Sustainable Prospects Week 10 / by Chris Chucas

I feel that now at this point in the module I need to concentrate on the key factors;

  1. my working project,
  2. my websites
  3. and my social media presence.

I have the time to think about some of the reading material we’ve been given which includes an insight into the Art market.  We had a really interesting talk from Francesca Genovese and she talked about various topics regarding being a photographer in the Art market, some key issues like; pricing fine art photography, as well as relationships with galleries.

Main take away points from the interview:

  • Meet in a more informal way, important networking

  • lots of talking and communication before you even think about your relationship with gallery relationship is important

  • Turn up with a lot of work

  • social media competitions

  • always email (personal and relevant always personalise make sure it fits informed selection)

  • no cold calling an artist statement and PDF- interesting point then send PDF as they can be recorded and looked back upon in future

  • PDF can be of a specific project

I was pleased to hear from Francesca that she knows of many artists that are working both editorially and commercially as well as pursuing their own art practice. This has been one of my biggest issues going into the Ma thinking I might need to choose one over the other and not liking the thought of it. In the interview, Francesca talked about photographers like Geordie, Rui Cerara, and Spencer Murphy that have a high end commercial practice but also produce personal work. I think I am more decided that I would like to follow the same path and work both commercially and on personal projects. They also talked about how it’s a good idea to keep a lookout for grants and financial help for artists, I definitely feel like I need to do this more as well as enter more competitions. I think it’s crazy that I haven’t any entered one competition or apply for one grant since graduating and continuously working on these personal projects.


“Laura Pannack is a good example of someone who is able to work commercially but also really does work hard to make some commissions and get herself looked at and seen for lots of prizes, awards and those things that can just keep the project going.”

-Francesca Genovese

Laura Pannack

Something else that came out that I’ve never really thought about too much is pricing and editions for prints. It’s a hugely complicated scenario and there is no simple way of pricing one's work. In my circumstance anyway I don’t think I’m ready to sell work like that, but the main takeaway point I got from Francesca’s advice was to artists that are starting to sell work this way it’s very important to seek advice. Not only to seek advice but to be very selective about who you work with, so I might look into the possibility of selling prints from the project, although I envisaged it as an exhibition and book. I’ll have to think long and hard about a gallery that is suited to me and my practice. Like Francesca says it depends on the artists work to date and a claim to how work is sold, where and how much. Luckily for me it’s quite easy to understand I am completely starting from scratch in this arena so I will slowly research what is a possibility going forward.

I was surprised to hear that Francesca’s role working from the gallery with artists involves PR and is promoting artists work. I never really thought about them in that capacity and that sounds really great to have help with things like that which should give you more time to work on your own practice. I mentioned in a previous post how I would like to taper down my consumer practice and work more on my commercial and art projects and develop my visual style, my actual photographic practice more and it sounds great that if successful as you move through the ranks in those worlds there are people that can help you as part of creative teams.

In the interview, Francesca talks about how she thinks as issued by themselves in addition print’s and it's definitely divided topic. In previous weeks we looked at Juno Calypso, she discusses how she sold prints herself. One thing that stuck in my mind from the Juno Calypso interview was that she said she felt like by selling prints it would make your work less valuable in the long run, but mostly by devaluing her work after she died. Whereas some people are really successful so their work can become a lot more valuable to collectors when they die. I still feel slightly lost on where I place myself in the art world, part of me doesn’t like the high-end fine art establishment that makes things accessible for only a few people and part of me dislikes the polar opposite end of the spectrum, with people still using other artists work and spreading around. I like the idea of the photo book and think of it as a kind of middle ground between the two as it’s curated and special effort has gone into producing it and it is also accessible to a wider audience than an exhibition or fine art prints. The downside to producing a photo book is actually reaching a wide audience is harder to do on your own van with the help of an established creative team from a gallery so it’s not an easy decision to make.

Matthew Fin, M

Matthew Fin, M


Since 1987 Matthew has been collaborating with his Mother, Jean in a series of portraits that depict her everyday rituals set within her home in Leeds. Documenting everyday ordinary moments, normally passed over for special events such as Birthdays, Christmas, Christenings and Holidays. Matthew has focused to show his mother as a woman going about her daily routine, using the family home as a backdrop. This extraordinary project now in its 29th year lets viewers into a home reminiscent to how we all live. Following his mother from middle age to an elderly woman now suffering from mixed dementia and leaving the family home into a residential care home, these images serve to show the warmth and fragility of life. - From http:/

Francesca talked about the success of one of the artists Matthew Finn who releases photo books and that artists generally fall into three categories, that being a photo book is the sole and only object of the project, the photo book is produced and made to support an exhibition, and those who don’t use a phonebook at all and only work with exhibition and prints.

Try catch up with reading editing my own project and putting together some marketing materials like PDFs for galleries and picture editors, and also progress a few ideas on the stand-alone micro-projects I had been developing.

I've also started another micro project looking at the recreational hockey community which I am a part of. It's one of the less popular sports both to watch and to participate in. Being a hockey player myself I like the thought of showing this world to people unfamiliar with it. 

©Chris Chucas  - 4398 ©Chris Chucas 2015

Krishna’s tutorial was positive also. SHe told me I was on the right path with the website but needed to perhaps re structure it a little and add some more portraits. I'm hoping to fill in the gaps and make the structure and the content better. I still feel that those micro projects will be the perfect solution for that. In a webinar with Amy Simmons, her feedback was to split the work into commercial and personal projects. I wanted to produce a few stand-alone micro-projects to fix the structure of the website a little bit and the users talking points to reach out to people with. After talking with tutors we discussed my website and work and realise that there is no complete projects on show and that I could benefit greatly by having some.

This week I made  some work at my own band practice,  I like to think that it's building upon the autobiographical feel to the project. Building on the self portraits from earlier modules. 

I also made it out to a local show put on by DIY Cardiff . Bands Included a 3 piece from Milan The Smudjars.