Many artists are frustrated, even intimidated by the skill and psychological gaps between creating art and selling that art at a profit. The Artists Cadre exists to close those gaps. Dubbed “The RE,” it has a simple mission: to encourage artists and to help them become more profitable and successful. It launches that mission in Venice on Thursday.
“I noticed when I went to artists’ receptions the artists often seemed uncomfortable being the center of attention at their own shows,” said Vince Skolny, founding partner and Director of Marketing at The Artists’ Cadre. “As I talked to artists about that they kept telling me about those gaps between making and selling art, things like working a room, asking for a sale, and talking about price. Those are sales and marketing skills that I have spent my career developing and teaching to others. I thought, ‘I can help with that,’ and that is what we created The RE to do.”
Los Angeles artist and RE cofounder Pablo Castrejon agrees. “The RE is going to help artists transition to being successful entrepreneurs while still pursuing what our passion is,” he said. To provide that help, The Artists’ Cadre offers artists professional sales and marketing training, assistance promoting their shows and events, and opportunities for new artists to participate in first-time group shows. Pop up and online galleries are also in its plans.
Unlike typical organizations that support artists, though, The Artists’ Cadre is proudly for-profit. “The RE is not a not-for-profit because artists are not charity cases,” Skolny said. “Society has this ridiculous idea that artists should be poor or should somehow transcend profit. Starving artists? That’s nonsense. Artists are entrepreneurs and business people. We intend to encourage them to think of themselves that way and offer opportunities for them to develop the skill sets they need to work that way,” he said.
The RE will officially launch that effort in Venice on July 13, with a complimentary artists’ mixer and seminar, co-sponsored by Venice Duck Brewery and hosted at John Moony’s glass blowing studio. While The Artists’ Cadre is a Los Angeles-wide company, Skolny and Castrejon never questioned that it should launch from Venice. “Venice is the best art scene in Los Angeles and we love it here,” Castrejon said.
Skolny will present “3 Assets for Artists: How to Brand Yourself, Close a Sale, and Build a Profitable Market for Your Work,” but he believes the chance to connect with other entrepreneurial, like-minded artists is as important as the marketing skills themselves. “We all need encouraging communities, otherwise, we ultimately won’t use the skills we develop,” Skolny said. “We are inviting artists who want to sell more of their work to come out and have a Venice Duck or two and start building those connections with other kindred spirits. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and I promise that it will be the most valuable hour of marketing education they have ever received.”
Castrejon is looking forward to meeting other artists.
“The information at this seminar is going to be useful for any artist who wants to make more money as an artist,” he said. “I know I want to. Who wouldn’t?”
Artists can learn more and reserve their spots at bit.ly/artistevent