Hey friends, and happy South Dakota winter! It can get mighty cold here on the prairie, can’t it?
If you wanna warm up your insides, I recommend checking out the art that the Washington Pavilion has on display at the moment. (A little while ago I did a post about what was up then, so I’ll spend more time on the new stuff. That article is here).
Ok, so let me give you the tour. I’ll start with the main floor, which the Pavilion calls the Second Floor on its Visual Arts Center handout, and I’ll also divide it up by gallery.
Over the last few weeks we’ve talked about rejection, communication, and the importance of contracts. By now you might be exhausted. I assure you we’re nearly done. Before I set you free to go sell your work we need to cover what goes into your contracts.
Meet Lindsay Twa, an Associate Professor of Art and Director of the Eide/Dalrymple Gallery at Augustana University. She holds a B.A. in studio art and music from Concordia College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in art history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on African-American art and the Black Diaspora, Haiti, and the economic structures of the art world. She has curated nearly 70 exhibitions and her recent book, Visualizing Haiti in U.S. Culture, was published with Ashgate in spring 2014. After a long hiatus, she is back in the studio again and enjoying, as she puts it, the struggles of being a beginner printmaker.
Twa is married to Dr. Mark Larson, an Associate Professor of Biology at Augustana College, where he teaches Pharmacology and Biochemistry. The two love to travel. Before arriving at Augustana, Mark was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Birmingham in the UK. Being there for three years allowed them to travel throughout Europe, Turkey, Egypt and Israel frequently.
In 2001, after reading Katie Alvord’s book, Divorce Your Car, the Twa family began a “car light” experiment—driving a car once a week or less. From 2003 until 2010, they went “car free.” While they returned to owning a car once their son was three months old, they continue to try and be as “car light” as possible by remaining a single-car family.
Twa describes herself as a serious, but amateur, distance athlete. On top of finishing 8 marathons, including the Snowdonia Mountain Marathon in Wales, she has completed two triathlons, and biked across the state of Iowa as a part of RAGBRAI. In 2007, she was an inaugural member of the Central Plains Cycling team and completed races around the Upper Midwest.
“I was the #3 woman in SD that year, though that tells you how few women were racing at the time!” said Twa.
While she finds herself in a range of roles, Twa says her newest and most favorite role of all is being a mother. She and her husband have two boys, Alexander (5) and Isaac (3).
“The days are full, but life has never been so colorful and wondrous,” she said.
Last week we talked about rejection. But let’s step back into the light and assume you’ve nailed it. That potential client is ready to be a client. Can I say, “booyah?” No. Stop celebrating for a moment. This is the most dangerous point of working with a client, in my opinion. Before you can move forward, you must a establish a contract with the client. Here’s a secret: all four of us have made the mistake of not using a contract before. “Contract” can be a spooky word. It’s binding. But it’s protection for both you and the client. So take some time to put together a comprehensive contract that conveys all the agreements that were made in negotiating the project.
Once you’ve both signed and agreed to the contract you can get to work. Sometimes re-negotiations happen. But that’s an article for another time. Just remember, moving from potential client to official client can happen in mere minutes and you need to stay on your game, and conduct yourself professionally.
If you’re thinking you’re ready to start selling your work then you are a professional. Something Travis and I concluded was, “you may not have mastered your field yet, but if you’re selling, you are a professional. Never be afraid to acknowledge that about yourself.” Conducting yourself professionally will ensure better work and happier clients. There are bad clients, rejections, and dry spells, but you should always strive to be a good service/product provider. In doing so, you’ll see fewer things fall apart, with more things coming together.
Pro Tip: I can’t stress the importance of contracts enough. It’s a professional relationship you’re building and you want to protect that as much as possible. If you want to see an example of negotiating a contract, watch this Strip Search Episode. (May not be suitable for all audiences)
Get yourself comfortable with communicating with your audience.
I’ll get more into what needs to be in your contracts next week, in our final article, “Contracts and Closing Words”.
Art is about the passion. But it’s undeniable that the more we earn from it, the more we can focus on building it not only as a craft, but as a business. There are so many of us ramping up our artwork, we’re starting to reach out to turn it into commissions and other paid work.
Most potential clients work with me on comics or illustration projects, but recently I was approached about an animation project. My excitement over jumping into something I haven’t done in a while set me up for a sloppy client interaction. I was hungry for work and didn’t prepare myself for the best interaction. This mentality isn’t uncommon.
When attending an art show, there’s a slight chance that you’ll walk through the door and be a little lost. There’s a lot of excitement, conversation, and usually loads of free beer. Mix that all together and it can get rather confusing. Do I try to compliment the artist and their work? Do I fix my gaze on the art and block out the rest?
Are you ready to be intrigued? Because I sure as hell was earlier this month when I got a call from TJ Donovan. A Sioux Falls native, TJ is the curator for the Sioux Falls segment of the 2nd Annual Terrain Biennial, which is an international exhibition of site specific art made for front yards, balconies and porches. The Biennial is supported by a 2014 Propeller Fund Grant, the Guggenheim Foundation and a community supported Hatchfund Campaign.
Did you know JAM gets new art and craft supply donations every day? I have said many times, “everyone has a donation.” But I didn’t actually realize that donations would be pouring in our doors faster than we can put them away. Which brings me to the first thing I wanted you to know:
1. Lately, fabric has been stacking up. That is why we’re having a fabric swap.
2. The goal for us is to entice you with getting rid of fabric you have never used in return for new fabric for your next projects. But actually, what we’d really like is for you to fill up a bag of fabric in exchange for $10. That way you don’t actually have to part with any of your coveted fabric stash.
3. There is a lot of quilting fabric. I have fabric on almost every free surface in the store. Some of this is holiday, and we’ll be putting that away until the right season rolls around. In addition to our seasonal fabric, if you don’t take this fabric home we’ll have to put most of this fabric into our warehouse. Which is sad, don’t make me do that.
4. This is happening starting today, Thursday, May 14 through next week Tuesday. After Tuesday our normal price on fabric will continue. Did you know that normally our fabric is priced by you? We’re the only store in town that allows customers to truly name their price for a product.
5. I’m not sure when this will be happening again. If this goes well, it’s something we could do quarterly, or more. To ensure this is successful for all of us, please let at least one person know about this who could benefit from getting some cheap fabric. Close your eyes and imagine the joy that person will receive from you telling them about all of the patterns and colors here at JAM’s Fabric Swap; share this post with the share buttons above or below.
/zēn/ – noun (informal); a magazine, especially a fanzine
A zine is similar to a magazine, but usually smaller in size and publication, and of the DIY variety. Tomorrow night is the release of a new zine, Skullmore, which is catered towards the creatives of South Dakota. Skullmore is a collection of art, poetry, music, short stories and feature articles on galleries and businesses that support the arts community. The zine will feature full-color artwork and full-color covers, setting it apart from the traditional straight-from-the-copier zines. The five different covers feature the work of [from L-R in the picture below] Mercedes Nelson, Zach DeBoer, Marc Wagner, Lindy Wise, and Sharon Wagner-Larson.
Exposure Gallery and Studios will host a launch party for the zine in their back gallery from 6-9PM, which will exhibit original works featured in the first issue. This publication is thoughtful, cohesive, and FREE! Combined with the free beer that Exposure offers at their First Friday show, this could be a pretty cheap date for all your romantics out there.
The zine accepts all submissions related to the arts, and is curated by several individuals within the Skullmore family. For questions or content submissions, please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.