• Dear Jerry,
    Many thanks for this provocative advice from your direct experience. I too, thought out of the box for 1 1/2 years by collaborating with local business and having 1-day shows in their space after the group of 12 artists painted for 3 weeks on the theme of their business, ie: at our local theater where the play was ‘Five Course Love’, Hair salon, show titled ‘ Let them eat cake!’, Garden shows, Specialty Olive oil store, restaurants, etc. It was a win-win for everyone, and the businesses could hardly believe all they were expected to do was inform their email client list about the one day exhibit. We brought everything needed, and they often provided refreshments. We ‘rode the wave’ of the fad of 6” or 8” square paintings with matching black frames. We would change out the paintings if they didn’t sell and use for the next show. Hung on 2’x6′ grids, the show took up very little floor space and the group definitely learned a lot about selling and marketing their art. I called it Daily Painters Project, and my very talented daughter made a fabulous website where we posted all the work we did for each show (with a small purchase discount at the shows). If I would have invited ONLY professional artists who all participated in locating new venues and investing in a bit more advertising and press releases, I think it would have continued. The whole concept was excellent, it just took more work than some of the group were willing to do (they did not need or desire the career or money, so lacked discipline and motivation!) Also, San Diego has many tempting avenues for entertainment, sports, beach going and competition is stiff in the visual arts. The ratio of artists here is a saturated as yoga centers!!
    I will pass on your newsletter to some of the plein air painters I know and see if we can create a new ‘buzz’ for getting art and artists directly to clients.
    I’m glad you have found your bliss in Lenno, and hope one day to come again to Italy and perhaps paint with you. My dear friend, Cindy Wilford, really enjoyed the workshop I urged her to take with you!
    Wishing you continued success and contentment.

    August 12, 2013
    • Conchitina Miguel

      Thank you Carole.

      October 03, 2013
  • Thank you for this article, Jerry.
    You provide a great way for artists to be in control of their own destinies instead of being a slave to the culture of starving artist.
    While I don’t live in a town that even has lobbies (!) I will think creatively “outside the canvas” and see where I can apply this concept.

    August 15, 2013
    • Conchitina Miguel

      Many thanks Keena – especially coming from you, who has thought
      about all of this!

      August 16, 2013
  • Mike Mann

    Very interesting article and super insight into how to seriously make it as an artist. The creative use of the democratic artists run non-profit exemplifies what a motivated group, lucky enough to have some inspired leadership, can do to succeed. As an art lover, I more and more find entering art galleries as an intimidating cold experience. An activity that one time in my life was an enjoyment has now become one that I often pass on. I enjoy community art centres, places where the profit motive exists but where creativity seems to rule over that necessity of making a living. Where there exists the creativity feeling in the marketing execution, and where a warm human touch can be felt, I for one, am more likely to be attracted to participate as audience and supporter. Where there is intensity of promotion feeling, which is often the case in some galleries, I will more likely quickly pass through or not at all, no matter how much I may be attracted to the gallery contents. I am personally not one investing in art for investment sake. I feel fortunate to know some artists who do fine impressive art whose art may never be great “art investment”. Nevertheless, to me, the combination of knowing or meeting the artist on a human level, and liking (loving) the art they do, is the combination that most influences me to make an art purchase. And after the purchase, I feel I have not only the inspired piece of art in my home or office, but an object that resinates with warm memories of the creative soul that created the object who also shares this human existence in a very different way than myself that I admire.

    August 17, 2013

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