A number of you will have watched my recent Zoom Talk "How to be a Business Savvy Botanical Artist" for Julia Trickey's Botanical Art Talks.
Some of you asked questions - and the answers to these are contained in this blog post.
In addition, those who registered for this "sold out" talk should all by now have had a a chance to access the detailed presentation in notes format via the link sent to you.
A great book!
This would make a great book!
I thought so too as I was preparing the talk!
I'm going to give some thought to maybe creating one - possibly as an ebook.
Also I'm going to give some thought to whether I need an extra page on my website about what business savvy artists need to know about.
In the meantime there are two good places for artists to start to learn more about what they don't know they need to know!
The first thing it's essential to understand is.....
The Green Market
What is “green market”?
Essentially the "green market" is shorthand for the growing interest in all matters related to the environment, ecosystems, habitats, ecological matters, sustainability and the impact of climate change.
I gave as a practical example the fact many more people are now interested in a plant based diet - as vegetarians or vegans. I suggested that these might also be people who would be interested in hanging paintings of vegetables on their walls.
The green market can also impact on the materials you use to pack artwork to send to clients. I include a section of "green packaging" on my website which highlights eco-friendly packaging materials.
In essence, the more people are thinking about how they can be "green", the more you need to factor this your thinking about how you develop your art and them promote and package it.. It's not that you have to do it - but those who do may get a competitive edge.
(Think of it as being akin to when stores started selling online as well as in shops - because they could see this was going to become important over time).
Achieving the right balance between unique art and a portfolio career
How do you balance the need to be flexible and follow a number of work streams and the need to have a USP/distinctive?
Having a distinctive personal identity means it's easier to market what you do across different segments of the market - which may generate different income streams for you.
Your income streams come from the many different ways you can generate income from the knowledge you have accumulated and the art you produce.
A book about the legal aspects of being an artist
Is there a ‘go to’ book or organisation for the legal info/tax etc for artists?
There are various books on my Art Business Info for Artists website about different aspects of the art business. I've tried to give a flavour of how they vary in terms of how they are listed.
The main page is The Best Art Business Books for Artists & Designers
Dumbed down art
Katherine referred to dumbed down botanical art in the first session. Can she elaborate on what she considers this to be, and how to avoid this categorization?
This came up in relation to the way the "botanical art" and "botanical drawing" terms have been hijacked by illustrators who are NOT botanical artists or illustrators because it's 'fashionable or 'on trend'.
Thus they produce very basic artwork and call it botanical - so they can snaffle as many viewers as possible for their art - amongst those who know no better.
What I mean by this type of art is the type were an ellipse is drawn and attached to a line - and this is supposed to represent an indeterminate leaf on some sort of stem. It borders on cartoon art because it is so simplified.
This is not helped by art galleries and museums who have classes teaching botanical art in the same way. Without any expertise whatsoever in the term - which has a very specific meaning - which they have hijacked.
Those I referred to as producing such very basic art do NOT include those illustrators who produce simplified artwork - which includes correct features - for clients e.g. for posters or signage.
Do you (or other artists) have any strong recommendations for slick, efficient, cost- effective, (botanical) artist website design and build providers?
See my page about Options for Websites https://www.artbusinessinfo.com/options-for-websites.html which is part of a much bigger section about Websites for Artists.
I tend to recommend artists go for webware sites which they can service themselves (i.e. very easy to set up and use) - meaning
Wordpress is NOT an option I tend to recommend as it usually means you need more techie knowledge and skills to keep up to date with legislative changes and changes in operating systems etc. Plus if anything stops working there's nobody to hold your hand if it's a non-core part of the site.
How do you find Trade Buyers?
I answered this question in the talk and suggested that no artist should attempt to go anywhere near trade buyers until such time as they had:
However there are quite a few websites which do provide good advice about licensing and trade / wholesaling your art to the retail market (i.e. people who sell art to customers).
I told a story about how I went to The Autumn Fair held at the National Exhibition Centre just outside Birmingham. This is a major TRADE FAIR - held twice a year in the Autumn and Spring - which deals explicitly between the wholesalers and the retailers - for specific sectors - some of which are related to art e.g. home decor, greetings cards etc. I had to represent myself as a business to get in. It's not open to the public. You go to identify the companies who operate in the marketplace you are interested in and to find out their contact details. You do NOT disturb them while they are trying to sell to retailers!
Note the site now has a Sustainability Trail! (see Green Market above)
The experience was a major eye-opener in terms of
The dates of the next Fairs areI guarantee there will be equivalents in every country.
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