A few of my favorite things

There are a lot of great artists in the world, many of which are living, and it seems that I meet a new one everyday.  I’ve come across some new artists (or at least new to me) as of late and thought it would be fun to introduce them to everyone on here.  I’ve compiled a list- some of which are not as unfamiliar to me but thought they should get their due- so here are their links to their work (in no particular order):

Alli Bratt- http://allisonjbratt.com/

Malcolm Bucknall- www.wallyworkmangallery.com/malcolm-bucknall.lasso

Mark Langan- http://www.langanart.com/

Denise Gallagher- http://denisegallagher.com/

Vladimir Stankovic- http://www.flickr.com/photos/therussian/

Isabelle Bryer- http://www.isabelle-bryer.com/

Sarah Ferguson- http://colorblox.wordpress.com/

John Alexander- http://www.johnalexanderstudio.com/

Colin Miller- http://colinmillerphoto.blogspot.com/


On the Other Side of the Easel

Artist Scott Hamilton's (Artboy68) miniature portrait of me

I found out yesterday that artist Scott Hamilton (aka Artboy68) had completed a miniature portrait of me as part of his project to complete 100 portraits in 20 weeks.  Not only does it look like me, but it’s only 2 3/8 inches square!  I work small, but not that small!  And he did this just by using my Gravatar image (which you can see just about everywhere on this site).  Amazing…  Perhaps he works under a microscope?  I’ve included a screen grab but be sure to check out the portrait (it’s #75) as well as the rest of his work here: http://artboy68project.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/75-amyguidryartist/.  BTW, he already has plenty of subjects to reach 100, however, you can still enter to win a larger acrylic painting as number 100!


Best of Show

"Symbiotic" by Amy Guidry; acrylic on canvas; 11"w x 14"h; (c) Amy Guidry 2010

I had a nice surprise this weekend when I found out my painting Symbiotic received “Best of Show” in the Surreal Salon IV.  As a result, Symbiotic will be featured in ads in future issues of both Juxtapoz and Hi-Fructose magazine as the winner of the Surreal Salon.  I was excited just to have been accepted into the exhibit since these types of competitions receive hundreds of entries from all over the country.  The fact that two of the paintings I entered were selected was big for me, so winning the Best of Show award is beyond words.  It means a lot, especially in such a subjective field, and if I were a writer perhaps I could better explain this, but those of you who are artists know what I mean.  If you have not seen the show, there is still time as it will be up through the 26th (Thursday!) at the Baton Rouge Gallery – Center for Contemporary Art in Baton Rouge, LA.  Both my paintings The Pack and Symbiotic are featured and can be found on my website at www.amyguidry.com/symbiotic.html as well as in the online catalog of the entire show at http://issuu.com/batonrougegallery/docs/surrealsalon4.



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Signing the Dotted Line

A recent online discussion regarding gallery contracts reminded me that this is something I should have posted awhile back.  There are surprisingly a lot of artists that avoid showing with galleries for fear of the contract.  In actuality, the contract is what keeps you protected and prevents anyone from running off with your money.  In fact, if there is a gallery you are interested in working with that does not “do contracts,” you should either make your own for them to sign or else leave.  It’s wise for both parties to have a legally binding document that ensures that everyone involved is covered.  Art is money, so when you’re handing over your work to a gallery, you’re essentially handing them hundreds to thousands of dollars and hoping they’ll take care of it for you.  With that said, here is a list of most (I may be forgetting some things…) of the issues that should be covered in your contract.  Most of these pertain to a gallery that is representing you, but much of this applies to short-term gallery exhibitions as well.

Commission: The standard here is 50/50, but can vary depending on your location.  This absolutely must be covered in any contract with any gallery, no matter if they represent you or not since this is what determines exactly how much you receive from the sale of your work.  And on a side note, it is perfectly fair for a gallery to get half of the sale since they are the ones that have to pay for your exhibition, advertising, rent and utilities for the building, catering, etc.  If a gallery isn’t doing this for you, then they are not earning their share, which in that case, I would recommend going elsewhere.

Payment: Another must.  When will payment be made?  Some galleries may wait until the end of an exhibit to send you your check, while others may pay you immediately.  Sometimes this is determined by how the customer paid, especially if they are on an installment plan.  Usually to cover all bases, contracts will state that payment is made within 30 days from the end of an exhibition.  Just so long as it clearly states that you are going to get paid within a reasonable period of time, then it should be fine.

Insurance: This is another must in my book, however, I have seen some great spaces not offer insurance, so I can’t say that I haven’t taken a risk at times myself.  However, you should be seeking out galleries that provide insurance while your work is on their premises, especially if they are representing you.  If your work is there long-term, odds are greater that something may happen- fire, theft, etc.  You can look into getting your own insurance coverage, but it won’t be cheap, so you may be better off leaving it up to the gallery.

Framing: Frames are not generally required for all artwork, but this should be laid out in the contract.  If frames are required, it needs to be clearly stated who covers this cost and what type of work- drawings, paintings, printmaking, etc. or just certain types of work?

Discounts: It is not uncommon for a gallery to offer discounts to their regulars or for a purchase of multiples.  This practice is normally only done in representing galleries as they are the ones with a particular roster of artists that they deal with on a regular basis.  Discounts can range from 10 to 20%.  The contract should clearly cover what the discount is or what the range may be and how it is divided- evenly between the gallery and artist or does the gallery take that out of their cut entirely?

Shipping: For those that are out of the area or state, shipping costs need to be covered as this can be very costly.  Shipping policies vary among galleries, so I can’t say that there really is a standard here other than that if it is a short-term exhibition in a non-representing gallery, typically the artist pays for shipping their work to and from the gallery.  For a representing gallery, the artist may be responsible for to and from shipping, or only shipping the work to the gallery, or the gallery may cover all shipping costs.  As far as shipping the work to a client, the gallery will either pay or the client will, not the artist.

Outside Sales: This could be a post in and of itself given the discussions with other artists.  The gallery that you work with may allow you to sell work on your own through festivals, studio, etc. and I have yet to see a gallery that doesn’t.  First, be sure that your work is priced consistently with that of the gallery.  Typically if a sale is made to a client from the gallery, then the gallery will get a commission, usually their standard rate.  However, if the client is someone not affiliated with the gallery and did not see your work via the gallery, then the gallery may only require 20 or 30% or often times, there is no commission.  Point being, if you had to do all the leg-work to get that client, then you would get the entire amount of the sale, but again, that would apply to people unaware of the gallery.  This should be covered in your contract, including the commission rate, if any.

Exclusivity: Typically galleries only require exclusivity to the city they are in.  However, some require exclusivity to the region, state, and even the entire nation (though these are generally “blue-chip” galleries dealing with work that goes for hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars).  Again, this is another issue that should be clearly spelled out in your contract.

Loaning Work: This is usually only an issue for those represented by more than one gallery or those that enter work to juried shows in which the same work is already in a gallery.  If work needs to go from one show to another, the gallery that currently represents that work may require a commission if that work sells in another gallery.  Both galleries would get a commission, for example, each gallery may get 30% while the artist gets 40%.  This rate varies among galleries, though, and should be clearly stated.

Length of Contract: Most contracts remain active so long as the artist is with the gallery.  Generally there is an “out” for each party with a 30-days prior notice, again, this may vary, but 30 days is usually all that is required.  In the event that the relationship is not working, either party has the option to end it.

Exhibitions: This only pertains to representing galleries in which your work is there long-term.  What type of exhibitions will the gallery guarantee and how often?  Will you have the opportunity to have a solo exhibition and will you also be given group exhibition opportunities?  Where will your work be when it’s not being exhibited- typically galleries have a salon in which a mix of works by the gallery’s artists are featured in the back room or even in their project space.

Most importantly, take your time and look over your contract before signing.  There’s nothing wrong with asking to have a day or two to look it over.  You could even run it by someone you trust just to make sure there’s nothing you’re missing.  As I said, if a gallery doesn’t have a contract, tell them you would like to make your own and be sure to cover all of these aspects mentioned.  If you’re uncomfortable telling a gallery you want to make a contract, just put it in benign terms such as that it’s how you keep track of things, or that you might forget (not that you want to appear stupid to these people but put it off on yourself if you need a cover).  If you feel any amendments need to be made, write it up and send a proposal to the gallery.  More than likely they will oblige and add it to your contract.  Above all else, if you are not comfortable with the arrangements, do not sign and look somewhere else.  There are plenty of other fish in the sea.



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Secret Still

Secret Still feature: Amy Guidry

I received a great little review by Brad Martin of Secret Still the other day.  My painting Untitled (Heads) is featured (as seen in the screen grab on the left).  I was flattered that Josh Keyes came to mind when he viewed my work, as I am a fan of his as well.  You can read his flattering- and humorous- review at http://www.secretstill.com/blog/2012/01/11/amy-guidry/.



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Exposure- Need it, Want it, Grow it

Lately I’ve noticed a surge in questions by artists regarding internet exposure.  I think everyone can use more exposure, even if they’ve been at their careers for awhile.  You have to “feed the machine” as I always say and continually add to your internet exposure.  If you don’t consistently provide the public with new information, they will soon forget you unless you happen to be Damien Hirst, for example.  Given the short shelf-life of posts to Facebook, Twitter, etc., it’s especially important to keep the news coming.  So here is a list of my favorite and most useful recommendations:

Website– This seems to be the most obvious but there are many artists out there that don’t have one.  This should be your #1 priority over all other ideas listed here.  Cost can be a big factor, so if you can’t afford to hire a designer, talk to talented students or freelancers that do this as a side career.  You can probably get a better deal– just be sure to look at their portfolio beforehand.  If this is not an option, you can also use WordPress to create a site in which you feature galleries of pictures.

Blog– Again, you can use WordPress for this, but there are many other options out there.  Blogging is important to help build your name, increase your SEO ranking, and gives you an opportunity to connect with fans.

Facebook– I see many artists using Facebook, which is great, but far less have an actual Fan Page.  First, Facebook expects that you will promote your business and conduct sales through your Fan Page, not your personal profile.  Sure, Fan Page posts tend to get filtered out of the news feed, but in all fairness, Facebook is not taking a cut from your sales made via your Fan Page.  Drive traffic to your Fan Page via your website, blog, etc. and include links to your Fan Page on other websites.

Twitter– Personally, I find Twitter to be overwhelming, but no matter your social media preference, it is important to be present on any and all.  I have found that fans/collectors/potential collectors all have their own personal preference for following you, therefore you need to reach them through all of these sites.

Google+ – Some people still don’t know what Google+ is.  To me it is just another version of Facebook, except without all the “flash.”  No ads, no news feeds, no news feeds in your news feeds (haha), and it makes it much easier from the get-go to control your privacy settings and even per post.  As far as I know, you still have to be “invited” to join so if you haven’t already, ask a friend to send you an invitation.

Blogrolls– Besides your own blog, increase your exposure by getting your site included in the blogrolls of blogs that you like.  These are lists of sites that are recommended and tend to share similar interests with the blog listing them.  Ask to trade links with your artist friends- their link listed on your blog and yours on theirs.  You can also approach bloggers that you like to trade links.

Comment– One of the best ways to get noticed is to leave a comment.  So many sites feature like buttons or share buttons, which are great, but don’t forget to leave a comment.  If you have something valuable to add, do so!  You don’t have to agree with the writer, either, just be civil.  When posting, depending on the site, you may have the option of adding a photo of yourself- a Gravatar– or if you can sign in via Facebook or Twitter, use one as long as there is a photo.  People are visual creatures.  You’ll also have the option of including your website or social media link, too.

These are my best recommendations, but there are new sites being created all the time.  If you have any ideas you’d like to recommend, please add them to the comments section!



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"Wolfpack" by Amy Guidry; acrylic on canvas; 12" x 12"; (c) Amy Guidry 2012

I’ve just finished my first painting of the New Year!  This is another new addition to the In Our Veins series titled Wolfpack.  It is an acrylic on canvas, 12″ by 12″ square.  I went through, on average, one paintbrush per wolf head on this one.  I build up the colors in each layer and then start adding layers of hairs, working my way up to the lighter hairs, therefore my paintbrush takes a beating.  Well worth it, though, since I am pleased with the outcome.  This is a “sister piece” to my painting The Pack (which is one of the paintings I will have featured in the Surreal Salon at the Baton Rouge Gallery- Center for Contemporary Art!).  You can check out both paintings on my website and for a better view of Wolfpack, visit www.amyguidry.com/wolfpack.html.


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Basse Def

Basse Def: The Wild West of Amy Guidry

I’m happy to announce that my work is currently featured on the Parisian art site Basse Def.  It is a fantastic compilation of various art forms and I am honored to be featured among such great work.  My paintings Heads II and The Wild West are featured.  I’ve included a screen grab here but you can visit the site at http://www.bassedef.com/blog/amy-guidry/.

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"United States of Consumerism" by Amy Guidry; 2007; acrylic on canvas; 30"w x 24"h; (c) Amy Guidry 2012; SOLD

Happy 2012!  This is my first post for the New Year…funny it’s regarding my last sale of the past year.  My painting United States of Consumerism has just been added to a fantastic local collection of art.  This painting was done in 2007 as part of a series of social commentary works, Beneath the Surface.  It is an acrylic on canvas, 24″ high by 30″ wide.  A couple of my artist friends thought I was nuts to take on such a piece since I painted each and every dollar bill and penny on there.  No stamps, no gimmicks.  By the time I finished, all my tiny little paintbrushes had splayed bristles and were completely unusable.  I also had to put in some long hours to finish it in time for an exhibition.  Regardless, I was happy with the outcome.  The photos just don’t do it justice, but you can view a larger image of it here.

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