LAST EDITED ON 06-Dec-00 AT 11:56 AM (PST)
I think I am getting the point. I maybe not composing my question clearly.
For example I am commissioned to paint a mural - at first, client wants me to produce a proposal - concept sketch, price, timeline, etc. After that client makes a decision if he/she can afford it.
I had a few situations when I have went to the appointment just to learn that potential client had no idea of what it takes and may cost, but I already spent time on putting the proposal together and this is not free. I charge for concept development "on the spot".
And that what, in turn, frustrates me - people think that artists have to be satisfied with just the attention and do all the work free or close to free.
So now I ask the new client on the phone "Are you ready to invest over $..... into your mural?" It may sound rude, but believe me it is less insulting than to give the person, face to face, the price he/she can not pay and bill for my time spent during the appointment.
Another "illustration" - when I teach painting class, at first I paint together with students, correcting their work and teaching them to "see" the form and composition, working from the drawing and imagination and not yet from the model. (drawing is done from the model and ajusted from imagination/memory)
Basically this method is showing them what they will have to spend (time wise) and this is a lot in short period of time (they dont have to try to make an exact copy and I also take the brush when the student is "stuck"), but I also show them that it can be done "at ease".
Only after that, and if they are ready for the commitment, I let them "transport" the object of painting or work from nature. I did not have anyone say "This is too much for me!" and usually student commits to more lessons he/she planned to take at the beginning. I can send them to books, but what I have found - "Most of the time they do not know how to read or understand them." often thinking - "This is complicated and time consuming, I should wait with it" or the worst is "This is too much - I will skip this, and that, and that too - I just want to paint and have fun!" They do it and fail and another stuck of art supplies is carefully packed in the closet.
Last example - Five years ago I was looking for someone to build me a website. I called a few web-design companies and asked them how much it will cost. I got the answer $50 per hour. I asked - "OK. How many hours will it take?" "We do not know", was the reply, it depends on what kind of the web site, how many pages, etc., etc., Very confusing - How the hell would I know? What kind of the site will bring the result? How my site should look to satisfy my expectations?
I rephrased the question. It looked like that "I am an artist and need a website that would be functional, interactive, with potential to grow into the community, also the subject of the website is unique - fresco and since there are no other sites on this subject, whatever we create should have the potential to become an educational outpost. How much my budget should be to engage your company?" I started to get real numbers all of them were in $25,000 - $75,000 range. (the whole shopping thing took me 2 hours)
I could not afford that but that put a value on my plan, so I went and hired web-designer to teach me HTML and other web building skills. The rest is history.
Back to you, Geoffrey
This how I see the model of artist - art advisor relationship.
Artist question: How much will my "complete marketing" (brand name it) campaign cost as a minimum? Suppose I do all the work?
Art advisor: One million! Realistically, you will need $...... to cover all the bases. I can help you with targeting your campaign, coaching, etc. We can start with professionally set up "initial" plan that you must complete before we can start on the campaign, this plan will also include the general budget for (visual, performing, other artist (select one). The "initial" plan fee is $...
Artist needs to be told how much? what? when? in which order?
Like in "art technique book" scratch coat + rough coat + brown coat + float (arriccio) coat + sinopia + skim (intonaco)+ underpainting + tone values and shadows + colour + detail = fresco is painted - we used to it. Our mind is more receptive this way.
Good decorative painting and faux-finish books have everything from step by step techniques to material vendors listings and sample business records, pricing tables, sample contract, marketing strategies, etc.
Why fine art marketing should be different?
Check out this one "Professional Painted Finishes" by Marx (not Karl) Whitney Library of Design, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York 1991 $60
>You should figure out a yearly
>ammount that you will spend
>on advertising, direct mail, promotions(portfolio,
>office costs, travel, etc. Once
>you have a figure to
>work with give it a
>try and see how realistic it is.
This is exactly what I and most of the artists that I know are needed to be told/answered - you need to spend $..... anythig less - You are wasting your time! And you can give us this answer, Geoffrey - you have experience and knowledge of other artist's career expenses.
I can try to find it myself, but it would be like going to car dealership for the car, asking "how much is this one?" and be sent to engineering school to find out on your own how much the car will amount to. Or telling my client - "take my fresco workshop and then make me an offer?".
I hope I did not say anything stupid! If I did, please forgive me.