Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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12/09/2004: "Paying for an Art Consultation"

There is a link from called ďConsulting for Artists from Artbusiness.comĒ which states:

ďYou think you're a good artist and you make good art, right? You think your art deserves to be shown at galleries and that people should buy it, right? Good. So let's talk about why you think these things, how you intend to reach your goals, and see what I have to say. It'll take an hour, it'll cost you $150, and you won't regret it. If you're at all unclear about what to do or how to do it, I can assure you that by the time we're done talking, you'll be focused and ready to go.Ē

Iím actually considering doing this. Iím starting to feel like I want to branch out more and I have some specific questions about that. For example, should I try to show more in Anchorage (a bigger city than Juneau here in Alaska) or should I try to get a show at a gallery somewhere on the West Coast, like Washington state or Oregon? Or maybe I should go for somewhere like Chicago or Pittsburgh where it might be considered more exotic to be from Alaska?

Getting shows Outside is insanely competitive and Iíve been holding back from trying out of fear of rejection. But as we all know, rejection is inevitable if you're an artist. I have someone right now interested in setting up a show for me in Baltimore for this summer, but that is just too soon and I'm dragging my heels a little. Also because it's a gallery upstairs from a restaurant and although it might be a great space, I kind of want to try for something more official (does that sound snobby?)

I really donít know what the best next move is to take. Iíve decided that I donít want formal gallery representation or an agent, but I do want to get my work seen (in person) by a larger number of people than what Juneau has to offer.

Do you think that paying an expert for an hours worth of advice would be a good investment? Or maybe I'm still not ready?

Replies: 8 Comments

on Thursday, December 9th, Dave from Nebraska said

Got a extra $150?
Consider it a X-Mas present to yourself.
You deserve it and you are ready.

on Thursday, December 9th, Elise said

Well, who ever has an extra $150.00?

So no, not really, but I could save up for it. Thanks for the vote of confidence!

on Thursday, December 9th,">karen said

I've been reading your blog and following your last few shows. You have an original and fresh style.
Don't pay someone to tell you what you already know. Scam......$150!!!
You are doing all the right things to promote yourself. Find your confidence... where you live.

on Saturday, December 11th, RR said

Your shows have been successful and you are asking the right questions about branching out. I think you would be able to make the right decision yourself as well - based on your own appraisal of your work and the reception of your shows. No matter what anyone else told you - even if you pay them. Ultimately you are the one who will make the decision on what you want to do. They would probably tell you something you didn't agree with anyway. I think your gut feelings on how to progress are the ones to go with. But I would keep the $150 to put towards your new camera.

on Saturday, December 11th, Elise said

First off, hi again Karen! I remember you from before, wasn't your daughter interested in UAS as a potential school? How did that ever turn out?

As for this being a scam, I really don't think so. This isn't some email solicitation I'm responding to, it's the guy who runs a website that I've been going to for years. He has an excellent section on articles for artists, I've read every one of them and I think the advice has been very good.

Also, when you say to promote myself "where I live" do you mean Juneau? Alaska?

I'm just afraid that I'm having too many shows here, there are only so many places to exhibit and only so many people who like to buy art. I'm afraid it will get to a point where I'm having to beg people to come to my openings!

And RR, I don't really know what my gut is telling me to do next. I've read so many books, just about every one out there on how to make a living as an artist and I'm more confused about what to do than ever.

Maybe I'll just hold off on the consultation until after my next show in April. Then I'll be finished with most of my obligations and I'll maybe have a bit more money to throw around (but probably not!)

Thanks everyone for your honest opinions.

on Sunday, December 12th, RR said

See, that's what I meant. You're gut feeling is telling you to hold off until after April until you have less to think about and more money. I think you will make the decisions that are right for you - I have every faith in you :-)

on Monday, December 13th, Amparo said

Since you are already having shows in Juneau, why not expand? It can't hurt at all. Taking new steps is always a little nervewracking. Perhaps you could try Anchorage first just to get your feet wet.

I have the feeling that the consultant is just going to tell you what you already know.

on Monday, December 13th, Elise said

Hi Amparo, you and RR, etc. are probably right. I'm just feeling particularly indecisive lately.

Also, wanted you to know that I still have my "happy project" postcard. I'm actually working on it and will send it back soon. Hope it isn't too late.