About Janet Bloch

Strategic Marketing Tools for Visual Artists by Janet BlochJanet Bloch earned a Master of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1980. After her graduation she had no idea how to approach galleries or write grants. Then, as the director of Chicago's Woman Made Gallery she experienced the art world from the "gallery side." Her perceptions led to practices that advanced her own art career, such as solo shows and earned her such awards as an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship, a National Endowment of the Arts Regional/ Midwest Fellowship and three Individual Artist's Grants from the Indiana Arts Commission. She currently serves as Executive Director at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts in Michigan City, Indiana.

I decided to write this workbook to reach as many artists as possible who hunger for this information, as I did. There is a great deal of mystery about the art world and its workings. As a result, artists often feel like outsiders. Combining this common perception with the competitive and secretive world of art can fuel the artist's sense of isolation and insecurity. Fortunately, I'm in a unique position to help.

As an artist, I share a mindset with many of the artists I've met. I've felt alternately insecure and grandiose, often within an hour's time. I've believed wholeheartedly in my work while dreading rejection. I've been frustrated by a lack of knowledge about the gallery system but longed to be a part of it.

A great shift in my perspective occurred when I directed Woman Made Gallery in Chicago from 1993 to 2000. During my work there, I came to understand the "other side" of the art business—the non-artist side. I learned what makes a great submission packet, what belongs in an artist's statement, and what steps should be taken to build an impressive résumé. It became clear to me why gallery owners are protective of their time, why they want materials presented in specific ways, and what they consider unprofessional behavior. I learned from other artists' successes and failures.

The personal inspiration for this workbook stems from a spiritual axiom that I was introduced to years ago. The saying is this: What you desire most for yourself, give to others. When I was starting out, I always wished that I had a mentor, someone "in the know" who could advise me about what to do and what to avoid. Now that I've gained that knowledge through my experiences, I wish to share it with others.

Janet Bloch

Strategic Marketing Tools for Visual Artists by Janet Bloch