Thursday, 25 October 2012


10.1 - Investigate and analyse professional practise

How do artists prepare briefs/ proposals?David Airey who is a graphic artists designer says: "Any art design project needs a detailed design brief."
 When an artist prepares a brief, he takes certain measures under circumstances such as Market Position. If an artists is aiming for money and fame then it is important for them to see what is currently out in the market. This gives them opportunities to get to know what's out there and helps deal with some of the competition. If course some artists who do not care about the money or fame, prefer to simply make their art for fun and hobby.
Target market is something only a few artists look out for. When an artist prepares his brief, he might have in mind the target audience for the specific piece. When putting the work up in a gallery, it is keen to know that the people who go there are mainly students and elders. The artists will prepare his work so that people can see the meaning around it. This takes it to the next part of the brief which is the message. The artwork needs to have some sort of meaning to it otherwise, it won't be what the artist wants it to be. A strong example is an artist Howard Hodgkin. He had a very specific meaning in his art and he always used some sort of base to start it off. In his case it was memory. As well as creating the artwork  there is also a deadline. Those who work in galleries rather than being free-lance, usually have deadlines for creating an artwork. They have to keep that in the brief when they do have a deadline to fulfil.
I do think briefs are necessary in an artwork, but it also depends on the artist himself. I personally do not make briefs for my artwork. I mainly work on designs and talk a little on how I will make it. The main thing I do when it comes to my art is documentation of the process.

I also interviewed an artist at the Excel house during the MCM Expo event in London. I only had a few minutes so I was quick and tried to put as much information about him as possible. It was a writer/ painter and a manga artist who specifically liked creating how own type of comics. His name is Paul Fryer and I got to meet him at the MCM Expo on the 27th of October. I asked him some of the questions present in this post and he replied that "I don't particularly do briefs. When something comes to my head whether an idea or a new plot to my story, I plan in my head how to add it to what I already have". So this means that the artist likes to add on new things as he is moving on. A comic isn't something that can be planned out right away and this artist most likely has a basic idea which he develops as he carries on with his comics.
How do artists plan projects?
After completing the brief, the artist wants to plan what he is going to do for his artwork. For the bigger artists, they usually work with a design team. The artist has his artwork in mind and if it something difficult to craft, the design team will work with the artist to figure out the easiest way to create the artwork. Many arts at exhibitions are usually created with artists and the design team. The artist comes up with the idea and the design team crates it.

I didn't ask this question to the interviewed artist as I would probably get a similar answer as I did in the first.

How do artists liaise with client/ public?
The artists usually wants to make sure that the audience knows that the artwork took professional skill to make and it has significant meanings. It is always gratifying to see an artist's professional skills accorded the respect they deserve and for their expertise in the field of the sensory impact of a space to be acknowledged.

The artist replied: "I keep in touch with my watchers and I often ask what they would like me to put into the story It's not always all me going through. It's partly the audience that puts the comic together with their ideas". This tells me that Paul Fryer likes to work with others to achieve what he does. I often do the same on my channel recently when I ask the viewers what they would like me to do in the future. As a fellow manga artist, I think that working with others helps out build a bigger bond with the audience and judging from the artist's blog, it works out well for him --> Paul Fryer's blog

Approaches towards their specialist areas
Advocacy is usually taken into consideration if the artist wants to create a craft/ sculpture or an installation. Some take more than one person to create and the artist has other people work with him to do it. The advocacy is usually a group of specialists that know how to create a sculpture in the easiest way. Lets say the artist wants to create a sculpture. The advocacy looks at the design and figures the easiest way to mold it, file it and create what the artist had in mind.

How do artists modify and develop ideas to prototype?
The main thing when creating an artwork is to make sure that it works. This sometimes takes several steps and days of planning and redrafting the brief.
The artist would have a brief sketch of the artwork. Whether he works alone or in a team, he has to make sure that the artwork will be possible to make. Many sculptures fail due to being too large or too wast. When pouring bronze or other material into the cast of the sculpture, it has to be able to fill every part of it in order to gain it's shape and texture. Paintings on the other hand won't be as hard because it is a matter of paint skills to create it.

Their choice of materials, techniques and processes
The material usually is a big part of the artwork. The artist might want to create a huge installation. That installation needs to be made of tough material in order to hold it's weight, balance it and give it the wanted form. Some artists like to work with scraps where they make a sculpture and whatever is left from the material, they are still added into it.
Techniques are just as important. The artist usually has his own way of doing things with his own style. That style itself is a technique. E.g. the artist looks at work of others and enhances some of the techniques used in it and then applies his own to create a new technique. This turn it into a process where the artist looks at he work of others, binds it with is own and creates something new using what he learnt from the experience.

How do artists respond to constraints?

Costs - The artist usually has a budget cut if he works with specific material. Some rich artists like to work with expensive material e.g. silver, which adds to the budget and it has to fit into it. Some artists work with scrap material and when this happens, they pretty much use anything that others think of as waste. This pretty much extends the budget to being limitless as they can use as much as they want in their artwork.

Scale - The big problem with some artists is the scale of the work. Some create them so big, that they are too big to put into galleries. Some artists decide to create site-specific art where they put their sculpture up in a public space. Sometimes the transport is a big problem if the artist wants it exhibited and he cannot get it to the gallery. Some artists have a team working with him that create the artwork for him. What the artist might want to do if the artwork is too big, is create parts and then assembling them at the gallery. Such example was a bath tub in the Tate Britain gallery.

Space - The artwork can be either indoors or environmental. The indoor artworks are usually presented on exhibitions in galleries or in the home of the artist. The size of the artwork of course has a big influence in the space. There is a limit of how big it can be if the artist wants it to be indoors and there are size restrains if he wants it environmental as well. I'm talking about real big of course e.g. the size of a house, but small artworks never have such problems.

Resources - Depending on the artists taste, the artwork might require inaccessible resources. Some of these might be gold or other rich materials. This causes problems when artists use these materials in their artwork as the public is usually highly against it. The way some artists deal with it is simply ignoring the public and doing what they think is art. This sometimes causes problems and the artist might be forced to have their work removed. This doesn't happen if the artist uses small amounts of course. Some like to make their art into a collection placed in their house or exhibitions.

Time - Some artists have deadlines which they need to fill. When creating the proposal, they need to make sure that they can create the artwork on time. They make sure the materials used won't be a problem when creating it and that there is little risk that it can go wrong. This is why artists redraft the proposals several times.
Another situation is the material used. Sometimes the materials are influenced by time. E.g. metal can start rusting, a weak material can crumble and depending on how long the artists wants the artwork in one piece, he needs to make sure the artworks lifespan doesn't rely on time.

Art Businesses

As Part of 10.1, I have also decided to go out and see how different businesses investigate and analyse professional practise. I recently went to Piccadilly Circus to research of the local art businesses and I was able to find a few that were relevant to this unit.

Printing business
Whether you're the artist or someone else has created the original art, there is big money in art prints. Art prints are relatively inexpensive to have produced and can retail for as much as $1,000 for a popular piece. Once you have chosen the works that will be reproduced, you can begin to sell the art prints. Set up a sales kiosk in a mall on a busy weekend or rent a booth in a high-traffic flea market. You can also market the art prints to business professionals for office decorations or to interior designers for home decorations. I talked to one gentleman who operated an art print shop in Piccadilly Circus. He told me that he was selling between 75 and 100 prints per week to business travellers who were taking the prints home as gifts. Assuming he only cleared $15 on each print after all expenses and taxes, he would still be earning more than $60,000 annually. Liaising with the audience by doing marketing helps creating a bond and slowly having the business start up. Then later on, you will be seeing several customers that you have already seen. He said he has a certain customer who comes by every week to check on the new items and usually buys one.

Bookends Business
Manufacturing bookends falls into the category of a great gift for someone who has everything. And best of all, the business can be set in motion for less than $500 and operated right from home. One of the key elements for this manufacturing venture to take off and fly will be your ability to design and create very unique and different bookends. One idea may be to capitalise on the ever-increasing environmentally friendly theme and manufacture all the bookends out of recycled materials. If this route is chosen, be sure to include the fact that your products are manufactured from recycled materials in all packaging and promotional material, as this can be utilised as a fantastic marketing tool. The finished product can be sold through retail stores, such as gift shops, bookstores and the Internet. Recycled products are brought by many customers especially the ones who care for environment. The target audience for such business would be such customers. The chosen material can be anything whether it’s cans, card, sweet wrappers etc. A creative artist can turn those into a very good business.

Chalk portrait business
You can produce attractive charcoal portraits of people in a very short time frame. You may want to take some courses so you can start it off, as people portraits created from charcoal drawings is difficult, but at the same time it is one of the greatest all time 'cash' art business that can be started. I have seen many street artists who produce quick charcoal portraits of people. These portraits usually cost $20 and the artist is paid in cash. I live close to a tourist area, and in the past few weeks I have watched street artists draw as many as five portraits in an hour's time. Your math skills do not have to be good to know that adds up to $100 an hour for about $2 or $3 worth of art supplies.

Costume Rentals
A costume rental business is a fun opportunity, and the additional yearly income it can generate is outstanding. Once the item has paid for itself with five or six rentals, the revenue generated by the rental item from that point on is almost all profit The best way to market a costume rental business is to create a marketing brochure describing the costumes in stock and distribute the marketing brochure and rental rate sheet to organisations within the community, such as sports organisations, community theatre groups, charity associations, and colleges and universities. Halloween will be a huge time of year for you.
While you could ostensibly run this business from home if you have a loyal following (like local playhouses or schools and colleges), a retail store is a more likely venue. So you'll need a location, store fixtures, a cash register and credit equipment, and a healthy stock of costumes. You may also want to stock items such as theatrical makeup and wigs that people will purchase outright.
I talked to a friend whose mum is at the centre of such a business. Just before last Halloween, the store was filled with people ordering and renting costumes. Of course by now it isn’t going as quick, but due to parties and such all over London, the store is never out of customers. I didn’t get to ask how much money you can get from a business like that, but it must exceed £30 000 of salary a year.

Mirror art Business
Mirror art is simply small pieces of mirror in varying colors and shapes that have been assembled together to resemble a picture, landscape or even abstract design. In most cases a trip to your local glass shop will result in the entire mirror you will need for this new venture, and usually at no cost. Most glass shops dispose of mirror cut off pieces that are too small to sell, but these same pieces of mirror are perfectly sized to create mirror art. The equipment needed to create the art is inexpensive and includes a few hand tools and a glass grinder. Also, patterns are available to make the mirror art or you can create your own. Once completed, the art can be sold via flea market booths, online or by renting a sales kiosk in malls. Just like any home business the salary will mostly depend on your creativity and motivation to produce glass mirrors.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    A really indepth responce to artist practise.Well done! You need to continue adding to the post, using interviews and articles about the professional practise of a range of different artists.Mr B