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Starving artists no more

Artist Alice Rich links artists with the tricks of the trades of entering the art market in The Artrepreneur workshop



What: The Artrepreneur

When: Saturday, Sept. 22, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Where: Whistler

Tickets: $70/$40

As a single mom, with two kids in elementary school, Alice Rich was still able to make a living from her art.

Wedding photography failed. However, marketing her photography through her own line of greeting cards moved her creative craft to a steady stream of revenue.

Almost 15 years later, Rich now operates her own small business, a working art studio and a workshop series that helps other artists learn to make a living from their craft above and beyond a Kraft dinner budget.

The artist, marketing guru and gallery owner will host the day-long Artrepreneur Seminar on Saturday, Sept. 22 in Whistler.

“A lot of artists don’t realize that there is already a market out there for their work,” Rich says from her Granville Island studio in Vancouver. “They just don’t know how to tap into it. Being an artist has nothing to do with starving. I don’t like the term, ‘starving artist’. I am interested in artists who want to make money and who are interested in going into business for themselves. You are creating something that is a product and you have to sell it… We start with the first person to sell your artwork, which is yourself.”

The workshop will include instruction on proposal packages and submissions for public and commercial galleries — she notes grant applications are not included in the curriculum. Other topics discussed include licensing work, internet marketing, tradeshows, contracts, running a small business, legal issues, photographing artwork, portfolio, branding, marketing, and copyrighting.

“What I do is I try to get them to target their own work and generate a to-do list or marketing plan for themselves during the workshop,” she said. “It’s a great way to generate more ideas. I encourage artists to come out and see the marketability of their art.”

Every artist’s plan of action will be different; for some action planning is a hotel gallery, for others, 2010 coffee mugs.

“I am not trying to say this is the only way to do it,” she said. “Some people will only want to work with collectors in museums, others are happy to make fridge magnets. That is okay too. That is just another direction, another way to create bread-and-butter art.”

The workshop is $40 for Whistler Arts Council members and $70 for non-members. The annual Whistler Arts Council membership fee is $25. Lunch is an additional $5.

To register, contact info@whistlerartscouncil.com or drop by the Whistler Arts Council office, located behind the post office in Marketplace.

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