Artist Consultants

Who are these people that charge stupid amounts of money to be your art “consultant”? Not all art genres and scenes are the same, not all approaches should be the same, not to mention any information you need can be found at the library for free. I’ve noticed most consultants have a spotty job history and are failed gallery owners; on average with two under their belt. I don’t want someone who couldn’t keep their own business going to be tell me how to run mine. I write my own bio, CV, design my own website and often I write my own press releases — not the galleries. Why? Because I know me better than some person I just met who will base everything off a questionnaire. The best are the consultants that claim that they know the secret to writing good copy, and in the claim, they have glaring spelling errors or made up words like “impactful”. Yes people “impactful” is not a word, stop using it. Twitter isn’t magic, neither is blogging, and teaching a workshop on good art portfolio web design isn’t a selling point when your own workshop website sucks.

I guess there are those artists that feel lost and out of the loop, but with a little research, they can do anything that paying a consultant can do. I never understood why bands paid PR companies for something they could do for next to nothing. I should know, I had a music promotions side company with my husband for a while. I felt like a fraud because what we were doing wasn’t rocket science, anyone could do it. Perhaps they were paying for what my husband’s reputation could bring them? In any case, the results we got made several bands very happy and they wondered what the secret was. Simple really: email someone personally. I know crazy right? Instead of an email blast hoping for it to stick!

I don’t know, sometimes I just put it down to laziness. Trust me, I am lazy as hell, but somehow I can get stuff done if it is important enough to me. I always thought of people who got life coaches to be lazy for instance. It doesn’t help I know a few people who trained to become life coaches, and they are some deeply disturbed individuals with a messy life of their own — real messy. Maybe hiring a consultant or a coach of sorts makes people feel important? Like you are getting serious and down to business. Maybe they make really bad art and hiring help will somehow change that. Maybe I’m just incredibly distrustful; there are too many hucksters in creative fields for me to count. Maybe I’d rather spend $500 on an ad in a fancy art magazine, than have an unemployed former director of a gallery no one ever heard of tell me how to write an impactful biography.

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