melbourne artist criss chaney colorful women paintings milan art institute mastery program review

Week 44 Milan Art Institute Mastery Program

Yay! We made it to part 4 branding! Finally!

I’ve watched all the videos and haven’t done any of the work yet. This area is a little more freeform, it seems.

At the beginning of the program they were very clear about how many paintings we are supposed to make and what assignments we are to do in the the week. This week I’m not sure how many paintings I’m supposed to make- I guess 2.

Elli explained about the differences between the decorative market and collectible markets, all the various intermediaries and what percentage of the sale price you could expect them to take. She compared self-representation and participating in the gallery system, and of course talked about how now is the best time to be a self-represented artist.

She discussed making sellable work, and one of the things she said, was that if the subject is looking right at you, it’s not very sellable, and maybe you should limit that to one in 5 pieces.

I was a bit taken aback because in the portfolio section I was pushing the envelope on that exact thing! Giving my ladies more attitude and making them more confrontational and nearly all my pieces had the subject looking back at the viewer!

So, now back to the drawing board, I guess, and just be really careful about my ladies looking at the viewer.

colourful painting of a woman hot pink and purple financial feminist

She said colour was a big component of why things sell- which I’m still trying to figure out how to do my colour palette well, so it’s not all pinks and purples.

Then She Discussed Pricing...

And I wish they would just offer a spreadsheet for this- it would make it so much easier to be able to play around with the numbers. But I modified my own pricing spreadsheet to square in pricing, and played around with the range of price points that she suggested. In the handbook it talks a bit more about if you’re working with a gallery, they won’t really want to deal with you if your work is less than $X amount per square inch, if you’re selling directly to the collector, then the lower end of the price range is just fine, etc.

From a previous mentor, I had been pricing my artwork by the linear inch, and when I switched to the square inch method- I found that my smaller works got cheaper (which I wouldn’t lower the price on them because they take me so long to make) and my larger paintings got way more expensive. The medium paintings stayed around the same price. And I was beginning to feel that my larger paintings were a bit too cheap, especially since I’m offering free shipping, and the shipping starts to get exponentially more expensive. So I’ve decided to raise my prices when I graduate from the program and release these new artworks.

melbourne artist studio shot criss chaney colourful portraits of women

The other thing they talked about was doing commissions and how you don’t want to let the client dictate the artwork-which I totally did in my last commission, pretty much they created the source and I just turned it into a painting. Not my proudest piece of art.

The assignment is now to write up our own commission documents and contracts.

Which again, I wish they would have just given us a template for that, and a bit more information, because I feel like it’s not just about the contract, but the informational literature that you can share with the client before you get to the contract stage. Anyway… I already had some commission information written up, so I’ve just modified and updated it. You can see it on my website here if you’re looking for inspiration.

We also got to see Chase and Sarah talk about how their 6 weeks went, as well as the work that they painted this week, which I think they both really came along pretty well from where they were 6 weeks ago.

It’s amazing how quickly you can progress when you actually just sit down and paint.

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