If you are reading this sometime around March 17th, 2014, then you have made a decision to be a part of something from the very beginning. I would like to say it was carefully plotted and planned to appear on St Patrick’s Day, but that is just the luck of draw, after all, I do have some Irish in me. I actually can say that I wrote this on St Patty’s Day, but the post will appear on 3/18/2014.
So, the beginning. This is the beginning of the blog but the Art Mastermind concept has been bouncing around my brain for the past year. A couple of years ago, my wife, Tamra, and I joined a few friends who had a weekly art club. It is an awesome group of people who come together to doodle, draw, paint, melt, scrape and maybe have a glass of wine or two and probably talk about anything from Breaking Bad to why we do the things we do. This is where the seed was planted for me to do something beyond just doodle, paint or draw.
So, while at a Christmas Party in 2012, I approached long time friend and restauranteur, Alan Geddie, and asked if he still had an art gallery in his coffee shop — Dunn Bros Provisions in Addison, TX. Click the button below to view the website.
I was hoping to show some of my newly minted art if possible. About 30 minutes later, after discovering that his current curator was on to other things, I had volunteered to take over the gallery. Four months later, we had our first show.
I had no clue how to run a gallery. I also know that I’m the type of person to say YES first and ASK later. How does the saying go? Ready, Fire, Aim? Running a gallery is just about hanging friend’s art and selling it, right?
My goal was to have the show in March, so late January I reached out to another friend, Aralyn McGregor, an established artist, and asked for some advice on gallery preparedness. We talked and she gave me specific instructions on how to treat the artists, when to send out notifications, when to hang the art, etc. She was extremely helpful and provided some insights that I still use today. Aralyn’s also continuing to rise with her own style of art. Feel free to check out her website here:
Aralyn got me pretty far, but I still had a ton of questions and wasn’t really finding what I needed on the internet. I didn’t really have an “in” with a specific gallery, so I did what I could with what I had and relied on “common sense” for the rest. I’ve had lots of presentation experience in my current job as a Telecom Engineer so I relied a lot on how I would “present” the art and artists. Thus TAAU Gallery was born and our first reception was on March 8, 2013. The artist tags, poster layout, and other administrative processes were mostly “figured out.”
I don’t think artists should have to spend a lot of time “Figuring Out” the business of art. I think there’s a better way to do this.
THE ART ADVANCEMENT UNION (TAAU)
Shortly after my first gallery show, I had this idea that there were four main aspects of art, and I wanted to do my part to advance art by focusing on those four elements: The Student, The Artist, The Gallery and The Patron. This all happened around March 2013. I had already taught my first drawing class, I was doing art, I had bought art, and now I was showing art. I had a hand in all four. But I didn’t have a way to move forward. One of my high school buddies had stepped up to help me try and get a web presence together, but I didn’t have a true vision, so I didn’t know how to advance the website. Thanks Robert for keeping me floating while I figured things out.
I went gangbusters nonetheless. I created my company and registered it with the state of Texas (The Art Advancement Union, LLC). I sent for my tax ID (and messed that one up–don’t pay for your tax ID, the IRS provides it for free. More on this in a later blog). For the remainder of 2013 I had three more shows, taught one more drawing class, attempted to get into a gallery and did a lot of doodling. I say all this to point out, that while the idea wasn’t quite going in the right direction, I was still DOING (This will become a major part of my mantra as these blogs and my vision begin to unfold.)
2014 brought a refocus on the core idea of helping the artist. This is where the Art Masterminds Group was born.
In October, 2013, Stephanie Burns wrote an article in Forbes magazine mentioning the seven reasons to join a Mastermind group. In this article, she notes that a mastermind group is designed to help one overcome obstacles and improve one’s chance for success by relying on the intelligence of others. Here are the seven reasons. Click the link to read the full article on Forbes. You have to navigate a few adverts, but it’s worth it.
- Being part of an exclusive community.
- Extend Your Network
- New Learning
- Cross Promotion
- Thinking Bigger
So, looking at the seven reasons, you can begin to see why I wanted to start the Art Mastermind group and what I hope we can achieve. In a way, this is probably the vision, while the mission will be more about how to make these things happen in a more focused manner.
I was going to try and cover the actual layout in this blog post, but as it is my first, I didn’t want to be longer winded than I already am. I will close this by discussing what you can expect with the blogs, how frequent they will be, and what you can do to help.
1. THE BLOGS
The blog will consist of the following types:
- Mastermind Content – Blogs of this nature will contain information specific to one of the Mastermind topics such as “Do Art, Show Art, Sell Art, etc.” More on the Mastermind content when I discuss the layout in the next Blog.
- Contest/Challenge – As part of the “Do Art” category, I will sometimes throw out a contest or challenge to help you work on doing art for specific topics. These challenges will be designed to help you think creatively and prepare you for commission sales.
- News – I will try to limit the news topics to relevant topics for the group. This will be articles related to “Art as a Business” or any news article I think will help the artist.
- Ask the Masterminds – These blog posts will post the questions and then attempt to answer them.
- Featured Artist – One of the benefits of the TAAU Artist membership is that I will occasionally do a post on a specific artist. If you would like to know more about TAAU Artist click the image below.
The frequency will depend on the volume of activity and what is actually going on in the art world. The goal is to do at least one type of Blog Post a week and hopefully more.
3. GETTING INVOLVED
There are several ways you can get involved. Here are just a few:
- Leave comments on the blog post. I’d like to hear what you have to say.
- Join our Mailing List. A link to join will be available at the end of this post.
- Contact me either through the “Contact Us” form or directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you’ve enjoyed the first official post. As I get better, these will get better. If you have any desire to guest blog, by all means, let me know and I can facilitate that. It is now almost the end of St Patrick’s day here in Dallas, I hope all of you have had a safe and green-filled day.
Until Next Time – Do Art.