Art as a Business

People think that being an artist is simple you just show up and paint, sculpt, write, act, dance, etc. Not so. To be successful, an artist needs to know the business side of art. Artists need to think of themselves as entrepreneurs and except the fact that the business side of art takes up a lot of time.

When I talk to young artists or even older artists, I am amazed that the business part of art is not something they think about. So, for starters I wrote an article on Art, Artists and Money that addresses a few of the basic business issues that artists need to think about.

Mary Baker

Artists as Political Activists

I have known a number of political activists and many of them are artists–painters, writers, filmmakers, actors, sculptors, graphic designers. This had me thinking about why artists make such good political activists.

One of the reasons I think is that artists make such good political activists is because they understand how to make something out of “just an idea.”

It takes a certain amount of audacity to be an artist, to actually take time and resources to make your idea concrete. This is also true of political activists.

Artists are persistent; it takes a willingness not to give up, against all odds, a trait absolutely necessary for people who want political things to happen.

Artists also can be non-conformists. Political activist go against the grain and this often is part of an artist’s personality.

Being a political activist has been my “hobby” for the last 6 years. I’ve started a local political blog. I’m interested to see if blogging is as successful for talking about local political issues as it is for talking about art.

Art Websites– Picklebird, an Art Magazine and Its “Trade Secrets”

I’ve been looking around the Web for art blogs or art websites that have information that would help artists and people who love the arts. I’ve been looking for sites that don’t take themselves too seriously (people in the arts can take themselves very seriously) and isn’t trying to sell you a commercial product.

I came across “Picklebird”, an alternative art magazine out of Los Angeles. Picklebird has a section called “Trade Secrets.” I may not agree with everything that’s in Picklebird’s Trade Secrets, but it makes for very interesting reading and has lots of helpful information.

Unfortunately Picklebird is “no longer flying”. It’s creators, however, have left the “bones” of the site up, including “Trade Secrets” for people to read and enjoy.

Mary Baker

Art, Painting, Shari Chandler–Contemporary Realism, an Internet Art Review

Shari Chandler’s artwork

When I found Shari Chandler website I longed to buy one of her paintings!

Shari Chandler has a background as a professional archaeologist and her love of the land and its heritage comes through in her paintings. The painting “Monument Valley: Solitude” is an example of her ability to capture the vastness and the stillness of a breathtaking vista. This is a subject matter that could easily be trite and badly painted, and yet Shari Chandler pulls it off.

The way I discovered Shari Chandler is a wonderful testimony to the World Wide Web. Another very talented artist, a Spanish artist, Isabel de Frias, has an astounding group of “Engles” or “Friends”, a pictorial group of artists that she likes on the web. And it was on Isabel’s website among the array of talented artists, some very well known and some unknown, that I found Shari Chandler.

Shari Chandler’s website

Shari Chandler’s website is a testimony that artists do not have to spend a fortune to have an effective presence on the World Wide Web. The website is a template, but it sets off her paintings beautifully and it is both warm and professional.

Even thought there is not a great deal of information about Shari Chandler, the artist manages to give the Web visitor an understanding of who she is. One of the best ways this is accomplished is through the picture and description of her studio. Here is the brief description that is on the artist’s website:

” Now living in southwestern New Mexico, Shari finds her inspiration in the landscape around her adobe home, which she designed, and shares with her husband and two dogs. Below is her studio, “Casita de la Tortuga,” or house of the turtle. Shari and her husband thought the name was appropriate because it takes so long for her to finish a painting.”

Starting Out-How to Price your art work

Many, many people who are just starting out, whether they are young or older, ask me this question, “How should I price my art work?”

The most ideal way is, if you are involved or represented by an art gallery, to ask the art gallery director how to price your artwork.

However, many people don’t have this opportunity.

What I tell people who are not involved with an art gallery is to start your prices low. You may feel that your art work is better than an artist whose work you see in an art gallery, but it doesn’t matter. That artist’s work is priced at a certain level because they have slowly worked up to that level, and the gallery feels that they can sell the artwork for that price.

My feeling is start very low, sell a lot of art work, build an audience and then gradually increase your prices as the demand for your artwork grows.

Mary Baker

Why do we Really Blog?

Why Blog? It’s a question that intrigues me.

1) Commercial reasons. People have figured out that blogging helps their websites in a number of ways to the point where blogging is now being abused and we now have splogging (spam-blogging). Bound to happen.

2) Opinions on all and sundry. Yes, of course.

3) Personal stuff for a variety of reasons. Absolutely.

4) Medium is easy and inexpensive to use. Even someone extremely un-techno-savvy can figure it out. (If I can, believe me, you can too.)

But why do we really blog?

So this is what is going around in my head about that question at the moment: In a fractured world, where families are scattered and often torn, maybe it’s a way for people to hope that someone witnesses their life.

I may be wrong, but I don’t think most people sit down at their computer and think, “Well, thousands of people are now going to read this post.” Most people think that maybe someone might read a post and are very surprised when a number of people do. I know I am.

Maybe blogging in its true sense, not its commercial use, is a way of connecting to a world that seems increasingly huge; a way of leaving a mark of some sort in a world, that because of the Internet, is obviously and overwhelmingly bigger than the street and neighborhood where we live.

Maybe blogging is an attempt to make the vast and impersonal Internet, personal; a way to try and gain some control over what is the increasingly uncontrollable (Google–8 billion pages and growing.)

An interesting question– “Why do we really blog?”