By Terri St.Arnauld & Betsy Denny
We attended a BigMedium Coffee Chat in early November. Jordan Gentry of Big Medium asked Susannah Morgan, a private art advisor (SKM Art Advising, Austin), questions related to the business of art, followed by audience questions. Here are some points we picked up.
- The Austin art community is inclusive and accepting. Tip: If you want to visit a studio, your chances of making that happen are very good.
- Collectors lean toward art that has a story or meaning. Tip: Do NOT change your art. It is better to be able to explain it.
- Your Artist’s Statement should tell the reader who you are, what you do, why you do it, and how you do it. If you are clear on this, you should be able to explain your work clearly. Tip: Do not use jargon or filler.
- You need to educate collectors and your artist’s statement is the best way to do that. Tip: Save the details for in-person discussions.
- Overall, abstract sells better than figurative, but there is plenty of room for both. Tip: Consider stylized figures in your work.
- Pricing should include all materials, your time (rated by experience and exposure), framing (if supplied), profit, and markup (if sold by someone taking a commission/fee). Tip: If your prices are on your website, a representative doesn’t have room to adjust.
- Pricing should be consistent, but variations can occur based on your career stage, resume, size, materials used, etc. Tip: Be able to very clearly explain why two works might vary in price, if it’s not obvious by looking at them.
An Art Advisor works with private and/or corporate collectors. That person uses their knowledge of art and artists to present work to these collectors, in the hope of selling it to them.