ArtId Art Blog
The beginning of March brought with it two important trade shows for the decorative art world __" Artexpo and Decorexpo __" both of which are in New York City, and this segues nicely into Part 2 of our conversation about publishing.
Where and how do you meet publishers?
Trade shows are a great place. You see what's going on in the marketplace, find out what people are buying and selling, and make some valuable contacts. It was at Artexpo, NY, in fact, that I first met up with the Mind's Island team two years ago __" we were across-the-aisle-neighbors, both showing artwork in original and print form. In addition to having a very good time socially, we each benefited from the other's experience and connections. And that's the way it is with trade shows. You never know who knows whom. One of our other neighbors was Modernart Publishing, a company we've worked with for years. Heidi Coutu from M.I. hooked up with Modernart at this show, and they now publish some of her work. Another neighbor was Art in Motion, a Canada based publisher with whom I've wanted to work for a long time. By the end of the show we had managed to strike a deal. Many martinis were drunk that week to celebrate... but I digress. The point is we all made use of the show, to see and be seen, and it worked.
Trade shows like these are advertised in trade publications like Art Business News, Art World News, Decor Magazine, etc. Find these on line or at your art supply store, take note of who advertises, see what the calendar section has listed for up coming shows, and if you want to see if this is right for you, go to the next event and walk the show. I guarantee, you won't be bored. You'll be aesthetically assaulted, occasionally shocked, and sometimes flat out offended; but you'll also be entertained, amused, challenged and often very impressed.
Try to figure out if and where your work would fit into this world, or if you even want it to. I have several artist friends who are appalled that I take part in Artexpo. My response is basically, "Bite me." I think it's a hoot and have a great time doing it. Also, I'm very clear on what artwork I will and will not show there. It's all about playing to an audience. And being realistic about your goals and expectations. Showing at Artexpo is an expensive proposition __" $5,000, give or take, for a 10×10 foot booth for four and a half days __" which is why I recommend going as a spectator first.
Now, let's say you find yourself a publisher that you like __" what do you do? It's considered bad show etiquette to walk the aisles, portfolio in hand, and try to show your work to the exhibitors __" this, after all, is their time to shine, and at these prices they'd better shine bright __" but a card, especially one with images of your work, is a very good idea for something to carry around and leave behind when appropriate. If, and only if, the exhibitors appear NOT to be busy with paying customers, introduce yourself. Compliment their work, tell them you're an artist ( that's nothing to be ashamed of, by the way, so don't hang your head and mumble.), then ask if it would be possible to submit your work to them for consideration in their line. You'll be surprised how receptive many of the people will be.
You see, as much as you're hoping to get published, that's how much the publisher's are hoping to find the next Cheri Blum or Warren Kimble or Bev Doolittle or Stephen Scott Young. And who knows? Maybe that could be you.