Episode 143 – Making It in the Art World by Brainard Carey / Starting Your Own Nonprofit Organization

Starting Your Own Nonprofit Organization

This may seem like a tall task, but starting an organization or even a temporary project can lead to a new income stream. The way I began my first business when I got out of undergrad school was to first send out a letter asking for money for what I was about to do. That means before I did anything other than have an idea to start a gallery, I thought about sending out letters to everyone who would be interested and asked them to support this idea. I will tell you more details, but essentially, you are producing something of value to everyone—a gallery, a temporary school, a public sculpture, or whatever it is—and you are asking people to give you funding for their own edification and pleasure. If that sounds large, bring down the scale of it to something more manageable. Once you decide on what you want to do—let’s say you are opening a nonprofit gallery—you have to find your audience, your mailing list.

One way to get a head start is to think about who has a mailing list of people you would like to write to. That might be a local museum or a newspaper or a local magazine. Now the key is this: how are you going to get that mailing list? Most people do not share their lists, but they are all open to deals. I was having a show once at a nonprofit gallery who told me they had proposed a mailing list swap with a major museum that they actually got. So even though a policy states that they do not share mailing lists, sometimes that is not the case. If you are about to launch an idea of any kind and need support, finding another related institution that is sympathetic will help. If you are starting a gallery as in this example, who could you work with and either get a list from or somehow “use” their list? Well, think about local wine merchants, food retailers, caterers, and framing shops. You may use all their services at some time, so they are potential partners for you to work with. You could begin by simply talking to the owner of each business and telling them about your idea and asking them to be part of it.

If you are starting a gallery that is not only about making a profit but have an educational or social mission, then you have an interesting idea that people may want to support. You can explain that you want to start this gallery, it will be called X, and you imagine that it will help the community to understand more about art and why it is important. Get excited about the idea as you are talking about it, and others will get excited too. The people you are talking to will have ideas perhaps, but here are a few.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 142 – Making It in the Art World by Brainard Carey / Contacting the Business You Are Interested In

Contacting the Business You Are Interested In

If you are trying to develop an income stream like this, you have to write a letter and introduce yourself to a business or corporation. It is OK if you are awkward at first; the main thing is to be bold and try out your idea. However, if you want extra help, I would talk to someone who works in the corporate environment and has experience communicating with businesses. It could be a friend or relative, or you could look for someone. When I was trying to start a company based on representing other artists in the corporate world, I put a notice on Craigslist. I made an ad that  said  I  was  starting  a  company  that  involved  artists and corporate environments, and I was looking for someone who could help me—someone with an MBA degree. I was more specific, but you get the idea. Then I interviewed several people about it. I didn’t end up hiring anyone, but I learned an enormous amount by talking to them. One person told me how to put together a “book” as a proposal for the corporations. He offered to do it for me at a cost of about $1,500. I didn’t take him up on that, but I understood what was needed. I learned more about what language to use and how to approach a corporate or business client. You could certainly use this same method to develop your income and your ideas.

You will learn a lot in this particular kind of process, and it could take you to many places you never thought possible. Like the rest of this book, it is about conducting yourself like a professional. Do you have an idea? Want to start a company or be an artistic director of some kind? Then reach for it! The way people do it, like the case I just mentioned, is by putting into words what they want. That is why you are reading this book, but also, you can seek out the advice of people who are already in the position you want to be in, or a business person who can help you present yourself, by looking over what you have written. In the workbook, you will do an exercise based on this, but for now, we will move on to another possible income stream.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 141 – Making It in the Art World by Brainard Carey / Corporate Culture

Here is another excerpt from an interview with emergetrends.com.

What were some of the criteria you considered when crafting not just the programming but the overall feel of this highly unconventional marketing program with Starbucks?

The fact that brands are participating in contemporary culture is now a given. Starbucks produces and distributes movies, music, books.

Even Bob Dylan recently released albums through Here Music, Starbucks’s music label. Starbucks, like other brands, is changing the dynamics of contemporary culture, which is why I came up with the slanted gallery installation downstairs, where all the angles of the walls were off, as a literal reaction to this phenomenon.

Corporate Culture

You can see he can speak to corporate culture, and that is one of his talents. He talks about “brands” being involved with contemporary culture and how he can expand on that. He has been able to connect with a culture he understands. When he writes to them, he is talking about why they are already in this market and how he understands their interests. This is subtle in some ways, but very important. I write in other parts of this book about how to meet people that can help you and to find out what they want to hear or what their interests are that you are part of. It is like what the private banker told me, “You must find out what the person or institution wants.” It is a rule of thumb for many business people. If you are trying to make a new relationship, there has to be something in it for the person you are trying to meet! In the case of the curator/designer I am mentioning here, he has the ability to talk the corporate language that gets him in the door. This is something that you can acquire fairly easily. First, if you understand the rules of the game, companies are not looking to sponsor art exhibits usually; they are looking for innovative ways to make more money and have a higher public profile.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 140 – Making It in the Art World by Brainard Carey / How to Get Experience

How to Get Experience

What he did next was to go out and meet more artists at gallery openings. He met some that he liked, looked at their websites, and downloaded images that represented the artists. Then he printed out many of those images and made a portfolio of the artists he liked. He went to different stores—Diesel was one of them—and said he wanted to curate a show in their space. He told them it would bring in more people, create more publicity for them, and raise their profile in the arts. He was dealing with a major store, a corporation, so after he asked around and submitted a proposal, he didn’t hear for several months. Then he got the job. They were paying him to curate a show, the first one he had ever curated! This alone is the envy of thousands of curators who graduate every year from prestigious schools, armed with knowledge, but not a plan! He continued to do this kind of work. He used the press he had gotten from Diesel and asked other stores and companies the same thing. Only two years later, I saw him at Art Basel Miami Beach, and he was promoting a book that he curated himself. He asked a group of artists to each rework a masterpiece, and he called the book Remastered.

Life

Ambition

Since then he has been doing curatorial projects for all kinds of companies and calls his curatorial business “Formavision.” He says, “Through Formavision, I have curated the AQUOS Project for Sharp, the Denim Gallery for Diesel, the Starbucks Salon for Starbucks, Construkt for Girbaud, among other things, and am now also developing projects for Coca-Cola and Toyota.” Pretty impressive for a guy with no art background, don’t you think? And this is a job title you will not find in any art college. He created this job, this income stream. After he put together a show for Starbucks, where he chose the artists that were to be in the café and a few performers, he also started to design the whole show, how the works would be hung, the color of the paint on the walls, everything! Now his job title has shifted again; he is an exhibition designer as well as an interior designer because now he can redesign your space as well.

Incredible, isn’t it? He built a whole company out of a passing interest that got him excited. You could certainly do the same, but what does he know that you might not know? For one, he has a background in marketing and brand recognition. That means when he writes to Starbucks or another business, he doesn’t just tell them his idea; he talks about branding and what is good for their company.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 139 – Making It in the Art World by Brainard Carey / Become a Curator and Get Paid

Become a Curator and Get Paid

Here is a story I found amazing at the time, and it is an excellent example of developing an income stream from the arts by being a curator and thinking outside the box. I once met a guy who was curating exhibits at Diesel jeans stores. As an artist, I was interested because he said he wanted a proposal and would pay for an installation! That is not something you hear often as an artist, so I was very curious. I sat down with him and asked him how he got this job and his history in the arts. This is what he told me. He was working in the marketing department at Revlon, and he decided to quit his job because it wasn’t interesting anymore and he was bored with it. He wasn’t sure what to do next, so he shared an apartment with a roommate in Brooklyn. At the time, his roommate was an artist and he was interested in what he was doing and asked him questions. His artist roommate told him that it was difficult to get a gallery, and he wanted to have a show and sell some work.

After thinking about it for a few days, he asked the artist why he didn’t just have a show in their little apartment. He said it was too small and no one would come. So my friend told the artist he would take care of it and try to get sponsors as well! And this is what he did. He announced a show at the apartment, started to tell everyone about it, and then he went to different liquor companies and asked them to sponsor the event. And as I have said before, incredible things can happen when you ask. He did indeed get alcohol sponsors, and in fact, his friend sold some art as well. He was so excited by this that he decided he wanted to make his new career about curating in the art world. Now remember, he had no experience at all in the art world, was introduced to art through his roommate, and now wants to make his living there!

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 138 – Making It in the Art World by Brainard Carey / The Business Model

The Business Model

The business in itself is really very straightforward, but many consultants will vary in the way they work. If you present yourself as a small business, very professional and together, you will get their attention. They are not judging you or evaluating your work. They are just trying to make sales to their many clients. So if your work is organized, and you are reliable and ship things quickly, then you will do well here, most likely. However, once you learn how to work with consultants, there is another choice: You can be one yourself. That’s right, without any special knowledge, other than what it takes to choose art for different companies and establishing a business practice, this is a wide-open field for new players.

Imagine a scenario like this. After reading this book, you decide to work with a consultant. You write to dozens and dozens of them, you tweak your presentation, and within a year, you are feeling comfortable and start to earn a decent extra income. Now that you know the rules of the game, it is fairly easy to move up one step. Now you can work with their artists and represent their work to the clients directly! You know how consultants work and you can operate in the same manner. When approaching new clients, be businesslike and have your proposal ready and easy to understand. You do not have to take this path of course, but there is an option here. You can sell work to art consultants, but you can also be one yourself once you understand the business. These are options to consider as you look to new income streams.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 137 – Making It in the Art World by Brainard Carey / Generating Multiple Streams of Income

Chapter 7

Generating Multiple Streams of Income

This is the chapter in which I show you some of the many ways you can create different streams of income with your art. The reason I refer to “different streams” is that your artwork has several places in the market, and some you may know of but others you may not. There are also ways that have yet to be invented and are not unlike the models I identified in chapter 1. Those examples are ways of selling your art to the world in a creative way, with a new concept. You have read that chapter, so now I will devote time to some of the more traditional methods.

How to Introduce Yourself

Art Consulting

The first one is the business of art consulting. You may have heard of it, or perhaps have a whole different understanding of what it means, but for the purpose of this chapter, it is the business of selling art to a middle person who sells it to a corporation, hotel, hospital, or other public or private institution. No matter where you are in your career, this is at the very least another income stream you can add. It is by far the fastest way for artists to get money in their pockets, but it is not without effort. Like any new business, you have to learn the ropes and see what works for you. Very often, art consultants sell work on paper and other mediums to different clients, but unlike traditional galleries, they can handle many more artists because they have to sell work in bulk, filling entire buildings in many cases. They often sell more conservative work, but not always. Recently, many major buildings and institutions have come to want larger, more important art for permanent display. There is a huge market in Dubai at the moment that many art consultants are trying to get a piece of. There are two ways you can approach the art consultant and interior design market. You can either begin calling all the consultants right away as an artist and asking them if they are interested in selling your work. You will find out rather quickly just what work of yours they like and what they don’t. Also, you will learn to present yourself in a businesslike manner. If you want a list of art consultants, you can research them online.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 136 – Making It in the Art World by Brainard Carey / It Is about Changing Behavior

It Is about Changing Behavior

Before you embark on the workbook section next, keep in mind what this is all about. Time management is not exactly the right term; it is more like behavioral reprogramming or simply changing your behavior. It is about the way you act or react to certain stimuli. For some reason, changing our behavior seems like the hardest thing to do. Addictions of all kinds run through our lives, and in fact, we are being introduced to new ones all the time. The iPad, smartphones, new sweet foods, caffeinated beverages, apps, and the list will continue to grow. Like all good things, they are fine in moderation, but if they are taking over precious time that you could be using for something else, then change must come. I have a friend who wrote a book that turned out to be a bestselling diet book. It wasn’t just luck though; she is a very hard worker who is aware of her habits.

We were discussing effective work habits one evening when she confessed that there were some web games that she really liked to play in the evening, after work. She said at first, she was aware she was playing the games, but didn’t think much of it. As it grew more regular, and she checked in on her game each evening, she realized that the time she spent on the game was significantly adding up and it might be better spent on something else. Every day she is either writing, reading, or setting aside time to go out and play with her husband. To recognize that we are the masters of our time is powerful. Depending on your age, your perspective will shift on this issue. If you are over thirty years old, you already have some habits of living and relation- ships that you might think you can’t change because they are too established.

Behavioral Modification

Only experimenting and doing everything possible to change your behavior will tell you how much you resist or embrace certain techniques, but there are many behavioral programs that show us how effective it can be at changing your behavior at any age. The example that comes to mind is the very popular international program called Alcoholics Anonymous. As you may know, it is a program designed to change behavior. It also has a lot of support built in from others who are in the group. However, you are asked to change one behavior—you stop drinking. You may relapse or even start the group while you are still drinking, but the goal is to change your behavior. They don’t say for how long, just one day at a time. Also, you are not asked why you are drinking or what it is you are afraid of or anything else that has to do with the mind and what it is you believe about yourself. You are asked only to change the behavior of drinking. And as you may already know, this can start at a very young age, but many who are in AA start when they are over forty and make changes that last for a lifetime.

This is a good model to think about, because people are not only changing their behavior when they are older, they are also changing a very addictive behavior that sets a pattern for everything you do. So when you do something like stop drinking, it shifts everything in your life because now not only is there time for other things, but you see all those other things quite differently. You also see the value and possibilities in change itself. So this may be the beginning or middle of your journey in the art world, but you can always change the game plan no matter what age you are or what has happened in your  career.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 135 – Making It in the Art World by Brainard Carey / Make a Daily Contract

Make a Daily Contract

This was one of the first and most effective techniques I have used and still do. At the beginning of each day, start out by writing down a contract with yourself that is simple and doable. Write down a short list of things that if you accomplished, then you will feel good about yourself. There are a few stipulations to this contract that you are writing daily:

  1. Make your to-do list small—no more than four things on it!
  2. Agree that you will feel good if you accomplish those tasks.
  3. Put up the list where you can see it, like on the refrigerator or the computer.

At the end of the day, look at your list and tell yourself you did what you said you were going to do, and you feel good about that. Then write down a few thoughts about how you are feeling on a page, calling it your “time diary.” At the end of your first two-week period of managing your time this way, stop and look back at what has happened. Read over your daily diary about it. What worked?

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 134 – Making It in the Art World by Brainard Carey / Find the Problem, Fix It

Find the Problem, Fix It

This is another technique that will give you more control to design your time. Carry around a small pad with you from when you wake until you go to sleep. On this pad, write down the activities you have done and how much time you spent on them. Make it very brief. Like for what I am doing now—writing this book—I would say, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, writing the book; 2:00 to 3:00 pm, lunch; etc. Then do it for the entire day. There will be times when you are at the computer and you are supposed to be working and instead are doing several tasks, like checking email and looking at social networking sites like Facebook. Rather than write down the time as “work on the computer 2:00 to 6:00 pm,” try to be more specific. If you were web surfing, mention what sites you went to roughly and if you checked your email. If after doing this for a day you feel that it wasn’t accurate, do it for another day, even two days. Then look back on your notes and find where there are leaks. You know, like checking to see where the money is being spent? Check to see where you could have more time if an activity were changed. What is taking up most of your time? Write down those answers and it will help you to decide what to change next or what time slots are free.

Draw Anything Here

Don’t Answer the Phone

During one or more of your scheduled work periods, make an agreement with yourself not to answer the phone! The reason is probably obvious (it is a time waster), but it also is about behavior. All these time management techniques are for is change your behavior. That is why they are hard for most people, because even if we want to change our behavior, it isn’t always easy, and we need reminders, rewards, and proof that it is working and is also in our best interest. In this case, try not answering the phone during your thirty-minute work periods. You might hear the phone ring or see it, but ignore it, let it go to voicemail and call them back as soon as your session is over. This is easy and also a big relief once you get used to it.

There is nothing worse then getting all set up, ready to do your work, and then a phone call interrupts it all because someone needs to talk or someone needs something from you. Whatever it is, it can wait thirty minutes! As I was saying, all these ideas should feel new. If they are uncomfortable to do or you are resisting them, then we are right on track. That means we are going against the grain of learned behavior, and that is what we want to do in order to change.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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