Tuesday, August 5, 2008

the big game changes: perspectives on artists, collectors, and field & stream

As Washington DC based art advisors and consultants, it is important to get the word out to national artists, gallerists, museumists (yes, i just made that word up), and various others on what Shauna Lee Lange Arts Advisory does and how we can help (and believe me, we can!). In that endeavor, we occasionally work with an on-line printing service called Vista Print in designing and producing art postcards which we use as informational mailers (if you want one, send me a note).

Vista Print has many functions we love, and some we don't. For example, they offer "free" trial magazine memberships and when I arrive at that screen (one of many you have to navigate through), I simply by-pass it. But recently, I must have clicked or not clicked on the wrong button, and I shockingly found in my snail mailbox my first ever issue of Field & Stream - The July '08 Accuracy Issue.

Now as an artist, a woman, a mother, a business owner, and an arts advocate, I am neither a deer hunter nor am I interested in how to hit my deer at any range, how to catch giant browns at night, or how to float, fish, and camp my perfect weekend. Frankly, I find articles on 11 Tack-driving rifles carrying promises of how I'll never miss again boldly offensive. Highly. Extremely. And I don't want this material in my home. Ever. But as an advocate of how art and photography is represented in various forms, I took a look see through magazine sections titled people, experts, skills, and gear to see if any new art ideas formed.

To the magazine's credit, there is a beautiful shot of the Colorado Eagles Nest Wilderness by Tim Romano and a stunning photograph at the Denali National Park in Alaska of a bull moose by Mark Raycroft (which the magazine editors nearly destroyed by placing over the fold), but what I really want to talk to you artists about is an article by Bill Heavey (F&S columnist and editor) called The Big Game is About to Change.

It's amazing how theories, forecasts, and principles can apply to one industry equally well to another. Heavey's article is about the whitetail deer, how it sees, hears, breeds, and behaves - it's geared to help the hunter understand the prey. In the arts world, hunters and huntees are part of the artist and collector acquisition game. As a fun exercise, I thought it would be interesting to think about how these principles impact your work, your career, the placement of your work, and your continued approach towards recognition, respect, and responsibility.

1. Vision. Once an artist or a collector sees the other, even from a good distance, the game is over.

2. Hearing. Artists and collectors should be able hear an acorn drop 100 yards away on a calm day.

3. Movement. There are as many theories about movement during the rut as there are artists and collectors. Both are most active at dawn and dusk.

4. Density. If you don't see many artists or collectors, it's because there aren't many for you to see.

5. Breeding. Big, dominant artists and collectors do most of the breeding because they win most of the fights.

Photo Credit: Hand-dyed fabric from http://www.bound-in-stitches.com/ - Field & Stream.