Linzy Arnott is a Canadian painter who has been extraordinarily successful within the art establishment, until recently.
She was making north of $200,000 a year and she was the sole bread winner supporting her family.
Linzy’s rare success is what most artists dream of yet it’s exactly what I warn against.
What are my warnings about seeking permission from the scarcity based art establishment instead of building your own business?
Three things could happen to you. It’s just a matter of time.
- Warning #1. At some point you will fall out of favor. Inevitably another artist whose art is more marketable with displace you.
- Warning #2. Your art gallery will go out of business. The unofficial word amongst gallerists in the US is that over half have closed their doors since the 2008 recession.
- Warning #3. They will violate their agreement by not paying you what they owe you, not returning your art, or by damaging your art inventory and or frames and expecting you to just eat it.
Seven of the eight art galleries that represent Linzy are now closing their doors.
One of these art galleries has made off with over $30,000 and all of the art inventory she had consigned with them.
When she called a debt collector they told her that this happens all the time with art galleries.
I wish I could say that Linzy’s experience is a rare but it’s not.
I know of a countless number of artists who have been completely ripped off by their so called representatives.
And it happened to me, several times.
Then I got wise. I took back my power by firing the bastards and building my own fine art enterprise.
Has it been easy? No.
Has it been worth it? Absolutely!
As an artist you will never have a career. Don’t believe me?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics only 3,660 Fine Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators were employed in 2014.
There are no jobs for artists.
If there are no jobs, then there are no art careers.
You’re not going to have an art career.
But you could build a business.
Linzy has just enrolled in The MAKING Art Making MONEY Semester so she can learn the tools that she will need to take back her power by building her own art business.
But she did learn three very valuable lessons from her experience and she is generously sharing them with you.
- Stand up for yourself. Don’t be a push over. Say enough is enough.
- Have your own contracts and enforce your business terms. This is not a one-way arrangement. The galleries have their contract; you should have yours. You have every right to your own contract.
- Be open minded. The art establishment is not the only path to success.
If something doesn’t work, there is another road.
Linzy offers you two pieces of parting advice.
Don’t give up.
Ignoring the urge to create is like committing a slow suicide.
She also called the FBI. Linzy emailed me what they advised her to do going forward. It’s exactly what I advise artists to do.
Thank you so much Ann, hope it wasn’t too choppy haha kept cutting out… Ok from the FBI, what artists need to have in their contracts to be protected and also if this is included the FBI can actually collect an artists $ and inventory for them! How nice that would be!!!
-what happens when payment is late and time frame ie. Interest charges every 30days, collections, lawyer etc
-inventory/sales updates, how often
-how will inventory be returned should the artist request their art back, how long does gallery have to return it (if they are out of town/country)
-condition of returned art, ie. will artist send an invoice if art is returned damaged (this happens!!!!)
Also I would like to add, should an artist decide to be represented by a gallery, I would HIGHLY recommend contacting other artists in that gallery to find out if they are being treated well/being payed etc before handing art over. Too many times have other artists in the same galleries as me emailed and called me in tears asking if I’m being payed and how to get their $.
That was about it Thanks so much Ann! Not sure if I got cut out or not saying this but THANK YOU SO MUCH for all you are doing to help artists!!! Already this is changing my whole life and I am SO grateful to you!!!
Have you been ripped off by your representative?
What did you do?
Did you recover your loss?