min
I have been noticing a lot of my peers creating exclusively museum sized artworks and/or installations, but most of them are failing to ever sell a piece they make. And sure, large works do have their place — a lot of my work is on the larger side…
I don’t want to show my art, because people will copy my work
May 21, 2019 • 6 min
One of my early mentors in the arts once told me a story about her artist friend that used to come by her studio and show a lot of interest in her work. He actually showed a lot of interest for every one of the local artist’s works and was a regular…
Technology is disrupting the arts, and we’re only seeing the beginning
May 20, 2019 • 6 min
First it came for the hotel businesses, then the taxi drivers and food delivery services, the radio stations and telecommunication providers. It’s coming for all of us in the arts too. But there’s a good thing about the transition that is yet to come,…
The religion of the contemporary art world — Part III
May 19, 2019 • 4 min
To tie together the previous two blogs, I want to discuss what is in my opinion the highest and most complex function that art has in human society — the artificial creation of the experience of the sublime.
The religion of the contemporary art world — Part II
May 18, 2019 • 5 min
Various sources state, that about 10% of people worldwide are either not part of any religion or agnostic, and a big chunk of these people are full-blown atheists. But, while these numbers are about as precise as if the statisticians had gotten them from…
The religion of the contemporary art world — Part I
May 17, 2019 • 6 min
Religions have defined cultures and people since the beginning of time; man time, not time time — unless you ask a theologian. They will tell you that both are pretty much the same and that ancient man rode dinosaurs and made babies the same way sponges…
In the beginning, there really wasn’t any art
May 16, 2019 • 6 min
Contrary to common belief, art is not a material thing. There are no traits that an object has to posses to be deemed a work of art. But, that doesn’t mean that art does not need to be embodied in an object.
A game of perspectives
May 15, 2019 • 6 min
At its core, art is an experience. And like all human experiences, it’s created through perspectives — so the idea that 100 people will see 100 different things in the same work of art, probably doesn’t come as a shocker to any one of us.
How random crap can become art — An overture
May 14, 2019 • 5 min
This is not a social commentary folks, so for anyone expecting a rant on all the junk that gets sold off as artistic masterpieces; I’m sorry to disappoint you, this is not the point of today’s blog. But that’s not to say I don’t have a book’s worth of it,…
Your art is a vessel for ideas
May 13, 2019 • 5 min
The tag word today is ideology; every piece of art has its own story and thus its own bit of ideology infused into it. And the main question for all of us artists is: “How can we either become part of an already established ideology, or even how to make…
Your art defines your customer
May 12, 2019 • 5 min
The kind of art we produce has an enormous effect on the end customer we attract; pretty flower paintings will attract people that like flowers. But this does not translate directly; some of them are much fonder of pretty flowers and may be specific about…
Not all artists are the same
May 10, 2019 • 5 min
I guess most of us don’t become artists, but end up artists. What I mean by this is that as the kids that grow up in an engineer household, filled with technical models, equations and maths, can end up loving physics as much — if not more — than their…
Novelty and consistency in art
May 10, 2019 • 7 min
There are a few companies that really know what they’re doing — even if we don’t agree with their products, their models of how to sell said products are the best in the world — and we artists can really learn a lot from studying them.
The biggest trap of selling your art directly
May 9, 2019 • 3 min
The internet, especially social media, have given us an incredible tool — we can now potentially reach anyone in the world. If before you had to go through all the gatekeepers of the art world, now you can do everything yourself and have full control over…
What if you’re not a great sales person?
May 8, 2019 • 5 min
There is a wonderful analogy used at the beginning of the book The E-Myth by Michael Gerber, where the author describes any entrepreneur as a company of three strongly distinct individuals: the entrepreneur, the operator/manager and the…
Do you have a gallery-oriented mindset and pricing model
May 7, 2019 • 7 min
Just like Ferrari and Honda don’t use the same pricing model for their products, we artists have to differentiate between two distinct ways to approach our prices. Depending on whether we aim to have a go at the gallery system or sell our art directly, we…
The importance of keeping track of our work
May 6, 2019 • 4 min
Being an artist is a full-time job and then some; creativity doesn’t just come on its own and setting up a routine for us to be able to create day in and day out takes a lot of effort. And so does marketing and taking pictures and writing applications for…
How to increase the value and price of an artwork
May 5, 2019 • 6 min
As tastes in art are incredibly subjective, the value of any particular piece can seem like it has been decided upon on a whim. But while this may even be true for many a piece of art being sold today, there are many factors that can be defined and…
The value that art can provide to our customers
May 4, 2019 • 6 min
Knowing who to sell to and what their needs are is crucial; too many artists struggle with not knowing who their target group is or what they want. While we might think that portraits are for everybody (I mean, the majority of people I know have a face…
Pricing your work - value-based pricing
May 3, 2019 • 5 min
Up until this point, we have been discussing pricing as a one-sided equation of how much I as an artist need to get, to pay for whatever my lifestyle or other financial requirements are. But sales are never just a one-sided discussion — a deal always has…
Pricing your work - Project based pricing
May 2, 2019 • 5 min
We’ve talked about setting our prices by the hour and calculating them via size and base fees, and now it’s time to tie it all together and talk about project based pricing. What I mean by this is the way we present our prices to our customers; the…
Pricing your work - Does size matter?
May 1, 2019 • 6 min
Cars can sometimes be confusingly used to extend ones, well, let’s call it perception of self to be kind. Art on the other hand, cannot only provide us with a symbolic extension — sometimes it’s even made in the literal shape of one. But today’s podcast…
Pricing your art - The hourly-based model
Apr 30, 2019 • 6 min
In yesterday’s podcast, I discussed the importance of calculating ones base expenses and all-around financial needs on a yearly basis, and today we’re going to look at one of the most popular but potentially most problematic ways of determining how much…
Story is Everything - A conversation about art with Michelle Lloyd from United Art Space
Apr 30, 2019 • 81 min
Story is Everything is a booklet I prepared for United Art Space and in this podcast, Michelle and I discuss the importance of storytelling, narrative and context in art. And, if you like to get to know more about Michelle’s project United Art Space, here…
Pricing your art - Getting started
Apr 29, 2019 • 5 min
From the three ways one could determine the value of our work, the hourly-based pricing model is probably the most popular one, as most other jobs we might have had (or still have) determine the value of our work on the merit of how much time we spend…
The pricing trap when starting out in the arts
Apr 28, 2019 • 3 min
The first painting I actually sold was done at a live-painting performance; me and my friend were part of an awards ceremony in high-school and had a live-stream of us painting and creating clay sculptures that was projected in the hall, where the…
Don’t just wing life and make a pricing model for your work
Apr 27, 2019 • 4 min
I got the big news: A wealthy collector — appearing out of the blue, coming all the way from northern Germany — was interested in my work. He and his personal gallerist came to our Academy to take a look around and the news of their arrival spread…
Ways to afford sustenance in the arts
Apr 26, 2019 • 5 min
Throughout history, artists have created an ineffable amount of value for humanity, but there will always be a wonderful irony around our value creation. We can make incredible, breathtaking works of pure genius that have the ability to comfort even the…
Value vs. price
Apr 25, 2019 • 7 min
Pricing our art — especially at the beginning — can be a daunting task and while numerous factors have to be taken into consideration, there is one that doesn’t get talked about that much. The problem is though, it’s one of the most important ones!…
Artists and artisans
Apr 24, 2019 • 4 min
With the commoditisation of paintings, sculptures and other wall furniture that one can buy on Etsy, a question pops up: Are we artists or artisans? I think our main concern as creatives should be to first have a nice little talk with ourselves over some…
The ROI of an artwork
Apr 23, 2019 • 6 min
During a conversation I had with a friend of mine about a show I got invited to in the summer, she mentioned ROI and how her goal was to produce the most effective show with the least amount of capital. And while the last 15 years or so have been…
Creating value as an artist
Apr 22, 2019 • 5 min
As far as my hippy side is concerned: Art is a miracle, that has allowed the human experience to grow well above its immediate physical needs and given us the ability to build this magnificent wonder that we call society. But the value of art is also…
How to profile a potential gallery
Apr 21, 2019 • 6 min
Today I want to share how I approach my gallery hunting; what helped me in the past and what didn’t and what I do, when focusing on getting representation. Do keep in mind that everybody has a different way of doing it — and while there are tried and…
A strategical approach to getting a gallery — perspective
Apr 20, 2019 • 6 min
Yesterday I wrote about tactics — cold calling — and the effects such an approach might produce, but today it’s all about strategy. But there is a lot of confusion going around about differentiating tactics and strategy and to start off today’s blunder, I…
A tactical approach to getting a gallery — cold-calling
Apr 19, 2019 • 3 min
I’ve talked a lot about the particularities of what a good application should look like and how to find galleries that resonate with your work, and now I want to get really tactical and try to make a roadmap of things to consider, when searching for…
Starting out in the art world
Apr 18, 2019 • 4 min
The only true tactic that ever worked for me in the beginning and has allowed me to periodically get invited to collaborate with curators and exhibit my work was that I started applying to any open-call that I could find online and that fit my work. A…
Don’t let your CV gather dust
Apr 17, 2019 • 3 min
You created a professional portfolio of your work and have a nice, well-prepared CV to compliment it in your application. But what now?! Before going into anything tactical, I want to talk perspective.
Creating a great artist portfolio
Apr 16, 2019 • 6 min
Similar to a CV, the portfolio of works is an important document to have as a creative; not only does it make your life easier when applying to open calls, but allows for an incredible amount of introspection and reflection on your personal brand, your…
Politics, not colour theory
Apr 15, 2019 • 4 min
An interesting article popped-up a few days ago on Artnet, stating that predominantly red or blue monochrome artworks sell for considerably higher prices than all the other colour of the rainbow. And, while quite an interesting read, it did get me…
Video as CV and medium for artists
Apr 14, 2019 • 5 min
Yesterday I tried to break down the artist CV and all its features, but I just couldn’t stop feeling like I needed to address video too! So in today’s blog I would like to focus on video as a more informal, but incredibly powerful tool, to propagate your…
How to write a good artist CV
Apr 13, 2019 • 6 min
A well prepared CV is the corner stone of any application, but unlike financial advisors, marketeers and other professionals, artists can’t really do much with the standard form that so many others use — aka. we usually aren’t employed anywhere and…
Begin your search for gallery representation as soon as possible
Apr 12, 2019 • 4 min
Yesterday’s blog dabbled a bit in talking about things to keep in mind when searching for gallery representation and after a lot of feedback from all of you reading my blunders I decided to expand on it and provide a more in-depth look into what tactics…
How to find gallery representation
Apr 11, 2019 • 4 min
The amount of CVs and portfolios the average gallery receives on a daily basis is immense, so having a good tactic when trying to approach one is imperative. Even though we live in the digital age, the more or less most important factor to take into…
A reminder that we’re living in magical times
Apr 10, 2019 • 4 min
Today’s mother’s day in Slovenia and while unrelated to art it got me thinking about our ability to do what we do. Without a mom, we obviously wouldn’t be able to exist, but there is a bigger, more universal provider that also has an enormous part to play…
The reason why galleries and agents exist
Apr 9, 2019 • 4 min
I feel there is a misunderstanding in the art world, that may or may not be a reality for you, depending on where you are and how strong your local art market is. But in Slovenia and many other countries, it is very much an enormous issue. A lot of the…
The importance of having a core narrative in your art
Apr 8, 2019 • 3 min
The number of people producing art has never been higher and with everybody including your aunt trying to sell their work and get exhibited, only the best actually manage to do so in the end. But the issue with art is that beauty is incredibly subjective…
Podcasts are the new blogs and why they’re a great medium for artists
Apr 7, 2019 • 4 min
If in 2007 blogs were all the rage and almost anybody that was somebody online had one, today it’s podcasts. And with platforms like offering free hosting and distribution, there really are no more excuses from getting on the bandwagon yourself!
Your website is more than just an online portfolio
Apr 6, 2019 • 4 min
Today, everybody has a webpage; from the free options at Wordpress, Wix or other web providers to the more sophisticated self-hosted options that I would encourage anyone with a free account to have a look into. But it’s not having a website that is…
The importance of having your own mailing list
Apr 5, 2019 • 4 min
Even though mailing lists seem like a thing of the past, they are still an irreplaceable building block of any creative business. Regardless of whether you’re writing daily blogs like me, or if you use your mailing list to sell or notify people about your…
How to automate your social media and get more chances to be seen
Apr 4, 2019 • 3 min
Posting a lot on your media platform of choice and doing so on a regular basis is a must if you wish to propagate your message and your art into the world and don’t have cash to burn for Facebook or Instagram ads, but it takes a lot of time and becomes…
Should you frame your work?
Apr 3, 2019 • 4 min
After spending months or days (or minutes — for all of you speed painters out there), it’s finally time to decide how to present your work! And the big question is: Should you invest in buying a nice frame to put around your work and make it “more…
How to talk about your art
Apr 2, 2019 • 9 min
Regardless if you paint, sculpt, make experimental video installations or are a political performance artist, the main goal for all of us is to express ourselves. But while we may be really good at making art, presenting it is an entirely different skill…
Love what you do?
Apr 1, 2019 • 3 min
They say you have to love what you do, because you will be doing it for the rest of your life, but my question really is, if this is a sustainable way of looking at creation and life in general, or just a generalisation that might work for many, but fail…
The problem with critical art
Mar 31, 2019 • 4 min
Yesterday evening I attended an exhibition opening titled “Happiness for you and your family”. It was a show about the problems of immigration and deportation and tried to showcase the issues of inequality among people in our region. While the cause is…
Marketing is great, but don’t overdo it
Mar 30, 2019 • 3 min
Speaking from personal experience, the only really important thing people told me to do as an artist was marketing. But while this may be true, it shouldn’t become the only thing we do as creatives.
Connect to get more out of your ad budget
Mar 29, 2019 • 4 min
If you’re just starting out, being part of an artist group is a wonderful place to be for many reasons. A group of likeminded or diverse individuals that practice a similar craft can be a powerhouse of creation, because of the mutual support and combined…
The best artworks never become dull
Mar 28, 2019 • 3 min
While each person is different in almost innumerable ways, we all follow the same basic modes of operation and have the same needs, so knowing these needs and understanding them on a deep level doesn’t just make us immensely better artists, but also…
How to talk to paintings the right way
Mar 27, 2019 • 4 min
To experience art is to have a conversation with it and with ourselves in a safe place, where we can really immerse ourselves into the depths of our soul, only to come back a bit stronger, a bit more content and without fear of such a venture taking a…
Overcoming creative drought
Mar 26, 2019 • 3 min
We all have probably experienced that “click”, a moment when things suddenly fall into place and the big picture finally becomes clear. These “clicks” tend to happen randomly and it may seem like no real method is behind the convoluted internal workings…
Artist statements and presentations
Mar 25, 2019 • 4 min
A few days ago the Frieze Magazine’s Twitter profile posted this thought: “Art world addicted to unpaid work, survey finds.” with a link to their article. Packed with gems like this: “working for long hours was regarded as a test of commitment, such that…
Serious art vs. having fun
Mar 24, 2019 • 4 min
Rather than taking everything we do overly seriously, I believe we should have fun with what we do first, because we can still get an important message across even if we’re having a blast — something my former self could never agree with.
Don’t be a wandering generality, be a meaningful specific
Mar 23, 2019 • 3 min
Borrowed from the late Zig Ziglar, the title may ring true to anyone, not only artists and creators. But unlike accountants, bricklayers or welders, the scope of what our craft can be is immense and it’s much easier for us to get carried away into the…
It’s never going to feel like you know what you’re doing, but that’s not the point
Mar 22, 2019 • 4 min
Regardless of how proficient a writer, painter, or sculptor becomes, no matter how much knowledge they gather up over the years, it will probably never really feel enough. The feeling of having to, but not exactly knowing how to be just a bit better, will…
How to work for free the smart way
Mar 21, 2019 • 4 min
We all have probably encountered this scenario in our lives: After months of nothing you finally get an opportunity to work with a business or individual that needs some creative work done and after the first coffee you both really get each others vibe,…
There’s good art and then, there’s great art
Mar 20, 2019 • 3 min
They say good art captivates you, but great art can transform your life. But like with any sales pitch, the real question is: how much is the premium of going from good to great really going to cost me?!
The difference between looking good and being good
Mar 19, 2019 • 8 min
The Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord is a wonderful and angry book that speaks about how our society has diverged from the authentic human experience of life into an artificial spectacle of neon colours, action movies and weird romantic novels about…
Does having skill make you an artist?
Mar 18, 2019 • 3 min
“Study Finds Artists Become Famous through Their Friends, Not the Originality of Their Work” is the title of an interesting article, published on Artsy a few days ago. While a bit of an overstatement, it has a lot of truth to it.
The hierarchy of needs and how Maslow could help your art sales
Mar 17, 2019 • 5 min
Be it as a person, a society, a business or a local community; art gives us the tools to express ourselves and to connect, create common identity and express our power. And if we see it as such, it gives us a much easier time understanding why the…
The price of commodities and art
Mar 15, 2019 • 3 min
Unlike our average commodities, art’s value isn’t judged by the materials used, neither by the labour it took to create it, because a quickly made blotchy cheap-paint-on-rubbish-canvas Rothko painting will be much more expensive to buy than a Koons…
Maybe the market doesn’t decide?
Mar 14, 2019 • 3 min
Art is obviously subjective and its prices even more so, but the big question is: If Pollock’s work can be more than 10 times as expensive as a Titian, does that mean it’s also 10x better? And if so, better at what?
3 things that could help your social media presence
Mar 13, 2019 • 3 min
We shouldn’t just be painting pictures on canvases and Fabriano paper, we should be painting mental images onto the minds of our followers and soon-to-be-followers. Only then can we ever succeed in expanding our reach to the people who really care and…
What to do if you want to sell your work
Mar 12, 2019 • 3 min
Regardless of whether you wish to get signed by a gallery or attack the market directly via online stores and social media, don’t think too much about how your work looks compared to all the other similar creators, focus instead on your message and…
What you can do to get exhibited
Mar 11, 2019 • 5 min
The art market is a volatile place for investors, and these are the people gallerists cater to, so there are certain check boxes your work has to tick in order for them to decide to sign and represent you and your work.
Artist statements and presentations
Mar 10, 2019 • 4 min
Taking the time to create a great artist statement will help you clarify your wording, so you can give a short and captivating presentation anytime you find yourself in front of an interested buyer, are giving an interview or just get asked by a random…
3 tips for making better art
Mar 9, 2019 • 3 min
As art is subjective, we can never really take full control over how a viewer of our show or a customer who bought one of our pieces will understand the work’s narrative. A description of the work might help, but some actually prefer to make up their own…
Artist as genius
Mar 8, 2019 • 4 min
As humans, we couldn’t have been more proud of the lineage of artistic mastery that our planet had created over the years, and we had every reason for it. From the Ancient Greeks to Giotto and Titian, then Caravaggio, Monet, Van Gogh and Picasso … all…
You may not believe this, but this life hack works every time!
Mar 7, 2019 • 3 min
There is a force, that governs how we go about our lives; Meal deal or a nice salad? Wake up at 5:00 or snooze until 10:00. Get yet another outfit or just stay content with the clothes we have? Go to work, building your dreams or help build the dreams of…
Get more studio visits by finding the one
Mar 6, 2019 • 3 min
Unlike the still common belief that making great art will attract people who might like and even buy it, the reality for most of us is the exact opposite. You can create the most beautiful piece of art, but if you are unable to get it “out there”, your…
How much is your art actually worth?
Mar 5, 2019 • 4 min
Even just talking about a particular piece of art differently can alter its value; consider if you described a meticulously carved wood sculpture in an enthusiastic and powerful way, created a professional presentation environment in your studio and…
Make art for everyone and you will reach no-one
Mar 4, 2019 • 4 min
“The Most and Least Wanted Paintings” was a project done between 1995 and 97 by the artists Vitaly Komar and Alex Melamid. Their premiss was simple: Go out and ask a bunch of art consumers and non-consumers what they like. Take a large sample of their…
Art prints could earn you some income on the side, but you already knew that
Mar 2, 2019 • 3 min
Many companies that produce some form of tangible goods, usually tend to diversify their offering into segments: entry level, core package and premium. I believe we artists should take note and try to implement such strategies into our own business. If…
Velvet Buzzsaw makes a good point with a bad delivery
Mar 1, 2019 • 7 min
I have finally found the time to watch the new arty horror movie Velvet Buzzsaw. The trailer, like the whole movie, really intrigued me in the first half — until badly executed demonic powers started killing people — from there it kinda went downhill …
The importance of personal connections in art
Feb 28, 2019 • 4 min
We’re all living on the web now. We talk through texts, we speak to each other via phone and we follow our friends and enemies on Instagram, so we know what holiday locations to pick next. The state of the contemporary man and woman is always connected,…
Flourishing, not just surviving
Feb 27, 2019 • 5 min
No sane business owner has ever said: “Let’s sell this doohickey here at a 10% loss and make absolutely no calculations as to how much we need to make to stay afloat with our rent payment and other expenses.” But artists on the web debate whether or not…
Selling bollocks in a can
Feb 26, 2019 • 2 min
From urinals to canned pop and machines that produce it, the idea of what can be called art has been stretched in the last decade to more than just the style a painting is made in or how a sculpture is chiselled. But the ever present question, apart from…
Arty language
Feb 25, 2019 • 3 min
While browsing the web yesterday I came across a Twitter post from whoever manages the The Art Market Twitter account, sharing an article on Artsy about new art and design fair in Brooklyn called Object & Thing, and the thing that stuck out like a fat…
Find the time to document while you create
Feb 24, 2019 • 5 min
It doesn’t matter if you’re the CEO of Nike, a student at the Academy or jobless and receiving welfare — a day only has 24 hours. If then, you want to make something out of your life, time management is imperative.
Personas in art
Feb 23, 2019 • 3 min
Around the year 2011 Jayson Musson, an artist from New York invented Hennessy Youngman — a persona one could describe as the homie of the art world.
Art and artificial intelligence
Feb 22, 2019 • 3 min
A few months ago Christie’s held the first-ever auction of art created by artificial intelligence. A work of art made by a computer algorithm called GAN (Generative Adversarial Network) titled Portrait of Edmond Belamy, sold for roughly 380,000 EUR!…
What we can do for others
Feb 21, 2019 • 5 min
While it’s wonderful to enjoy our process and to like talking to other artists and art lovers about philosophy and the meaning of life, it’s really the simple questions that may get overlooked sometimes.
We are entering the age of voice again
Feb 20, 2019 • 4 min
Here’s a shocker I realised today: YouTube has been around for almost two decades! And websites like Blogger and Facebook even more than that, so social media and its power to potentially reach millions of people has been around the block for quite some…
Fine art and genuine art
Feb 19, 2019 • 5 min
I had an interesting conversation on Facebook the other day about the struggle we artists tend to go through because of the nature of our work. Nothing to do with having to be sad and crazy to make art (a dumb myth if I ever heard one), but about the…
The irony of doing what you love
Feb 18, 2019 • 4 min
Lately I have been listening to and reading a bunch of books on time management, work ethics and just all-around self-fulfilment and motivational literature and a thought crossed my mind yesterday, while thinking about us artists and the work we do.
Art is a mirror to our character
Feb 17, 2019 • 5 min
The spectator is the one who decides what a particular piece of art is all about. Depending on how much we’re educated, what kind of an emotional state we’re in and if we just want to cock around a gallery, trying to persuade fellow gallery visitors that…
The attentive spectator
Feb 16, 2019 • 4 min
We use art to find similar souls amongst the masses of people; those who understand beauty and aesthetics in the way we do, those that are sensitive to similar impulses, that laugh at the same jokes and cry to the same saddening tunes. But many of us…
The 3 building blocks of art
Feb 15, 2019 • 5 min
We continue this series of podcasts revolving around the question: “What makes something art?” with a small dissection of what the phenomenon of art actually is. And as we learned in the previous one, it all comes down to these three: the Artist, the…
What makes something art?
Feb 14, 2019 • 3 min
Just as everybody felt that Duchamp’s wall toilet conundrum was almost flushed out of the art world’s system, cleansed by Richard Long’s walking escapades, Ed Ruscha’s thorough documentation of the Sunset Strip and others, here came Andy and presented the…
Perception and communication Part III
Feb 13, 2019 • 4 min
After yesterday’s podcast we have come to the conclusion that a mere word or image does not have any intrinsic meaning accompanying it. As weird and illogical as this might seem, we must never forget that every time we look at a painting or hear a word,…
Perception and communication Part II
Feb 12, 2019 • 7 min
Continuing yesterday’s podcast post about communication, I would like to focus on a crucial point that I see might well be one of the greatest misunderstandings of communication in art — syntax does not equal semantics.
Perception and communication Part I
Feb 11, 2019 • 3 min
The way communication happens is actually amazing because of the weird and maybe illogical nature of how information “travels”. While we may imagine invisible vibrations traveling through space from one’s mouth to another one’s ears and carrying bits of…
Silicon chips and curious ways of saying “I like you”
Feb 10, 2019 • 4 min
Every small tribe has their own language, and the variations between Classical Academic Painter English, Conceptual Feminist English and Modernist Abstract Expressionist English are so abundant and so distinct, that one could easily presume that neither…
Fake it ‘till you make it?
Feb 9, 2019 • 4 min
Colourful ties, fancy watches and flashy rings. Or maybe a new Apple computer, giant Wacom Cintiq tablet and a nice new mirrorless Nikon Z7. Whatever the means, the end goal is always the same; if we look the part and talk the talk we’ll be walking the…
Specialisations and all-you-can-eat buffets
Feb 8, 2019 • 5 min
We creatives are curious by nature, which makes us lifetime learners; constantly trying out new things and always expanding our skillset. Everyday we find something new, some spot of life where we haven’t ventured before and usually the first thought that…
Getting good at something is easy, getting great, not so much
Feb 7, 2019 • 6 min
I remember when I first started to draw the human body; it didn’t really start with a full nude or portrait or any body part for that matter, it started with boxes and a long stick, so that I could get the hang of perspective and of simple shapes. Then we…
Sure it’s smart, but how does it make you feel?
Feb 6, 2019 • 3 min
Art can be beautiful. It can be ugly or just plain disgusting. The variety of emotions that artists can produce with a few brushstrokes is astounding. But do we actually look at our work from such a perspective or can our emotions sometimes get…
Open calls - Art on demand in the 21st century
Feb 5, 2019 • 4 min
One of the more underlying issues of open calls is the sheer amount of artists, who can now apply to such open calls and with such a supply, naturally the demand becomes more picky, meaning the specifics of each open call don’t just stop at “only painting…
Art isn’t really a team sport, but what if it were?
Feb 4, 2019 • 6 min
What if we wanted to play basketball in the NBA, but decided that, because of financial constraints or other reasons, we just won’t be looking for any other players for our team and just going at it solo. So we’ll just go play a few games, try to score a…
Why it’ s risky to be a creative without a morning routine
Feb 3, 2019 • 4 min
The best portraitist will know you better than you know yourself and show that self in the painting she is producing, the best photographer will show the true character of whoever he is portraying and so will the musician and the actor. But while empathy…
Paris and her Paparazzi Machine
Feb 2, 2019 • 4 min
Because you could be making the most wonderful umbrellas the world has ever seen, but if you decide sell them in the Atacama dessert, you might just start believing that no-one needs and umbrella, while the guy in front of Notre Dame sells hundreds of…
Empathy vs. intelligence
Feb 1, 2019 • 5 min
Aristotle wrote: “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” While educated can mean many things, it is in essence meant as a tool (albeit a mental one). But while we can try to understand the issues of…
Are you really an influencer?
Jan 31, 2019 • 4 min
If Martin Luther King had Snapchat, do you think he would be taking selfies with his new Air Jordans rather than fighting for his cause? But what if YouTube channel Unbox Therapy’s Lewis George or “Lew” didn’t have YouTube? Would he still be spreading his…
Better a bit early or really late than in sync with the times
Jan 30, 2019 • 5 min
Sooner or later some new technology is invented and becomes available to the masses, usually being either easier, quicker, cleaner, more efficient, cheaper than what we had before. And while I love the fact that I don’t have to learn typesetting or screen…
Commercials and advertising as a medium for artists
Jan 29, 2019 • 4 min
From linen canvases to plaster and genes, the share amount of mediums available to artists today is historically speaking at its very peak. While some prefer analog ways of expressing themselves, others like to work digitally. But have you ever considered…
Borrow like an artist, it’s not that great getting sued
Jan 28, 2019 • 6 min
Many of us may be familiar wit the book Steal Like an Artist by written by Austin Kleon. In this book he describes how countless famous artists have been “stealing” other artists styles, ideas and just about anything else that they deemed valuable and…
Visual communications in the age of Instagram, VR and purple cows
Jan 27, 2019 • 4 min
Communication has stopped being the exchange of emotion and has stagnated to merely an exchange of information. You don’t need to go outside to know the weather is bad, you don’t need to go to Rome to see the Pantheon and we have long been able to have…
On writing your first artist statement and why it shouldn’t be your last
Jan 26, 2019 • 5 min
What many of us present as an artist statement (I was guilty of this for a long while) is usually exactly the opposite of what it should be; we focus on intellectually sounding words and sentences like this: “As wavering phenomena become rediscovered…
There are no stupid viewers, only stupid artworks
Jan 25, 2019 • 5 min
They say there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers. I think something similar applies to making art too. Let’s say I decide to make a new conceptual piece; I take my time, carefully constructing my concept, picking the right materials and motif…
How the White Cube principle could help your online portfolio
Jan 24, 2019 • 5 min
In 1976, artist and critic Brian O’Doherty published his essay “Inside the White Cube”, that not only created lots of buzz in the art world, but gave this popular mode of displaying work in museums and commercial galleries a catchy new name.
Going strong rather than burning out
Jan 23, 2019 • 5 min
It sounds grand to be overly productive, to wake up at 5:00 in the morning and work till 23:00 at night, but the issue with most people I know who adhere to such a strong work ethic, isn’t commitment and it absolutely isn’t motivation, but health.
Communicating what your work is all about
Jan 22, 2019 • 4 min
Today, it isn’t as much about one work, or even one exhibition — what matters in the long run is the totality of our production and most importantly the regularity of our production. Rather than focusing on the importance of each piece we make, I find it…
The best shortcut for making it in the arts
Jan 21, 2019 • 6 min
Rather than waiting for destiny, I am a fan of action, but the problem with a lot of us is, we are constantly searching for that one piece of information that will change our lives. Now, what if I shared with you today exactly that information? Would you…
How influencers could help you sell your work
Jan 20, 2019 • 5 min
People will always bicker and whine, but at the same time, there will always be those of us, who show up and do the work. And now, through the powers of social media and those small metal and glass devices in our pockets and bags, we can become our own…
What does bad conceptualism have to do with art sales?
Jan 19, 2019 • 5 min
Where I come from, we haven’t really seen any upward movement from the private art market since the 90s (not even when almost everywhere else art sales boomed) and as a result there is now not only a high percentage of underpaid artists but an…
Emotion vs. fact - The persuasive powers of art
Jan 18, 2019 • 5 min
Knowing does not equal doing, but feeling almost always leads to action. Because emotions are actions, physical states of our bodies (you can’t really feel sad while running a marathon) and while using facts to persuade someone may or may not be an…
Do you need a portfolio website?
Jan 17, 2019 • 4 min
About 20 years ago almost nobody had a website, let alone a personal web portfolio of his or her work, but with WordPress and Squarespace came the era of portfolio Websites. While having one is much cheaper now than it was years ago, we now have…
History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme
Jan 16, 2019 • 5 min
We have been making art since the time we were living in caves, so the act of artistic creation is older than civilisation itself. Regardless of whether you’re writing articles, books, poetry or painting or sculpting, you may find that, after showing your…
You can’t make art for everyone, no matter how hard you try
Jan 14, 2019 • 3 min
We are the creators of narratives, it is our job to produce stories and to communicate those stories to others. Be it feelings of pleasure, anger, excitement, or a well intended warning, a good creator knows how to produce art that speaks to those for…
What if Edison thought the art of grant applications
Jan 14, 2019 • 5 min
All success stories, regardless if in the field of fine art, business or invention, are usually paved with failure — and not just with the occasional small mishap or two, many come in the form of a constant stream of defeat. Edison (even though a…
Selling your art and finding places and people that can help you - Part II
Jan 13, 2019 • 13 min
The art market can be divided into roughly 5 segments: 1.) The direct market 2.) The primary beta market, 3.) The primary alpha market, 4.) The secondary alpha market and 5.) The auction market. Today we will be looking at the last three: the primary and…
Selling your art and finding places and people that can help you - Part I
Jan 12, 2019 • 16 min
The art market can be divided into roughly 5 segments: 1.) The direct market, 2.) The primary beta market, 3.) The primary alpha market, 4.) The secondary alpha market and and 5.) The auction market. Today we will be looking at the first two: the direct…
Pricing your art - What is the price of creativity
Jan 11, 2019 • 14 min
You’ll hear people tell you about different techniques on how to price your work, but usually these are artists, who mostly do one thing and what works for a classical portrait painter doesn’t necessarily fit someone working with photo / video works. You…
Why be an artist
Jan 10, 2019 • 8 min
If your not happy with the idea, that its hard to sell paintings, it’s not being an artist that bothers you, it’s the act of painting and selling paintings, that you have a problem with. You have artists in banking and marketing, because it’s not…