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The Role of the Art Consultant

Updated: Jan 22, 2021

I’m often asked, “what does an artist consultant do?”  Its fairly straight forward, ‘what do I not do’ seems to be a shorter list, however, I’ll try my best to explain in as few words as possible and tell you why I have gone this route.

Many years ago when I was beginning my arts career I was unsure of my ‘next move’ as an artist. As a recent graduate and no supportive programs out there to my knowledge, I was left in the dark and it was a difficult guessing game.  I soon realized that I was not alone, that many artists junior and senior would struggle the same.  Many artists I met and still meet to this day, don’t or didn’t know what the next step was.  I had to figure out the unknown world myself, one mistake or one experiment at a time…

The list of ‘what I can help with’ greatly involves marketing, self promotion, how to get into galleries, attitudes of artists, expectations of galleries, how each gallery is different, warning signs of a bad artist-gallery relationship, how to put together a portfolio, critique sessions, planning sessions, evaluating career direction, website development, etc., etc., etc.  Like I said, I could go on and on about my level of knowledge from 2002 onwards.

The earliest days of my career was before social media and self promotion became a valuable and accessible resource. Back then, even building a website was something only html experts could do.  Now, a website can be built by anyone via online forms, templates, and downloaded applications.  We can release our message into the world of the internet with one simple click of a button on social media and a smart phone.  Its so easy to find art online on different sites such as Etsy, Facebook Pages, and Instagram that the buyer’s market becomes simplified and you can find any artist online both young and old, established and not established.  If you aren’t on the scene these days, you are out of the loop and likely making a big ‘marketing your art’ faux pas.  With the Internet being accessible to art buyers, its important that we continue to respect the galleries that represent us.  Their commission rate should always be respected. They are still working with us as artists, they are meeting with people, discussing your work, and answering questions for you.  They are likely preparing emails, social media campaigns, lighting the art, making labels, promoting you on their website…

There are a few organizations offering courses on how to help you, myself included, however I prefer the one on one support that I give many artists as an arts consultant.  This is where I find that there is a bit of a void in Winnipeg in the arts scene.  I have mentored so many artists in my 14 year ‘gallery’ career and I have watched each and everyone of them grow and mature as artists.  Its quite exciting.  The ones who have worked with me have come back for more than one session to get the help they need.  The connection to other artists, the smile on their faces, and the sense of relief after learning there is a ‘system’ or a ‘method’ or an ‘easier path’, to explain the steps from point A to Point B and beyond.  I also enjoy the classes, they are great but I find the focused sessions much more rewarding for the artists I work with. My experience and advice often saves a lot of blood, sweat, and tears….and money!

How do you book an appointment with me?  Best to send an email to my work email, as I am always scheduling around my work hours, contracts, and gallery rentals.  My sessions are for a minimum of two hours, involve as many Q & As as you can fit in and costs (currently) $75 for those two hours.  After I get to know you and your career groove, future sessions with me are $60/2hours.  Sundays and Mondays work best for me as well as some evenings and weekends.

Thank you for reading my Blog, I enjoy reading the comments below.  Please leave me a note so I know you have read it, enjoyed it, or let me know if you have any questions about my role as an art consultant.

-Jordan Miller, click for:

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