Business of Art class descriptions

About your instructor: 

Emily Watson-Rice has been working in the Chicago art world for over 20 years. Beginning her career as the Manager of the Kohl Museum she went on to become the teaching artist at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Manager of the Marshall Fields Fine Art Gallery, and Director & Curator of Atlas Galleries. Simultaneously she built her own successful company, Gossamer Arts; an art consulting company that trains artists in the business of art and an e-commerce store selling art pedestals and picture lights. Emily is also an accomplished dancer and artist. She creates unique lace dyed silk veils for fellow belly dancers all over the world. And as a member of the International Mezzotint Society, she has exhibited her mezzotint prints at several museum & gallery exhibitions worldwide. 

ABA 101: Art Business for Artists 

This workshop is your introduction art business for artists with tips and insights on how to price your art, negotiate with clients, submit work to galleries, sell your art online and where to go for professional help with taxes, contracts, etc.

ABA 201. In Depth: Setting prices, discounting & negotiating

Do you struggle to set a reasonable price for your art and therefore struggle to defend that price? Have you ever been flustered, offended, or dumbfounded when a potential collector offered you less than your asking price? And what do you do when the gallery or shop that is selling your work decides to have a sale?

 

This workshop goes in-depth on how to set your prices and test them.  We will also cover the ins and outs of offering a discount, running a sale, or negotiating the price one-on-one with a potential collector.  In addition to lectures & discussions, students will work together to role play and test out their negotiating skills in a safe, non-judgemental & constructive environment.  Get comfortable with being uncomfortable, because as anonymous said "Outside your comfort zone is where the magic happens" 

ABA 202. In Depth: The sales cycle

This workshop goes in depth into the entire sales cycle that starts with your first contact with a potential collector, through the 8 step presentation, follow up, closing the sale, and post-sale follow up. Each step in the process is important, but some steps will be more or less critical depending on the specific collector and situation.  Learn to effortlessly handle each step and take charge of the conversation to move it along to the next step. Learn how to take a one time buyer and turn them into a life long collector of your work. In addition to lectures & discussions, students will work together to role play and test out their greeting & presentation skills in a safe, non-judgemental & constructive environment.  Get comfortable with being uncomfortable, because as anonymous said "Outside your comfort zone is where the magic happens" 

ABA 203. In Depth: Galleries, Call for Artists, & Alternative Exhibition Spaces

Is your art a job or a hobby? Do you want it to be a job or a hobby? Do you want galleries and collectors asking you to create works based on what has sold well previously? Or do you want to only create what you are inspired to do at that moment, regardless of its marketability?

 

 

In this workshop, we will go in depth into the many different places you can sell your work. These primarily break down into two categories: 1. Create whatever you like or 2. Create what sells.  Neither is right or wrong, but you will learn what is expected in both and how to decide what is right for you and your long term goals. Gone are the days of romanticizing the starving artist's lifestyle or being labeled a sell out because you decide to put food on the table.  Well, not gone entirely but we will also address how to set goals, determine what works best for you, and then press on doing what you need to do, and to hell with what anyone thinks. Students learn as much from each other as they do from me so please come ready to share your thoughts and ideas in a safe, non-judgemental & constructive environment.  Get comfortable with being uncomfortable, because as anonymous said "Outside your comfort zone is where the magic happens" 

ABA 204 1&2. In Depth: The Wild Wild West of the Internet

The internet age seemed to sneak up on the art world.  But now the art world seems to finally be catching up.  As artists & galleries struggle to find their place in this new world they have all experience some growing pains.  Many galleries have gone out of business, many more have created online stores, or gone online entirely and the traveling art fair has become the big alternative to a stationary gallery.  Artists are finding new audiences for their work through Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and other social media networks.  And many of these artists are finding they no longer need a gallery or agent to be successful.

 

In this two-part class, we will go in depth into how to get your artwork into an online gallery, how to get a bigger buying audience on social media and how to build your own website easily in under an hour. In addition to lectures & discussions, students are encouraged to bring a laptop to start creating social media connections and their website in class.  For students without access to a laptop will we be working the old fashioned (and arguably better) way: pre-planning with paper and pencil.  

 

In part two of this class, students will continue working at home to build their website, social media campaigns & if ready, submit their art to some online galleries.  In the second class, we will look at what the students have worked on and through discussion and critiques make it even better.  Students learn as much from each other as they do from me so please come ready to share your thoughts and ideas. This is a safe, non-judgemental & constructive environment where students are encouraged to take risks and make mistakes.  Get comfortable with being uncomfortable, because as anonymous said "Outside your comfort zone is where the magic happens" 

ABA 205. In Depth: Running Your Business & Building a Strong Team

Can you do it all yourself? Are you comfortable being artist, agent, accountant, lawyer, framer and everything else? Or would you rather focus on your art and let someone else handle all the minutia?  Do you hate the idea of a gallery taking 40%-60% of each sale or are you the type of artist who believes half of something is better than all of nothing?

 

In this workshop, we will go in depth into evaluating your strengths and weaknesses and then building a strong team around your weaknesses so you can focus on your strengths. Through various exercises students will discover how they work best: should they be art entrepreneurs running their own small business or focused artists who hire others to run the business and shield them from distractions, or somewhere in between. Students will learn about the types of professionals typically used by artists, the costs you can expect and what these professionals typically do that justify their fees.  We will discuss where to find the right skilled professionals for your unique needs and how to interview them to make sure they're a good match for you.  Students will create their own small business road map to figure out where they need assistance as they follow their individual path to achieving their goals. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable, because as anonymous said "Outside your comfort zone is where the magic happens" 

ABC 101. Art Business for Collectors

One of the biggest struggles art collectors face today is what to do with the art you no longer want to display?  There is a big misconception that all artwork will go up in price so you should be able to sell it for more than you paid for it.  The reality is most artwork loses value as trends and tastes change.  Very few artists become investment quality artists like Rembrandt, Warhol or Banksy. So does this mean you paid too much for your artwork? No, it doesn't, as long as you bought it for the right reasons.

 

In this workshop, collectors will learn how to determine if the price of a work of art is right for them and how to negotiate with the gallery or artist on the price.  We will then go in depth into what to do with the art you're no longer enjoying such as: getting a current appraisal, making sure you have all the accompanying paperwork, how and where to research the current market to get a realistic idea of what you can sell your art for, where are the best places to list your art for sale based on what it is or who the artist is and finally how to create a listing that will make your artwork stand out.

 

By the end of this workshop, collectors should be able to confidently buy artwork at the right price, and be able to easily sell any artwork they are no longer enjoying.

Private Lessons & Consulting 

Sometimes you want one-on-one coaching, or maybe you can't make any of the classes, or perhaps you have questions about areas of the art business that aren't covered in these workshops.  Whatever the reason, I am available for one-on-one consulting or private small group classes.  Please contact me to discuss your needs and we'll work out the perfect solution and time for you.  CALL or EMAIL

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