Should Artist’s Add Online Collections to Their CV

Should Artist’s Add Online Collections to Their CV?

Definition: An online collection would be a website that your work has been juried into.

Not a free-upload-your-images and be apart of your 1000’s of artists portfolios.

Read the full article on why artists should add online collections to their CV.

Weigh in, leave your opinion. Have you ever submitted to an online collection. If so and you were accepted how did you promote that? Is it on your CV?

Grant Writing Example and Tips

Kim Bruce (that’s me) was awarded an A.F.A. (Alberta Foundation for the Arts) Art Production Grant. I learned a lot going through the writing process and wanted to share those tips.

My biggest wish when putting the proposal together was to be able to read another similar grant proposal to see how it all goes together.

I never got my wish but I did receive some great tips from other artists which were a tremendous help.

I decided to post my actual grant proposal to my fine art website as I think it would help others to have a visual reference.

The tips and proposal are posted on my blog at

Feel free to share.

Kim Bruce Art Blog

Maybe you knew but maybe you don’t; I have a blog at my fine art site.

It seems that most of what I write about here at Artbiz is on WordPress and how you as an artist can use it for your website.

Over at I talk about my art but I have also have a category called “Art Management” which really doesn’t fit into my mission here at Artbiz. So I decided that I would expand myself and you by writing about the in’s and out’s of being an exhibiting artist.

AND if you subscribe to my feed (Delivered by Mail Chimp)  either here or there you will get posts from both sites combined into one email, once a week. You only have to subscribe at one of the sites to get both. No mailbox clutter from me!

In honour of this tie in I decided to give my fine art site a fresh look.

Head on over to my fine art site and let me know what you think.

Warning: Bad Galleries

Here at Artbiz I work with a lot of artists, pretty much all artists, all the time. Sometimes we get to talking about our unique world and share  experiences.  Over  time I have conversed with a few artists that relayed stories about bad experiences with galleries.

Thank  goodness it has only been a few and I wonder how many other artists out there just figure this is the way it is; this is how the gallery system works.  Thinking  that representation by a bad gallery is better than no representation at all.

I’m not saying that this is true of all galleries and most galleries are run by good upstanding business people who know that without art and artists there would not be any galleries. But as in all businesses there are a few shall I say “@#$%^ jerks” that do their utmost to make the whole bushel stink.

Here are some things to look out for and what may make you want to seriously  reconsider accepting representation from a gallery that fits into any one of these scenarios.

1. Not being told in a timely fashion that work has been sold or not being told at all unless you ask

Having representation  means that you have to rely on the gallery to inform you about sales. If it comes to having to go to the gallery to check your inventory then perhaps it is time to leave. And what do you do if the gallery is in a different city? Perhaps have someone you know in that city drop in to see your work, if you are lucky enough to have a friend there.

2. Experiencing all sorts of excuses and continually not being paid unless you squeak your wheels.
You know a piece has been sold and your agreement states when the payments will be issued and you wait and wait and there is still no cheque. What do you do? Give the benefit of the doubt? Approach the gallery and suggest that perhaps the cheque got lost in the mail? Ask the gallery if there is a problem and that you’re willing to discuss.? If you are getting all sorts of excuses then maybe say you will  be in the area and will pick the cheque up. If this freaks the gallery out pick up your inventory while you are there. If your gallery is in a different city you could ask for confirmation that the cheque has been issued and request to know when it was mailed.  Or try saying that you will send a courier to pick it up. If you still don’t receive it  squeak on. What bugs me most about hearing this is that what happens to Peter when he is robbed to pay Paul. Stinks!

3. Having emails and telephone messages go unanswered to the point of frustration
If you have the necessary business and people skills to deal with this then kudos to you, most artists are introverts and shy and art schools don’t have business courses; take one.

4. Your inventory has gone missing or not listed on inventory sheets provided by the gallery
You have no way of knowing unless you go and check. Again what do you do if you don’t live in the same city as the gallery? I suggest that you ask for an updated inventory list at least once a year BUT first and foremost get a signed copy of the inventory when the work is delivered to the gallery that is signed and dated by both parties. Then there is no disputing that the gallery did not receive the work. If you live out-of-town then send an inventory list with the shipment and request a signed copy be sent back to you.

5. Cheques arriving without paperwork so you don’t know which piece sold…
then finding out that it was a totally different piece than what the gallery told you but had a similar name. This is just plain bad record keeping by the gallery. What do you do with that? You can’t run their business for them and why would you want to. All I can suggest is to keep good records your self have that signed and dated inventory list and ask for clarification.

6. Cheques arriving but made out for the wrong amount usually less and never for more than the actual amount; OR framing cost is not included; OR the name on cheque is spelled wrong to make it harder to cash. All these scenarios suggest to me that the gallery is just trying to delay payment. Maybe it is an honest mistake if it happens once but if it is standard procedure; ask yourself how stupid does the gallery think you are?

7. Going to your gallery and finding your piece on the wall selling for more money than what was  agreed upon
Who is pocketing the difference I wonder? At the very least point this out to them, maybe it was an honest mistake. You will be telling them that you are aware  but what does your gut tell you?

And why do artists put up with it? Because we want to sell our art and these galleries think that there is an endless supply of artists who are willing to put up with it. I am saddened to hear these horror stories about these scum buckets, bottom feeder galleries. The only advice that I can dispense is talk to the other artists at the gallery and ask lots questions.  Fore warned is not always forearmed and you still have to deal with the stresses of that a lack of professionalism and I dare say incompetence can bring.

When I Googled to find articles that relate to this subject so I could offer up some expert advice to artists on how to deal with or spot these disreputable galleries; the pickings were slim. Maybe that is a good sign, that this is not the norm and most galleries and dealers are actually good business people. OR maybe artists aren’t banding together to share these experiences and are giving the galleries too much power.

Anyway here are two articles from written by Alan Bamberger an art consultant and much more. I find his writing very frank with a lot of tough love and appreciate his perspective.

Art Dealers from Hell Part I

Art Dealers from Hell Part II

If  you know of any other resources that could help artists out with “bad galleries” please let me know.

How to use your website as a submission tool

10 tips on How to use your website as a submission tool

  1. Do your research. Find a gallery that fits your work.
  2. Respect and follow the submission guidelines that are posted on the gallery website.
  3. If  submission guidelines are not posted then contact the gallery and ask if they are accepting submissions and if they accept website submissions. The more we as artists ask for our websites to be used as a submission tool the more likely it will happen.
  4. Write a cover letter in the email introducing your self and stating why your work fits with the gallery.
  5. Address your email letter to the appropriate person. If that person is not listed on their website perhaps phone and ask who you should address your submission to. This will show that your are professional and respectful.
  6. Read my post on Writing there are some good resources to help you put together a letter.
  7. Attach at least one image into the body of the email, preferably at the end to encourage the gallery to click-through.
  8. Wait a couple of weeks and send a follow-up email (unless they state specifically not to – don’t call us – we’ll call you) and ask about the status of your submission.  Include your URL which should be part of your signature – read “Shameless Self Promotion for Artists”.  Be respectful and thank them for their time.
  9. If you don’t hear back, well you don’t hear back. Let it go and carry on to the next.
  10. Please have your site up to date. That means your CV, contact info and your images.

What you should not do…

  1. Throw your URL into an email and say “I am submitting my website for review”, click and send.
  2. Address your email letter to “Dear Gallery So and So”.
  3. DO NOT batch email to a number of galleries at the same time.

The procedure for submitting via your website is really no different from what you would do normally. You still need to do your homework, write your words and take your pictures.  Perseverance Furthers!

Let’s Talk Image Quality

Since the art world is moving more and more toward website submissions it is very important – no – it is paramount – that your images are high quality. That does not mean that they are large file size and 300dpi. That would take forever to load and your visitors will leave your site before the image finally gets there.

What is does mean is that your original digital photograph is of high quality because when it is reduced in size and made web ready it will hold that same quality even though it is a smaller image (around 72dpi).

Here are 5 tips:

  1. Read my article on re-sizing images for the web
  2. Always resize your images to be the same height by their proportional width. The next and previous links will be in approximately the same position making it easier for your visitors to find and advance.
  3. View your images and website on different computers with different monitor sizes. What looks good on your gigantic screen make not look so good on a 14″ monitor.
  4. Group like genres together in the same gallery.
  5. Have a read through these photography resource sites on how to photograph artwork.

If the gallery or collector is interested in your work they may request higher resolution images. Then you can send them that 3MB 350dpi image.