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ABAF Artist Business Workshop

March 1, 2010

In Brisbane last week, I attended the free, all-day Artist Business Workshop, facilitated by Abaf (Australian Business Arts Foundation) and hosted at the offices of Gadens Lawyers.

Abaf promotes private sector engagement with the arts by connecting businesses, the arts, donors and foundations through three key programs – Partnering, Volunteering and Giving. The Artist Business Workshop is one of their many free seminars aimed at assisting artists create and maintain self-sufficient practices.

This Workshop was presented by the well-versed and down-to-earth, Edwina Bolger, and covered a range of professional and business issues artists face including: selling more work, getting the media interested in your art, tax and insurance, and all with the aim of ultimately spending more time making art and less time working at other jobs.

Topics covered were: Business Basics – an introduction to tax, insurance, risk management and copyright; Building Relationships with Clients – commercial and community galleries and artist-run spaces; Going to Market – documenting artwork and building a client base; Promotion and Media Relations.

As part of the program, Bruce Heiser from Brisbane’s Heiser Gallery spoke about commercial galleries and how they work. Artist, Sebastian Di Mauro, talked about ARIs (Artist Run Initiatives) and maintaining an arts practice long-term. These guest sessions were invaluable, with speakers who are experts in their fields, giving generously of their knowledge and insights.
I met a number of very talented creatives with whom I’ll stay in touch, which was a definite and unexpected bonus.

With a cap on the number of participants at 25, a take home workshop kit with a complete set of the PowerPoint presentations and morning/afternoon tea and lunch provided, this was by far the best full-day workshop I have attended. The attention to detail and strictly relevant information was first class.

Abaf run a well-oiled machine, focused on and supporting the creative industries.

If you’re interested in supporting Abaf and its important work, please visit their website and register as a Donor. Also, click on the link if you’d like to register for any of Abaf’s programs in your area.

Many thanks to Janice Kuczkowski, Coordinator Abaf Queensland for bringing this workshop to Brisbane and to Gadens Lawyers for providing such an inspiring location for the workshop, resplendent with an extensive collection of well-curated artworks.


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