Thursday, May 28, 2009

On Making Art And Money

The Unconventional Guide To Art + Money is an hybrid e-book combining a 55-page text and about 200 minutes of audio in three MP3 recordings (with transcripts). According to its creators, Chris Guillebeau and Zoƫ Westhof, it attempts "to break down the difference between successful and unsuccessful art marketing" and "offers a range of materials to help you supersize your career in the arts (if you want one) or begin earning money from your art". Mostly, it's an overview of ideas and perspectives on managing a working life from nine visual artists, more than half based in the U.S.A.
I was one of the three or four invited to offer a non-US perspective. I was also asked about how and why I chose to work outside the traditional gallery system and what it took to maintain an active presence online through a web site, blog and selected social networks. "I’ve noticed that some artists have a hard time talking about money. What’s up with that?" writes Chris Guillebeau – I wasn't one of them.
The Guide comes in two versions, the basic 'Starving Artist' at $US35 and the 'Picasso' at $US58. Neither is cheap. For further information or to order, visit Chris Guillebeau's heavily trafficked blog, The Art Of Non-Conformity. My audio interview can be found here, its transcript here.


Chris Guillebeau said...

Thanks, Hazel - I really appreciate you contributing to the project and posting this up.

You're right, you weren't hesitant to talk about money at all, and I think all of the readers will benefit from that. I especially liked your unconventional perspective.

All the best,


Queen Vee said...

Hooray Hazel! Hooray Chris! :D

Paul Martin said...

That is a very good listen. Your intelligent answers are clear and matter-of-fact and I think your perspective is not only "unconventional" but very grounded. I hope that you find something in your life to be driven about other than art, because relationships outside of work are also important. I was about your age (nearly 32) when lesson that came crashing down on me. Take that last comment with a grain of salt, because I acknowledge that each person's life is their own.

But I digress. The comments you made that connected with me most was that the galleries are an obstacle, a middle-man that impedes the relationship between artist and buyer (or collector or whatever).

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing, Hazel

Sarah Marie Lacy said...

I absolutely love Chris Guillebeau and had no idea you were going to be in the Art + Money guidebook.

I was contemplating buying it, and now I am definitely going to.


d.edlen said...

Chris is so genuinely giving. It was cool to read your thinking. I really don't get the whole hang-up about talking about money and marketing and the business of art. Heck "Art For Art's Sake" by 10cc is one of my favorite songs. I'd rather be totally open about money and get an honest sense from people about how they value my art than keep it hidden and mysterious and ooo...


JenXer said...

The e-book was how I first found your blog, and I'm so glad you participated.
Before learning of your career, I had resigned myself to slog it out in the art world, following exactly the path one is "supposed to" in order to become a "success." Reading here, I started to see that there's another way, and it's okay to be dissatisfied with the traditional route.
I can't thank you enough for all that you have shared, in the e-book, and especially in your blog.