When Artists Divorce

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How much more enjoyable it is to speak of love and marriage than of splitting up, but divorce happens, and it happens to artists at probably the same rate as for everyone else. Marital property – everything acquired during the marriage – needs to be divided in some way: the cars, the house, the bank account, the furniture. So, too, the artwork created by the artist-spouse, and along with the physical objects are current and future revenues from licensing as well as the copyright. Continue reading

Using Social Media to Market your Work

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Perhaps, you associate social media with Kim and Kanye, with beer pong videos and thumbs-at-the-ready politicians and gossip that comes with a hashtag, or maybe you just want to remind friends of your existence through uploaded images, Tweets (or retweets) and Likes and texted messages. Shannon Wilkinson, chief executive officer of the New York City-based Reputation Communications, wants you to think of social media as a career-building tool. Continue reading

Starving to Successful

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By way of justifying his art college’s lack of business of art courses, the former chair of the fine arts department at Ringling School of Art & Design, once told me that “our faculty are all practicing, exhibiting artists who know very well what it takes to make it in the art world.” Presumably, just the presence of these teaching artists and the example they set would provide their students all the information they needed. However, that claim is difficult to test. Certainly, art faculty don’t lose their jobs if they haven’t had a show or sold a work of art in many years, and no one would want that to be the criteria for evaluating an instructor. Continue reading

What artists should know about privacy

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It seemed creepy. Photographer Arne Swenson aimed his camera with its telephoto lens towards the windows of adjacent apartment buildings in New York City, taking pictures of people going about their normal business and exhibiting them in 2013 at New York City’s Julie Saul gallery. One family that found itself in those photographs, which included a mother and her one year-old son in a diaper and her three year-old daughter in a bathing suit, brought a lawsuit, claiming a violation of the family’s privacy under the state’s civil rights law. That law prohibits the use of someone’s name or image for the purpose of advertising or trade. However, in 2015, a New York appellate court found for the artist, who claimed that his images did not constitute advertising but were protected works of creative expression. Continue reading

The Portrait of the Artist as Mentally Ill

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Another day, another scientific “finding” that the sources of creativity are also the wellsprings of something abnormal. A new multi-authored study in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, titled “Investigating the prosocial psychopath model of the creative personality: Evidence from traits and psychophysiology,” concluded that actors, artists and musicians frequently show similar tendencies to those with “psychopathic traits,” having high levels of “emotional disinhibition” making them prone to dishonesty and risk-taking. “Emotional disinhibition, in the form of psychopathic boldness, is actually integral to some creative personalities and functionally related to the creative process,” the study finds. Continue reading

The Problem of Defamation

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Under the law in Massachusetts, an “art dealer must pay the artist monies due from the sale of the consigned work within 90 days of receipt of payment.  The art dealer incurs fines for payments not made within 90 days, and the penalties increase again after 180 days.” If the dealer doesn’t pay within one or another period, is that person a thief or a crook? That’s quite possible, but saying it to others or publishing a statement to that effect could lead the dealer to bring a lawsuit for defamation. Continue reading

Preserving your brand online

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Because I have published several career guides for artists, periodically I Google my own name to see how easily (or not) I might be found by someone searching online for one or more of the books. Daniel Grant is not all that uncommon a name, and among those similarly named are a painter (www.dannygrantfineart.com) and a photographer (www.danielgrantphotography.com). There are many others as well. I once was confused for the photographer by someone who wanted to hire me. A trivial problem for me, but it may not be for artists who look to make a name for themselves, what is called branding. Continue reading