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The Thriving Artist - The Clark Hulings Fund 4th February 2018
Engage New Sales Avenues to Increase Art Income

Engage New Sales Avenues to Increase Art Income

Aaron Laux is an artist who makes 100% of his income from his art—a rarity in the profession. In this episode, Aaron and podcast host Daniel DiGriz discuss Aaron’s business model and the Business Accelerator Program. A recent graduate of the fellowship’s first year, Aaron explains how he expanded his business to explore and utilize more avenues of sale. Listen to the 45-minute episode for Aaron’s ideas on the new and emerging art world models that favor working artists.

On Accelerator and Business Development

  • “Being able to wear two different hats and switch back and forth between different ways of thinking—it’s something that I wasn’t doing when I was young; I was more focused on the art and the adventure.”
  • “What’s been great about this whole process is creating a momentum which involves all of the Fellows, and the ongoing evolution of business concepts.”
  • “My goals have evolved. I was at a transition point, and Accelerator pointed me in the direction of other avenues of sale and different approaches; from working with galleries, to commissions, to e-commerce.”
  • “I realized I can revisit this project I was working on six years ago—to build a solar photovoltaic sculpture that’s functional, but also aesthetically beautiful—I have the skills I need to create this project and make an Investment-Grade Proposal to find commission or investors for it.”
  • “The Accelerator program has broadened my mind to how my art is relevant and how I can make money from it.”

New Models in the Arts

  • “There are ways to give clients more choices, to commission art that they want.”
  • “Collectors aren’t buying the same way that they used to; they’re not buying at shows, but we’re seeing new art fairs and a status quo in terms of how fairs are run. If organizers employed a shared-risk approach, I think we’d see much more creativity in how these shows are put together.”
  • “I do like the concept of Community Supported Art Projects generally, in that putting up initial funds could help create a steady cash flow for artists.”
  • “Being able to talk directly with your potential clients is huge; I’ve learned a lot by starting out with art fairs, but fairs that share the risk more evenly offer a model that’s more artist-friendly.”

On Keeping Perspective as a Working Artist

  • “Surviving as an artist is a big deal. I’ve definitely felt like I’ve had to quit at moments, but with tenacity and support of loved ones, something always comes up.”
  • “The world of corporate and public art commissions is very competitive—before, I wasn’t even playing the game—now I’m in the game.”
  • “It’s been an evolution to be a professional artist, and it’s taken me a long time to get here….I’m coming around to really seeing this as not only what I do, but my lifestyle and my income.”