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Saturday, March 27, 2010

LASTING IMPRESSIONS: Networking in the Fine Arts

Lasting Impressions with Sian Lindemann

A la Sian Design
Torva Fine Art

Kickin’ on 66 Collection: “Holiday”

Art Sales 2010

The economic devastation to the Fine Arts Industry of 2009 has lead to complete revolution in the manner in which our company has been able to generate sales of original works of art. I can’t speak for any of the other retailers, agents, or galleries whose primary business is to represent the sale of original works for the artists in their care.

Creative as we are, and with unwavering devotion to our artists, our revitalization required not only extreme focus, but an equal willingness to re-think our methods entirely, in reference to how we think about art and its value, and certainly, how we empower the artist to take initiative on their own behalf.

As in the industries of independent film, indie music, and indie publishing, it has become increasingly clear that the art business is now in the hands of the artist.

Like it or not, our company has had to take an increasingly significant back seat to the “desire” of the artist and their ambitions. That has been easily accomplished…

... with one HUGE difference: The artist MUST be willing to take the driver seat in their own career.

No more feigning lack of interest in the “business of art.”

It is now, essential, that the artist adopt the drive, ambition, skills and action required of all entrepreneurs to stay ahead of their industry, their less impassioned competitors, and become the “voice” of their own destiny.

Nowhere is this more clear than in a recent and delightful association with artist, Lucretia Torva, of Torva Fine Art, Phoenix, Arizona.

Kickin’ on 66 Collection: “Old Schoolin”

Sian Design has had the privilege of working with artist, Lucretia Torva, for the last 120 days, although our relationship goes back at least as one year.

Miss Torva is a graduate of the business organization CEOSpace, and has over the last many years made both an adequate income as a painter and muralist. Yet more recently, due to the critical economic conditions, she has needed also to supplement her income with “outside” employment.

No better time for us both to meet. Sian Design provided consulting services to Lucretia Torva, who has an already established and well matured art technique. Together we set to task to create placement for her original works with an intent to design a market outside of the traditional gallery exhibitions and other standard exhibition options.

Our first task was to identify styles and “collections,” to thus determine a placement strategy for her styles and collections. We focused only on “original” works, and eliminated print art or other known “limited edition” products outside the realm of our primary focus. (For we know that over the years, limited edition art has not retained its value. And our sophisticated clientele realize this from the massive LE approach to the fine arts since the 1980’s and 1990’s. Not even the most established artists can authenticate the appraised value of limited edition print art, especially in “resale.” Television auctions and a variety of other mass producers of print art have destroyed that market entirely.)

It does not eliminate print art as an option, but is more readily considered as open editions versus Fine Art Limited Editions.

In Torva’s career, she has three clearly defined styles and points of interest. Her styles include Portraiture, Vintage Automobiles and Motorcycles, and lastly Western or Equine Imagery.

Happy Trails: Torva Fine Art Equine Collection

Miss Torva elects to paint in these three very different styles that have compelling similarities… -- her passionate attention to detail,
-- her desire to study and immerse in the understanding of “reflective” surfaces
-- her ability to capture the underlying emotion of each of the subjects and to reveal the depth of character of each of the subjects

Torva Fine Art: Portraiture "Patience"

Miss Torva has a natural ability to socialize in circles within the Phoenix Business Community, with great elegance and ease of “networking.”

In other words, she enjoys “schmoozing,” which has long been the role of the agent, gallery or representative on behalf of the artist. Miss Torva easily commands the attention of a room, by her professionalism, her manner, her “image,” and her genuine desire to interact socially. This is a KEY difference in the relationship that has developed with Torva Fine Art and Sian Design.

A complete reversal, if you will, of traditional roles. Miss Torva elects to attend many different and high-level networking events through out the cities of Scottsdale, Phoenix, and the South Western Desert region. She enjoys interaction about business, politics, and of course, art, interacting with those who would have an interest, are enthused by and have personal collections of vintage automobiles and motorcycles. Among Lucretia’s collectors are high visibility political figures for whom she has created portraiture, often revealing the specific moment one has announced the furthering of their political career…

And those like Jay Leno, who are known, avid automobile enthusiasts.

The key “thread” common to the success of Torva Fine Art is Lucretia’s willingness to be present in the rooms of affluent and influential business men and women in the greater Phoenix area. It has been my job as agent and business manager to simply strategize her presence in each of those situations. In other words, I help her strategize how best to maximize her presence in the room. Most importantly, I work with her to come to each of these rooms with a “What’s in it for them?” mentality, versus the ever-destructive and ego-centric opposing consideration of "what’s in it for Lucretia?"

This has proven a KEY element to Lucretia’s success. And more importantly, this approach gives the artist a new role, one that is quite empowered and authentic, as her presence in each of these rooms brings value to the end user over and above the value of the art itself, which of course is evident.

This change in her thinking, through recommendations, suggestions and actualization by working with Sian Design, has been pivotal to her success.

No longer does the patron want to hear from me, the agent.

The patron wants to deal direct, with the artist, wants to know the artist personally, and also wants to interact and introduce the artist to friends, colleagues, and other associates who might also enjoy the works.

This is a complete revolution in the arts business where heretofore, the gallery or agent was always the intermediary between artist and patron.

No more!

Its been a delight to work with Lucretia Torva and Torva Fine Art, as Lucretia’s open and receptive manner make negotiations, discussions, and business brainstorming sessions most productive, fun and interesting.

My job as agent is now more predisposed to strategy, creating PR opportunities, using social media as a tool to tell the developing story of Torva Fine Art, and assisting Miss Torva with access to use us as a sounding board for her decision-making process.

Her team includes a CFO, an IP Attorney, and myself, Sian Lindemann, to advise and direct her. The one significant consideration is in the direct and clear desire to place collections, versus one image at a time with one patron at a time.

To see a comprehensive and well defined body of work: This has taken quite a bit more work to accomplish, yet the outcome has been much more fulfilling for the artist, the patron, and the public.

Placing collections has put art back into the prestige of museum-quality work, with a story, a theme, and an impact that heretofore was lost in the zest of less strategic development for the artist, and with little regard to the greater future of the work and its impact long after the departure of the artist.

A combined effort on the part of my company to create a higher vision for the collections, and the artist’s willingness to participate in her own destiny have been the greatest change in the nature of the HOW of the arts.

Networking, undertaken by the artist, is the KEY difference, and makes for a much more successful relationship with us, Sian Design, who have long been advocating the need for long-term planning in the careers of artists in our care.

Global voice, Global mission, and the art and artist then find the esteemed placement they all so much desire: to be revered and remembered for their impact and for their visionary voice.

It’s a new day in the Fine Arts. A reason "to be" is essential to discover and to actualize.

Torva Fine Art and artist Lucretia Torva will long be remembered well after the artist has departed. Is this not the authentic power of art?

We think so. That's why we are providing the services to accommodate this kind of long-term, vision, actualized

Sian Design
Executive Director
for Torva Fine Art

Sian Lindemann
March 2010

For more information, please visit Sian's TNNW Bio.


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