Friday, March 30, 2012

Pay to Play

I received an email recently from publishers of AKC Family Dog (according to them, "the most widely distributed canine magazine in the world!"). In the email, they tell me that my work has been recommended by the editors to be included in the July/August issue.....

Trout Dreaming

8x10 inches, watercolor

But of course, this isn't free. $395 to "offset production costs". Hmmmmmm. So basically they've chose me to pay for space to advertise. Then not moments later, the CAG crew emails came in. Apparently the majority got the same email which made me think that I wasn't very special anymore and this was a blanket email. I'm not going to do it, mind you. It's just too expensive... but they way they worded it, it did make me feel kinda special.

Then there are the vanity galleries. Vanity galleries (not to be confused with co-ops which are another thing) will approach an artist like myself with the space and location that all artists dream of. They want to take your work and hang it for a couple of months, like an exhibition, but you have to pay a fee up front to be there. No guarantee that your work will sell, hell, they don't have gallery people there to help you. YOU do all the marketing, selling, working.... wait, isn't this what galleries are supposed to do for me? Why should I pay someone to hang my work in there space? Sure they may claim that they have tremendous foot traffic... but how do I know that? Or they have testimonials from other artists that this was a great experience and "I learned a lot." I don't need to pay to learn a lot anymore. I finished paying student loans years ago and have no intention of doing it again (anytime soon anyway).

Bands have this to; it's called Pay to Play. There are organizations out there who will get a couple of bands together... and give each player x amount of tickets. Then the band players have to go out and sell all their tickets to their shows. Wouldn't be so bad if the bands didn't have to charge their friends $10 for a ticket. But because there are venues that will have bands play, maybe give them discounted beer if not a free one, and the profits made at the door is split by the band. It's never a lot of money, but I think it's better than putting your friends in a awkward position by having to buy a ticket for 10 bucks ahead of time.

I've only heard bad things about vanity galleries and pay to plays. Maybe you have a good experience you like to share with me? I would love to hear about it.

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