Earning an income from your exhibitions, even nationally juried exhibitions: Ask Questions and be informed.

Tony Moffit’s Blog talks about the simplified Art Gallery Math to determine your income projection for the year. However, I feel my experiences have made me come up with deeper questions and considerations, concerning an artist’s income.

A huge problem I have is that a lot of the shows I enter seem to be more concerned with vanity than sales. Thus, I’ve learned to ask galleries who want to show my work the following questions:

1) When was the last time your gallery sold a piece? Their answers are often surprising.

2) What is the price range in which your artwork typically sells? This can help with what pieces you choose to show.

3) Will they promote you and to whom? They often have outdated lists. Sometimes they want you to provide them with a list of names.

4) What does the opening reception entail? One of the biggest surprises I’ve had is when a gallery asked me if I would bring something.

One nationally juried show curator yelled at me when I wanted to be informed. She told me that she’s been in nationally juried shows for ten years and has never sold a piece. Sometimes there are even greater surprises!

But the point is, it’s in the artists best interest to ask questions and be informed. Artist must take the reins of their own career, instead of relying on others for success.

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