Last night I was propositioned. Nothing unusual in that. It happens occasionally….. enough to make life interesting anyway. But this was different. Not a sexual proposition – but a business one……..
A guy I met for the first time a couple of weeks ago and have not seen since, has offered to go into a business partnership with me. He’s willing to invest a lot of money into building up my art business, promoting it and backing me as an artist. He knows, as well as I do, that I’m not going to sell my work in the area I live in, I need to go to London, Birmingham or Manchester – where the big money is, and the people who have the inclination to buy my sort of erotic art go. He’s talking about a showroom, where people can visit and where I can exhibit my art properly. And his offer has come at exactly the right time – I’ve been looking for a good gallery for a while, one that is suitable to my needs, where they can promote my art and I can get a good price for my art, which I know is good, and has appeal to a wide audience. But if I go to a large gallery, they will ask a high percentage commission on my art – I’ll be lucky to get 30% of the value they sell it at, my framing costs will also soar and I may get less money than if I sell my art privately. This has always been a problem for me – do I sell my art though a prestigious gallery and get less for it, but get fame and acclaim, or do I stay private and reach a smaller audience but keep a higher percentage of the proceeds? Plus there’s my website to consider – technically I’m advertising to the world on it, and although my work resides in other European countries and the USA, I’m not known, as yet, as an international artist. I want to reach a wider audience. If I open my own showroom, I would be doing that and I would be taking the profits (or losses) and would be able to reach a richer audience perhaps, but would they be willing to spend the large amounts a venture like this would need to be profitable?
This businessman is willing to invest a lot of money in me, but he also wants a large slice out of it – he’s in business after all, and that is to be expected. But do I go with him and invest a lot of money and maybe make a huge pile of money with his backing, or possibly even lose a lot through unforeseen bad decisions, or do I carry on as I am, slowly building up my business, pushing my work through the channels that are interested, and selling well enough to keep a steady income, but not necessarily a vast one. Or even keep on looking and maybe another offer better than this will appear around an unsuspected corner. Or is this as good as it gets? Should I snap his hand off and get him signed up before he changes his mind? I have to consider all angles, and run the two scenarios as parallel universes – as in the film Sliding Doors – one of these open doors leads to success and the other leads to ignominy – but which is which?