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When is a good time to hire a rep or publicist or rep ? How do you go about finding one worth their salt?

Hi, I'm looking to get in more galleries with my work. I've had luck with my rep in NY, they even took my work to Art Miami ( Basel week), but really need more locations to sell. In-person viewing is really the only way i sell art. I'm looking for advice on where to find a coach or rep, or publicist -- i guess I'm searching for the next steps in my career building and we never covered this kind of stuff when i got my MFA.

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To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

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Indrani’s Answer

Generally, hiring a rep or publicist becomes beneficial when you have reached a point in your career where you require assistance managing your public image or publicity, when you have a significant amount of work that would benefit from the backing of a reputation professional, or when your workload disseminating information to the public is too great to handle on your own. Such professionals can help you gain exposure, manage media relations, and foster important connections within your industry.

To find a reputable publicist or rep, consider the following steps:

Identify Your Needs: Prior to searching for a publicist, define your specific needs and what you hope to achieve from their services. Knowing what you expect can help you seek out the right professional for your goals.

Research: Look at various PR firms or independent publicists. This can be online, or you can ask for referrals from colleagues or friends. Check their client lists and past work experiences.

Check Their Credentials: Look for rep or publicist with an established reputation in their field. Websites, LinkedIn profiles, portfolios, and client testimonials can provide a good sense of their credibility and performance.

Personal Connection: Make sure you also connect on a personal level. The best publicist in the world won't do much good if you don't gel with them. You want someone who not only understands your work but also understands you.

Interview Candidates: Arrange meetings with potential candidates or PR firms. Ask them about their approach, what they think they can bring to your career, and what their strategies would be for achieving your goals.

Discuss the Terms: Prior to making any decisions, it’s important to discuss and agree upon terms and conditions. This includes cost, contract length, and services included.

Trial Period: If possible, consider a short-term agreement at first to make sure the working relationship is on track.

Remember, the goal of hiring a publicist is to promote and protect your public image, so make sure that whomever you hire is someone you trust with your brand.
Thank you comment icon thanks oodles for this thoughtful and educated response. Do think that a firm should be specifically in the fine art field ( as I'm struggling to find them on the web -- or perhaps, just have no idea how to search for them) or do you think that folks that any PR in general will understand the goals and needs of this field, in which case not being plugged into the art infrastructure is not that big of a deal? I feel like so much of this industry is about getting your work in front of someone who: is a collector, likes this kind of work, and has the means to buy my level of work. (the last is NY far the hardest ) . Again thanks for your response Indrani. Jeffreyj
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Paula’s Answer

Hi Jeffrey,

It sounds like you need a manager, not a rep. Also, if your work is commercial enough in nature, you can sell the rights to some of your art on a yearly basis, for calendars, cups, aprons, bags, etc., which can help you make seed money to continue on your path. Depending on the status or type of art, it could make you ten to twenty thousand a year to start. That is where a manager can help in contacting and negotiating this type of merchandizing deal. In the art world, when making a living, every little bit helps along the way. Lets not forget social media and online sales, via Etsy? As I have not seen your artwork, these are basic steps that can help lead to more exposure.

My nephew makes a living doing commercial murals throughout California. He has an online presence and sells "giclée" prints of some of his artwork. He started at street fairs, working into galleries, and on to murals. Every journey is different, and we do what we can to get noticed and to continue doing what we love. Best of luck to you.

Paula Maxwell
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