In a nutshell
The ‘Book of the Blog’ will present the top 100 blog posts, accompanied by original interpretive images, from the first 2 years of weekly blog posts from the popular ‘Sunday reading’ on besmartaboutart.com. In addition to presenting posts and photographs in print, the book will feature a Glossary of Art World Terms as well as an article that is exclusive to the book, which tells the story of a #hashtag that became a business (hint: #besmartaboutart).
With the endorsement of a major UK distributor, the book is set to hit bookshelves in museums, galleries and shops around the UK. The positive impacts that result from art professionals reading the weekly blog series will no longer be limited to a mailing list and social media following, for it will reach people throughout the country (and later beyond), from all walks of life.
This is YOUR opportunity to help make Be Smart About Art history.
Inspired to support a great cause that empowers one-person businesses in the arts? Read on…
“If art is your life, make it your living.” [#besmartaboutart motto]
“Can I make it in the art world?”
“What’s the best way to sell more art?”
“How do collectors go about commissioning an artist?”
From the complex dynamics of the artist – gallerist relationship to the psychology of selling art, questions asked by professionals in the art world are answered in the weekly edition. Real-life stories make real-life impact for readers.
I’m Susan Mumford, an art world entrepreneur and founder of Be Smart About Art. Every week for the ‘Sunday reading’ blog, I collaborate with photographer Chris King to reveal the art world (and how to conquer it) in bite-sized stories with interpretative, eye-catching images.
We are on the cusp of turning this blog into a book, so we’re launching a crowd-funding campaign to get it off the ground and onto your bookshelves.
The blog started in November 2012 and the idea for the weekly edition was a lightbulb moment. I had the idea to write a piece about ‘Why an artist should stay in touch with the art dealer who said no’. Sending it on a Sunday made sense, as it was a light, anecdotal story about daily life in the art world. I realised that this article could be the first in a series, and thus the ongoing, weekly ‘Sunday reading’ blog was born. Since that day, we’ve never looked back. Check out the blog.
The early photographs were largely images that Chris had taken over the years that matched the stories, but in April 2013, the visual element evolved. Having written a piece on ‘The art world – a champagne lifestyle…?’ (see below), Chris warned me that he had a wild idea, and wasn’t sure how I would respond. He suggested that he photograph me in the bathtub drinking a champagne cocktail. My response? Fantastic idea!
Ever since then, the images have been conceptual interpretations of the stories and are often humourous in nature. People now say that they firstly look at the weekly post to see the photograph, and then they read the story. But really, they promise, they love the writing too!
Making a difference for people
I started hearing that the Sunday reading email was the single email that people looked forward to receiving each week. When I began to be told stories about how individuals were making positive changes in their careers as a result of what they read, I knew it was doing something important. This fun and informative weekly story was proving to be a catalyst for creating positive change in people’s lives.
CASE IN POINT: In early June 2015, an artist told me about how a blog post from the series, titled ‘Reminder emails: Do you ever send them?’ prompted her to follow-up a sales lead from an artist fair. The result? She has sold several pieces as a result of her follow-up email. Result!
My own mission is to empower individuals who run creative enterprises. The blog is doing exactly that, as well as giving individuals new ideas, providing insight into an industry that is known for being opaque, being inspirational and, hopefully, providing an enjoyable read.
“Like the rest of Be Smart About Art’s work, Susan Mumford’s weekly blog takes a fresh, down-to-earth approach to the business of art. Always a great read, it answers the vital questions that you didn’t even know you wanted to ask.”
-Ivan Macquisten, Editor, Antiques Trade Gazette
You can help increase the blog’s positive impacts
In order to get the book to more artists, gallerists, other professionals in the industry, collectors, art lovers and more, Chris and I are self-publishing. It’s the next step in the ongoing collaboration, and will help make it available to more people.
We have a distributor lined up, so with YOUR support, the book will be destined for museums, galleries and bookshops around the UK.
Will you back us? Every pledge makes a difference, which means that YOUR contribution is an important stepping stone to reach our goal of £7,500.