...serenity in motion
Communication, in all things.
One of my galleries just got a new gallery director. The old one is still keeping her hand in which is good because she is very good too. They called me to talk to me about the transition and invite me to be a part of an event they were having. I agreed to it and spoke with the new director about my current inventory and if she wanted to trade things out. She did, and we discussed what she would like to see in its place. I made an appointment to bring in the new work for her.
Here is where it became tricky, the new director had an emergency and the old was there in her place. She didn’t want most of what I brought in because it was similar to what she had already. What I was bringing in, was what the new director wanted. What do you do? As an artist, I was already failing the new director because I wasn’t leaving the things she asked for. I was failing the old director because she was disappointed with what I had brought. So I communicated. When finding yourself in that position, try very hard to take your emotion out of it. I told the old director that since I was going to be working with her replacement, I felt as though I needed to talk with the new director. I took the pieces she didn’t want and made another appointment to call and speak with the new director again. I spoke with the “new” and came back in when she and I could go over my inventory together (thank you artwork archive) and discuss what she thought they would want.
It is important to always be calm, and professional with anyone you are working with. Try to see their side of things and remember; they know their clientele better than you do. The gallery personnel see who is coming in everyday they are open, you don’t. Give them the benefit of the doubt because they are on the front line. The other thing to remember, it is your work and they have it with your permission. Give them the say on what you will bring in, you have the final say on how long they have it. This gallery was very excited to hang an new piece but I told them they could only have it for a month. They were happy to have it there for that long. I hope they sell it before I pick it up, both me and the gallery could use the business.
Ultimately, this is a business relationship and business is only as good as the communication you have. Be honest but polite, respectful and sincere, and keep in mind that it is a relationship that will lay groundwork in other places. Work hard not to become someone with a reputation of being a pain in the ass. When they talk, listen. When you ask questions, listen carefully to their answers. Good luck!