Well, I don't have a job that brings in a regular paycheck right now. I am getting unemployment compensation while I try to find one of those gigs with a steady paycheck. I send out applications almost every day and I know it's a numbers game and that eventually I will land something.
But until that day comes, I have other jobs that are not as remunerative on a steady basis but that manage to keep me amused and\or intellectually engaged. For example, I fancy myself something of a 'day trader' (not to be confused with a 'day tripper') and so I spend a couple hours each day researching and trading stocks in our retirement and investment accounts. So far, I am sorry to say, the market has not recognized my brilliance. While I have made some modest gains since being laid off in October, I am nowhere near being able to make ends meet based on what I make from day trading. Oh, some days, I make more than enough for that day. Other days, I lose a little bit. Result is that I don't make enough of a steady profit to survive long-term without a gig that pays regularly. (Those of you who notice my use of musical metaphors should know that one reason I stayed in Los Angeles was to try to get a career going in music. That did not work out as I had hoped for a variety of reasons.)
Another job that I am really starting to love is serving as manager of Alma's art career. The first thing I did in pursuit of this was to build a website\virtual gallery for her (http:\\www.almasartasylum.com). I have spent the past couple months getting the site set up and populated with images of some of her recent creations and learning how to administer and manage email. This week I started emailing gallery owners about Alma's work to find out how to get a show for her. So far, no gallery owner has responded to my emails. And so, today, I started thinking that maybe I don't have the faintest idea what I'm doing.
Not to worry, though. One of the places Alma and I had visited in person some time back offers a class for those starting to market and promote their art. Called 'TheWhole9,' the place has a physical art gallery but also functions something like an artists' collective where artists can set up a virtual gallery\presence online and where I had already built a presence for Alma (www.thewhole9.com/almabryan). So today I signed up for the class 'Get Hung' to be held on Saturday, January 22 from 1-4 p.m.
I have so many questions for this class. Here's a good one: how do you ask a gallery owner to show the works of the artist you manage? I have noticed that many galleries have an explicit statement on their websites that they do not accept 'unsolicited submissions.' So I have been deliberately avoiding approaching those galleries when I see such sentiments expressed. But even if a gallery is willing to consider unsolicited submissions, is the best way to approach them via email, by phone, in person with a physical portfolio or just what.
Speaking of physical portfolios, one question I will try to answer is whether the art world has gone totally digital now. If it has and the physical portfolio is now a relic of a bygone era, do artists do their own virtual portfolios or do they hire them done with a professional photographer? And, if the art world retains the idea of a physical portfolio for professional artists, how are these portfolios arranged? Are works showed chronologically, thematically, by genre or by some other organizing principle?
Depending on what comes out of this class, Alma and I will be deciding whether to purchase a higher-quality camera as an investment in the business, whether to continue doing as we have done with our existing photographic technology or whether to hire a professional photographer. It will be interesting to find out a little more about the business side of the art world. If I can't be Vincent, at least I have a shot at being Theo.