So first yesterday’s panel... Juliette had panelists Brian Clamp, from CLAMPArt here in Chelsea, Michael Mazzeo of Michael Mazzeo Gallery, Stephen Wilkes and Elinor Carucci, both photographers, as you probably know.
Juliette was awesome about peppering the panelists with tons of questions while also allowing the audience to throw out questions whenever we felt the urge. She started out, however, by running through a list and slide show of photogs who manage to do a bit of both commercial and fine art. Some on her list: Doug Menuez, Sandro, Emily Shur, David Robin, Michael Crouser, Michael Prince, and David Maisel.
She then posed numerous questions throughout the presentations by each panelist, which led to the following nuggets of info, some of which definitely comes across as a bit contradictory. For example the following:
*You must edition your work, but don’t edition it until you are actually seriously selling it with a gallery or widely on your own. [Huh?]
Well, seems that if you’re on your own and selling to private individuals or even randoms who buy off your website, just keep really good records so you know how many of each images you’ve sold and to whom for how much. That way, if and when you DO get a gallery, you’ll know that you might want to start the edition of one of your images at 5, for example, if you’ve sold 5 of that image at that size already.
Speaking of sizes….
*…don’t have too many different sizes. For example, if you are editioning your work, don’t have three different sizes with an edition of 25 each because you will make yourself look cheap. Granted, this might seem like funny logic to those who are new to the art world, but galleries try to create a scarcity of an artists work so that the price point can be higher, thus those small editions of 3 or 5. If you are selling your work on your own off your website or some other commercial website, that’s fine to have a larger edition, but keep in mind that should your work be there, a gallery may ultimately not be interested in you because there’s this sense that you’ve cheapened yourself by selling on a website that also “sells posters and tchochkes” as Michael Mazzeo so New York-ly put it.
*If you are showing your work to a gallery that has an open portfolio review policy (rarer and rarer these days) or at one of those organized portfolio reviews like Photo Lucida, Santa Fe, or Atlanta Celebrates Photography, it’s generally better to “show one solid body of work instead of 20 prints from a variety of different series.”
*Get as much serious criticism as you can from people outside your immediate peer group, whether you like what they have to say or not.
*Mailers to galleries are fine, but know that there is a glut of them, so they may never even get seen.
*If you happen to be selling your work off your website, don’t post your prices on your website.
*Brian Clamp said that rather than receiving a mailing from you, he’s much more likely to be interested in your work if someone like Amy Stein writes about your work on her website or blog, or Joerg Colberg writes about your work on his blog. [Uh yeah, good luck with that….]
*If you are editioning (and a gallery will usually help you figure this out once they’ve signed you), the whole Artist Proof thing becomes important at keeping the edition limited. So, if you’ve got an edition of 5, only 1 AP is customary. If the edition is up to 20, then maybe 3 or 4 APs are ok.
*In terms of printing a whole edition at once, no worries….all the panelists agreed that it would be illogical to do so, given today’s lack of storage space and cost of ink and paper, not to mention the fragility of inket prints, even if they are archival pigment ink. IF, however, you’re still in the darkroom then that’s a whole different scenario and you might want to get all those prints done while you’re still able to buy the chemicals! WORD.