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Sometimes it takes persistence to be original.

Anna Jordanous of Kent University, quoted in a Quartz article on the 14 components of creativity.  The others include independence, thinking and evaluation, originality and variety and experimentation.
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Want to Mint Artists Guild this fall and hang out with some creative types in their teens? Attend workshops, be part of pop ups and special art events – where you sell your art. We call this the ‘learn and earn program.’

Most artists who are accepted and are active will be invited to the Palmer Park Art Fair, a fine juried fair in May.  Artists ages 13 to 18 must be available for weekend workshops and have a body of work they want to sell.

Apply by Thursday by uploading images of your art and telling us about you!

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Seven Mint Artists will show and sell their creative work at the Funky Ferndale Art Fair on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Among them are a photographer, a jewelry artist, a multi media artist and a few painters. All are ages 13 to 19 and are from Detroit or Hamtramck.

Mint’s tents will be about half way down Nine Mile near Allen Street, and also near Affirmations. Some 120 professional artists also set up and sell at Funky Ferndale.

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We depend on volunteers to make Mint grow.

Join us this evening to learn more about volunteering with Mint Artists Guild. 

Or if you want to help out with fundraising, marketing or during the Belle Isle Art Fair this weekend or the Art of Resilience on Aug. 13, please contact Vickie at mintartistsguild@gmail.com or fill out this online volunteer info sheet.

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We depend on volunteers to make Mint grow.

Join us this evening to learn more about volunteering with Mint Artists Guild. 

Or if you want to help out with fundraising, marketing or during the Belle Isle Art Fair this weekend or the Art of Resilience on Aug. 13, please contact Vickie at mintartistsguild@gmail.com or fill out this online volunteer info sheet.

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Smart & beautiful insights, advice in pricing artists work


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Dorothy Jett-Carter creates beautiful bags and purses from vintage African cloth. Her creative work is sold at the Detroit Institute of Arts gift shop, at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History shop and in galleries and art fairs. She also has experience selling creative work to department stores.

And in all those places, she strives for consistent pricing. Artists must price their work the same in many venues, even if the commission or cost to sell varies, she told Mint Artists Guild teens at our March 2016 workshop on pricing. 

“You can’t go up and down with your price. You can’t have a gallery on one side of town selling it at once price because they would buy it wholesale and then on other side of town, a different number.  You need to be consistent with your pricing.”

Artists and galleries use many methods to price their work – from measuring the size in square inches to evaluating competitors prices. Some price their work based on the customer’s economic status. We wouldn’t be surprised to see some prices based on social media followers!

However, Jett-Carter recommends artists consider all the costs of producing the creative work – including equipment and supplies and time spent on delivery or promotion. Then add in some amount for the  artist’s creativity and reputation and figure in the commission too.

She described the various ways artists may sell their work and noted that the commission rates may vary from 20 to 50 percent, and payment terms vary too. 

A wholesale client will pay for your work upfront, but will expect a 50 percent discount from the standard price. Many galleries take artists’ work on consignment, often for 90 days, and pay only after the piece sells.  And a few galleries will rent space to artists for a set payment each month plus a low commission of 15 to 25 percent. “I don’t recommend those galleries for emerging artists,” Jett-Carter said. They work best for artists who already have “a tremendous following” or for work that is more commercial, such as art made into coasters or calendars, she added.

Jett-Carter, who runs a small training company, has worked with many businesses and artists. Her expertise on artist pricing is much appreciated by the Mint Artists. Here’s three other pieces of pricing advice Jett-Carter gave at the Mint workshop:

  • Cost of your work.   When you consider how much it costs to produce a piece, be sure to add in costs of tools such as paint brushes or a sewing machine. And calculate both time and labor – and the value of your creativity, she says. Many artists forget to add in miscellaneous costs – gasoline, electricity, studio rent, art fair admission fees and promotional costs – often  about 10 to 15 percent of the price, Jett-Carter said.
  • Art fairs. You mark up your price to cover commissions galleries take. Yet your price stays at that higher level at a fair or art pop-up, even if you have no gallery has signed up to accept your work. “Gallery owners shop art festivals looking for new talent all the time. It is the best way that I know to have gallery owners find you,” Jett-Carter said. (She joined Mint Artists at the 2016 Palmer Park Art Fair.)
  • Left unsaid.  If a customer asks how long it took to make a piece, it’s best not to answer that question.  Or to give a very vague non committal answer, Jett-Carter said. If you say it took three hours, they may try to calculate a price be based on an hourly rate for your time.  

Take a very limited approach to discounting on prices.  “A discount is taking a very small amount of money off the piece – just enough to say thank you” to a repeat customer, said Jett-Carter. That amount will often be around 10 percent. If someone asks for a discount, consider the request. “Before you say yes, stop, breathe, think. People will try to talk you down….. Don’t give your work away.”

  © Vickie Elmer 2016   (Photos by © Rod Carter, courtesy Dorothy Jett-Carter)

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Mint Artists Guild’s month e-letter is jam packed with news and it introduces you to key team members. This month, meet Hubert Massey, a mural and fresco artist who is vice president of our board of directors. You also learn about teen success stories and upcoming events. Please read and subscribe to this once a month e-letter. See the May one here: : http://eepurl.com/b22Bxv

(Photo: Treena Flannery Ericson at The Scarab Club)

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When I feel like I have nothing, I can give my son the gift of creativity, the gift of imagination, the gift of spending a happy hour painting cardboard on the porch.

Alison Stine, writing in The Nation about why art matters, even when you’re poor. She buys art supplies even when this freelance writer cannot afford much else.
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Mint alumni Ackeem Salmon is on the path to success. He already has had corporate commissions and will have an exhibit at The Charles H. Wright gallery in August. This weekend, Ackeem will be back at the Palmer Park ART Fair – right next to Mint in his own tent!

Visit Mint’s 15 artists on Saturday or Sunday –  then stop in on our first alumni to join us in a beautiful Detroit park. 

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Two Mint mentors / board members work with @trinswirecreations Trinity on her first printing . They are artists Hubert Massey and Linda Buck. Some of the prints will be given as thank you gifts to donors to our Paint Detroit with Generosity campaign on Crowdrise at bit.ly/mintart . They’re available starting Saturday at the Palmer Park ART Fair. #printing #artists #detroit #detroitpride #ricepaper #ink #press #creativity #appreciation #gratitude (at University of Michigan Detroit Center)