Monday, August 06, 2007

Art for Arts Sake

"It's great being an artist if you are earning a living," he says. "If you aren't making money then you aren't an artist, you are a waiter or a teacher with a hobby."

But of course upon saying that Nigel Holman is the man who owns Wimbledon Art Studios , a warehouse in Wimbledon, south-west London, renting space to 130 artists in 111 studios, and is the biggest independent art-studio operator in the UK and also the man who is about to build a new £2m art-studio building, is due to be completed in September and will boost the number of studios to 163.

Indeed art has become has a business and is all about selling paintings .

Mr Holman says he charges about a third more for the studio space than his rivals, but says he will sell more of the artists' work, making it a better deal in the long run. Wimbledon Art Studios open twice a year, for four days at a time, and have in the past attracted 6,000 visitors who spent a total of £300,000 on the art on show.

"We don't advertise in art magazines because you get people who are interested in art but don't buy anything," he explains. "There has been a boom in the middle class in areas like this and they want real art to hang on their walls."

In order to better prepare them for the cold world of business, artists at the Wimbledon Art Studios can sign up for seminars and workshops with titles such as Selling and Presentation, Accounts Talk and The Rise and Design of Internet Marketing. Perhaps the title of those should be - The Art of Selling Yourself

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