Friday, October 28, 2022

A New Monthly Column

Whoa!  My meeting yesterday morning with Nancy, whom I really like and admire, was hard work. But boy did we get a lot done! It’s the second time we’ve gotten together and done the work of a driven yeoman. All our ads are written and placed, and our revised website is going live tomorrow. Our next task is working with our doctors to yield meaningful content for our newsletter. 

Once Nancy left, I took 15 minutes to feed lunch to the pets and make my own lunch, and then I was back at work doing all the homework from the meeting. All in all, I did 6 hours of solid hard clinic work yesterday, starting at 10:00 in the morning and finishing at 4:00 in the afternoon. Once done, I had to lie down. I was pooped.

Nancy told the board that she was exhausted from all the work she’s doing. She is one of the most essential and hardest working board members. The work I do for her is clearly welcome; we get along exceptionally well. I’m chuffed about helping her.

The biggest thrill of the day was the reply from the Arts Council to my proposal to write a monthly column of tips on marketing for visual artists and craftspeople. Carol, the executive director, replied YES with about a dozen exclamation marks. I’m glad because in doing it, I feel more connected to my community.

Here’s the graphic header to the column:

And here’s the introduction to the column:

I’m Chris Loranger. I was the marketing manager of Opus Framing for many years. I wrote a monthly column in their monthly newsletter on professional practice for their visual artist customers. Emily Carr University of Art & Design hired me late in my career as an instructor of professional practice. I wish I were an artist, but I’m not. Instead, I have made a career of helping artists. I inaugurated a theatre and art gallery at Presentation House in North Vancouver, produced an Artropolis exhibition that hosted the work of over 200 artists, and produces a series of lectures by internationally renowned curators of visual art. This series of articles with the Arts Council is offered in goodwill to provoke consideration of you and your visual arts career.

And here’s the first short column:

When I was teaching professional practice at Emily Carr University of Art & Design, my favourite class, by far, was the one following the issuing of this assignment:

In a short paragraph, explain the purpose of domestic display. We display things on our mantles, walls, and shelves; how does the display of your things serve you? I do not want to know what is displayed in your home; I want to know why you display the things.

The assignment helped my students to understand the challenges they face in marketing their artwork. This assignment made students think about the emotional forces underpinning the domestic display of their cherished items. Inevitably, in the discussion became focused on memory and narrative. 

Students came to realize that things on display, when noticed by visitors, triggered the release of cherished stories. Displayed objects all had stories attached to them that their owners loved to tell.

This taught my students two things: the enormity of the challenge they faced in selling their artwork. It had to compete with highly emotionally charged mementoes. Also, they learned that emotional stories attached to their work helped sales. 

Remember this lesson as you choose your subjects and when you meet potential customers at your exhibitions. Move the people who come to your shows or open studios, and they may buy.

It’s Friday. More rain showers are expected today. Yesterday was windy. Since moving here I’ve come to hate the wind. I don’t call the wind Mariah, I call it Anathema. Today is a day off. I will start a new Bruno novel by the fire mit der pets. I am so, so happy to have a day to myself to relax and reflect on my new level of involvement with my community. My friend Beth wrote to me, "Chris is back." I am, and how happy I am about that!

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