How to Become an Artist Representative

Save

It takes more than a few emails to sell a work of art. It requires building relationships, persistence, a gift of persuasive speech, and a base of knowledge in art history and contemporary art trends. To succeed in this field, you need one foot planted in the world of the creative and abstract and the other rooted in a practical and financial world.

Your Green Period

  • The best thing you can do to become an artist representative is learn about art. If you’re in high school, take art classes. If you’re an adult, take classes at a community center or college. Research is vital. You must learn to appreciate, understand and describe the art. As an artist representative, you form the bridge between the artist and the buyer by articulating why the artwork merits purchase and how the buyer’s interpretation matches that of the work’s creator. Go to museums, start an art club in your school, and check out books in the library about art history to build up your knowledge base.

It's Academic

  • A degree can earn you some credibility among artists. About half of artist agents have a college degree, and an additional 25 percent have some college experience, according to O*Net OnLine. Some schools are reputable in art history, such as the Rhode Island School of Design. Others such as Berklee School of Music, offer certificate programs on artist management. These schools employ teachers with a track record in the business who can impart advice and connections to artists and agents. They can also provide internships that can lead to employment in the industry.

In Good Company

  • Since you’re starting your career at the ground level, you should find artists also at that level. It’s unrealistic to expect to manage artists commanding high prices. At this level, you’ll be able to work on personalizing what the artist has to offer and what you have to offer. This is the most important skill you have to offer an artist: translating what’s on the canvas to what a buyer or gallery owner wants. Be prepared to lecture on your client’s art. Or set up a question and answer session, and school your client on how to sell what she has to offer. You and your client can build her identity together if you’re starting from scratch.

Sell Yourself

  • Once you’re ready to start your business, you need to convince artists they need you. Many artists underestimate the financial or legal aspects of the business, and you need to explain why they should trust you to handle these important matters. Art consultant Alan Bamberger, for instance, tells a story about how two artists lost $1.2 million and $400,000 commissions for sculptures because they balked at paying their travel fees to discuss their projects with corporate executives. An agent would have explained that paying these fees is standard practice in the corporate world. You need to explain that -- for a reasonable fee or commission -- your business savvy will help the artist maximize her worth.

References

  • Photo Credit DanComaniciu/iStock/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

Resources

You May Also Like

  • Artist Manager Job Description

    The artist manager is the person who ensures that an artist is successful in the marketplace. The artist manager is also known...

  • Artist and Repertoire Job Description

    When records labels are interested in signing new talent, they send out artist and repertoire (A&R) representatives to locate promising new musical...

  • How to Find an Artist's Rep

    Just as actors hire agents to advance their careers, some artists hire representatives to promote their personae and artwork. Hiring someone to...

  • How to Become an Artist Booking Agent

    Booking shows for musicians and artists can be a financially rewarding career, but it takes a certain amount of determination, the ability...

  • How to Become a Cosmetic Representative

    Cosmetic representatives work for manufacturers, wholesalers or technical companies. They may represent one company or a variety of cosmetic companies. In addition...

  • How to Become an Agent for Selling Stationery

    Being a stationery representative can be fast-paced, and stressful, but exciting while working as a liasion between buyers and designers. Most stationery...

  • How to Find an Agent or Rep for Fine Art Paintings

    Finding an agent or gallery representation takes preparation and time, but finding the right one can help you get the exposure you...

  • How to Get Art Dealer Representation

    Being represented by an established dealer or gallery creates opportunities to sell your art while building credibility for your name and your...

  • How to Become an Artist's Agent

    An artist’s agent represents painters, sculptors and other fine artists, helping them make a name for themselves and find new outlets for...

  • How to Become an Entertainment Artist Manager

    Entertainment artist managers represent some of the biggest stars. The job duties of an entertainment artist manager include assisting actors and singers...

  • The Average Salary of an A&R Rep

    Artist & Repertoire (A&R) representatives, who scout talent for record labels and are responsible for the development of the label's artists and...

Related Searches

Check It Out

3 Day-to-Night Outfits for the Work Week

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!