I have been following Jason Horejs’s (of Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ), mentorship program since last fall. I just posted on his blog the things I got from the experience and wanted to expand on it here.
The Mentorship Program was a contest where Jason invited artists to send in pics of their work and a statement about their art. He then se;ected Carolee Clark to receive the membership and a solo show at Xanadu Gallery in March 2014. He allowed all the artists who applied to follow along in a podcast his interactions with Carolee. It was incredibly informative and interesting!
1. Each week he assigned to the selected artist something to do to improve their work or marketing. I followed along and did the assignment each week, and rewrote my resume and artist statement. Doing that made me more aware of what I am doing in the studio, and also caused me to focus in on what I am doing in a few words, so it is specific and can be related to a buyer by a gallery. I did a biographical sketch, collected testimonials, that I now show in my portfolio, plus a running tally of recent sales. Everything I did had a direct payoff in my interactions with galleries and buyers. 2. I worked on my web page, got in more time on social media like Pinterest, my WordPress Blog and Facebook and worked on my SEO. Amazingly – I sold a painting from Pinterest and shipped it to Colorado, sold a painting off Facebook and shipped it to Austin. It was well worth my time! 3. Next I looked at my studio procedures and even though I spent more time on social media I streamlined the way I did my work and felt I had more time in the studio at the times of day I was at my best. I made a determination to produce 4 -5 large paintings a month no matter what, and have been able to do that. 4. The biggest thing I did was to spend time going back and making an inventory of all my work, and keeping good records. This is an ongoing process! 5. I standardized my pricing, and on my website listed my price list so all galleries and buyers are on the same page with prices. I also listed that prices increase by 10% each Jan 1. That way collectors are guaranteed an increase in their investment, and the best deal is to not wait to buy later. 6. I partnered up with a local charity, the Escondido Humane Society, to benefit from my twice yearly studio tour and raised over the course of 3 shows over $3000. The people who came from their mailing list purchased paintings and I was able to reach a new audience. 7. I also took to heart the suggestion to do square paintings and my new sizes of 30 x 30 and 36 x 36 have been popular.
8. During the time of the program I got into 2 new galleries who sold 12 paintings from Aug to April. In doing the mentorship as a follow along made a huge difference, I know my work reached a new level of professionalism and quality.
If you would like to apply for the upcoming mentorship, please navigate to: www.xanadugallery.com/mentorship/ . The Mentorship application process will officially open on Monday, May 12.
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