Showing your artwork in cafes or restaurants or other public spaces

is a very business oriented action. By this I mean you are entering in to a contract with another business owner to perform a service, which is supplying artwork for their walls. In supplying artwork for their walls, they receive a benefit, as do you, which is exposure and possible artwork sales.

The best way to not provide good service as an artist to your potential business partners is to never communicate, never provide updated contact information if you move or change phone numbers, and never follow-up on agreements to confirm that they are still in place or see if things have changed.

I was recently involved in a situation where an artist booked a space with a business in December, never communicated with the business owner when they (the artist) moved, or even throughout the time leading up to their appointment to hang their artwork in May. I, on the other hand, went in sometime in March, to this same business, and asked if there were any spots available – I was told no, not until the fall, however, there is someone who was to go in May who they couldn’t get in contact with.

Okay I said to the business owner, I will follow up with you later on. I went back the end of March, and again once a week in April (a total of about four times from March to April) to find out what was happening. Finally, the last week of April I was given the go ahead because this other artist had apparently dropped off the ends of the earth. I found out who the current showing artist was, and when they would be taking their artwork down. The two of us made arrangements, so that the business owner would not have bare walls for too long of a time.

Lo and behold, the lost artist came in on April 30th (I understand) and was surprised to find that they lost their position. I was asked ….Hmmm – would I be willing to share the time or the space? No, absolutely not, I replied – this is a business situation, I did my due diligence and then some. Maybe next time you can do yours.

Lessons I hope this other artist learned:

  1. always follow up and/or confirm as time goes on.
  2. you are an artist and your communication is not restricted to the visual – communicate with the business owner, and the artist previous to you to make the transition as seamless as possible.
  3. don’t throw tantums because you feel you have been slighted if you drop the ball, then NO one will want your work.

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