Why Professional Artists need an agent and hobbyists do not!

A Fact About the Art Profession 

The competition for buyers' attention, notoriety, profitable opportunities, prestigious installations and significant growth events is fierce.  To compete or moreover to engage in this profession at an advanced level an artist needs a rep. A skilled agent can facilitate and design a career map needed for an artist to navigate through the institutional barriers and compete in the local, national and global markets.

The role of an artist's agent is to facilitate the career growth of his client (visual artist). 

It is very evident by the number of struggling artists worldwide, identifying and procuring revenue generating opportunities is not a task for amateurs. An agent is skilled to synergize the artist’s artwork/talents with the aptitude of a surgeon with the marketplace most prestigious domains. Managing an “Artist’s Career” is not unpretentious as some pundits are led to believe nor is something an artist can do alone in a global environment.  The proof of the complexities is the number of struggling artists trying to earn a living.

In addition to seeking opportunities, an agent ensures are activities needed to be addressed are done to the benefit of the client... the list of issues are vast and mostly missed understood and overlooked.

Creating the plan that is a match with a client capacity. 

Artists who are just starting out and some seasoned artists with competent guidance from a skilled agent... can to a degree outperform unrepresented (without a skilled advocate) artists. They most often reached their personal and financial objectives faster and ethnically than their non-supported peers. This is because their skilled agents focus on realistic opportunities in a broad manner, which identified and quantified market.  Real-time information advances their client's reach which is a career imperative.

While most unrepresented artists rely on outdated methods and promotional channels already saturated by other practitioners. The information is not vetted and offering not properly assess for a pecuniary outcome. Therefore, many unrepresented artists become so frustrated with their inability to navigate the market they either lash out at any mention of success or just quit.

A competent agent produces coherent growth strategies that address realistic career goals; administer result orientated advice to help reach milestones; continuously negotiate and schedule activities at prominent venues to advance client's career; identify options with the highest return to maximum economic position: spearhead functions like publicizing series of work to attract followers and generate sales by targeting stakeholders who are vested in the arts. Pros know-how to market his
Pacific Life Project
client's intangible as well as tangible assets. In sectors where art is purchased consistently, the brand is recognized, provenance is valued and work is in demand by dealers, galleries, and corporate entities.

Many artists become successful long-term by building strong relationships with a competent agent that has the capacity to double or triple their current earnings and propel their brand faster than they can do themselves.

Today's serious artists need a competent agent, especially during the start-up phase to guide them in the right direction and help them to attain a higher level of success early in their career.  Serious artists, emerging or established, know they can have a robust career and their work has a chance to be showcased at more prominently venues when an agent is hired to orchestrate their career path. 

The great majority of young artists, of course, believe they cannot afford to hire professionals. They are told they shouldn't even think about it until they start generating significant sales. But that's like telling a singer don't seek a Music Executive until they start selling CDs. Artists with limited income can afford to hire an agent for periodic consultation relating to a variety of opportunities such as contract arrangements, commissions agreements, and so on.  
Whatever the reason, more artists should think seriously about enlisting the services of an agent  rather than proceeding using a trial-and-error approach.

A conversation with a couple of established unrepresented artists who had competed for and won two 
commissioned contracts with a national corporation -- one for a major outdoor project and the other for a substantial indoor project. Both were asked to fly to corporate headquarters to discuss the details at the preliminary meeting, which is common practice. -- and there's where the trouble began.

The two artists expected the corporation to pay their expenses to this meeting. After all, they reasoned, they had each already devoted many weeks, plenty of money, and hundreds of hours conceiving, sketching, and executing the scale models for their final submission. They proceeded to contact the corporation, indicated their feelings, and, after several unproductive conversations, were advised that the commissions had been placed on hold. This disastrous turn of events should never have taken place. The two artists had allowed their emotions to get in the way, taken the corporation's request personally, and ended up forfeiting two major commissions. They were resentful after spending so much time to do so much work, they were still being asked to do more.

They did not understand the corporate protocol that paying their own expenses to the meetings was "the way business is done." The corporation was not asking them to pay their own way in order to upset them or to squeeze more free services out of them. They were merely doing business as usual. A simple misunderstanding on the part of the two artists cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars and significant opportunities for advancement in their careers.

Had the artists hired a competent agent -- even for an hour-- they most certainly would have been advised to go along with the program. After all, an artist who is about to receive a commission worth hundreds of thousands of dollars should do everything possible to cooperate with and satisfy the request of the stakeholder who is hiring them, indicates he's an easy person to work with and is prepared to do what's required, but it also shows that he's successful enough to afford incidental expenses. Artists know plenty about how to create art, but have little or no idea about business protocol......  

An agent have the skills to negotiate a balance deal, develop effective marketing plans, launch collections once it is ready to leave the studio. 

The realm of the studio and the realm of the art market are two very different places. There are hundreds of artists who struggle to reach their potential because they refuse to respect the distinction and deal with the reality of managing a practice.

Artists need occasional consultations from competent art professional, especially during early stages or when they have complex decisions to make about the future of their art careers.

When an artist is early in his or her career, or not selling much art he or she needs a competent agent on either a permanent or a semi-permanent.

GAN specialized in providing career and business solutions to participants at all levels and business operation within the art industry. Our extensive international experience is supported by a global footprint.
  Global Art Network is a Louisiana based enterprise with offices in Baltimore MD, Cleveland OH, Boston MA, Seattle WA, Orlando FL and San Diego CA. GAN operate in 100 art metro areas and 31 countries. No matter which ever continent you are on we can assist you in reaching realistic goals.

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