Confronting Your Professional Legacy: David Paul Bayles (Podcast)

Last fall I received an email from David Paul Bayles, who was a member of my class at the time. The email read, in part:

Recently The Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley (third largest special collections library in the U.S.) created The David Paul Bayles Photographic Archive to create a home for my life’s work.

I am driving down to meet with them on Monday to place a large number of prints and oral history audio files into the Archive.

Whoa. How cool is that? A major institution deemed David’s work worthy of saving forever – all together under a single roof.

After peppering David with questions, I knew that his was a story that needed to be shared with you.

I have been concerned about artists’ legacies and what they are doing to prepare themselves and their loved ones for their passing. What happens to the work and the records after they’re gone?

In this episode of the Art Biz Podcast, David tells us what his professional archives consist of, including his photos, writings, records, and audio files.

He also gives us insight into the process of negotiating with the Library – fascinating stuff. And, yes, it includes lawyers.

Of course, we also talked about his art and why he chose to focus on photographing trees throughout his career. A better way to frame the question is how the trees chose him.

And we ended with a discussion of David’s next big goals. What comes after finding a permanent home for your entire life’s work? For David, it’s an artist residency and a traveling exhibition.

As you listen, pay careful attention to all of the people David has connected with along the way. His story is one of finding and nurturing connections.

And it all started with a fire …

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16 Ways to Demonstrate Your Art Has Value

Sarah Snavely demonstrates how she packs her sculpture – securely and professionally. Image used with permission.

Sometimes we get sloppy and forget that everything we do and say around our work affects how others perceive it. You teach people how to treat you and your art. Make sure you’re sending the right signals. Here are 16 things to consider.

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15 Steps to Take After Completing Your Artwork

Kerry Thompson, Café Friends Nursery

On the heels of last week’s post about the importance of systems link to last week, here’s a system framework inspired by a question from Kerry Thompson.

What do you do after you’ve finished a work?

©2011 Kerry Thompson, Café Friends Nursery. Acrylic on cotton canvas, 61 x 77 centimeters

Finish the Details

The work shouldn’t be considered complete until you do the following with the physical piece.

Sign it! Sign your art wherever you can, and however you do it best. Add the date on the front, back, or underneath – where and when it’s appropriate for your medium. Many artists don’t like to date their work on the front because

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Separate Your Business from Your Personal Finances

When you decide to turn your art into a business, separate your financial records. Open a business checking account, order a credit or debit card, keep separate files, and be diligent about tracking your expenses.

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5 Reasons to Title Your Art

Mary Susan Vaughn, Hope Road

Are the titles of your artworks working for you? Do they help people relate to your art? Do they at least cause viewers to stop and think, “Hmmm . . . I wonder what that means”? There are five very good reasons for spending time on your titles.

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Art Marketing Action Podcast: 5 Reasons to Title Your Art

Audio version of the post with the same name. Don’t neglect titling your art. Titles can help people find you, writers write about you, and help you distinguish among your works.

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Conservation of Your Artwork: Intent and Keeping Records

Future generations have no idea what your intent was in making a piece of art. You have to spell it out if it isn’t obvious. If you want your work preserved in a museum one day, make a conservator happy. Keep notes about your working materials, techniques, and intent.

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Deep Thought Thursday: Bookkeeping and Other Sexy Subjects

Do artists need both financial software and inventory software? Or is there a single solution that can do everything? I think you need both, but I’m willing to be proved wrong. Share your thoughts.

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