How to Be an Art Sponsor?

Today I was thinking about 2HeadS and how could this blog help you and be more useful to you, no matter if you’re photographer, curious, interested in photography, art collector, art gallerist, art dealer, university student or just a bored loner who happened to stumble upon 2HeadS.

To write an essay I have to find the right photographs to illustrate, re-seize them, read, write, etc. So if an article I wrote took you 10 minutes to read, and I hope with pleasure, as it is my aim, maybe it took me several hours to prepare it. As a meal, for you to enjoy the meal done, I had to prepare it, cook the food in different pans and spices, shop them, etc which took me few hours. I usually wake up at 8am and I stay working till 12am. Yes, working. But working with pleasure most of the times.

I’m indeed very fortunate to have a work that is not a burden, but a pleasure, as almost all of my work is creative: writing, drawing, reading, doing photography. Listen to music is a 12h per day helper. Reading is another great source of inspiration like music. But I’m not saying that being creative or having a full time job creating is funny or even easy. It is not.

To be able to be creative full time by your own, you might have to do some less funny stuff, and for me, the less funny are marketing or sales, or even going to social events. And by social events I’m not including being with friends. These 3 things are the worst for me: they often block me and make me stuck in my creative process. I know that they block me because I hate to do them, and I also know that if I hate them is because I’m terrible at them. Which by one side can make me feel more human, having flaws, by another hand can be quite distractive from my main work. But we have to face it: as a creative, marketing, sales and social events are what an artist needs to have his works sold and exhibited. Unless you’re dating a good art dealer or a good marketing director, which is not my case, you do need to get some external help. There’s no way to avoid it.

bear, by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Napping Bear, by ©Gonzalo Bénard

We all live in vicious circles: first one if you don’t get noticed, you’ll not get galleries to exhibit your work, and if you don’t get them it’s harder for you to sell, but if you go for a bad gallery it might damage your work’s reputation, so you’ll not be invited for the ones which can make something for your art. And then you can’t go by your own to a gallery without being represented, but to be represented you need to get noticed, you need an agent, a marketing guy, and an art dealer. And for you to get one of them you need to get noticed. Social events are also great to expose yourself, and exposing oneself is half way to exhibit your work. People can’t dissociate art from the artist; they want to know the artist and who’s representing him and only then to know his artworks. If what you want is your works to be famous and you in the shade, forget it. You must make yourself famous by going to the entire social/cultural gatherings and make yourself an important messenger of your work; you need to be synchronized with what you’re selling. Selling yourself is a way to sell your artwork, as I wrote in “Art collectors, clients, their issues and our thoughts“. We are not much more than prostitutes: we deal and we sell pleasure. Sometimes, if we’re good in what we do, we give real pleasure to someone, or if we know the right clients we can even find a good patronage, someone who decides to invest in us/our work, as if they’re giving golden jewellery to their lovers to keep them around and fresh. or hot.

Usually non-creative people envy us or worship us because of that: we have pleasure working. But they have no idea what’s beyond a creative work. They have no idea the amount of knowledge, study and energy, that’s behind an artwork that they often look and enjoy in a superficial way.  As we don’t have any idea the amount of work that exists behind a new law that will help (or not) people living in the society. I have no idea the amount of knowledge and energy spent by a neurological doctor to be able to make a surgery to someone’s brain. I do respect them though. I know the amount of work I had when I’m teaching. And in fact, they both have an incredible support as they devote their lives to help the society: lawyers, doctors, teachers, architects…

But these shouldn’t be taken as jobs but missions of life. And I do believe that I have a mission in life, otherwise I wouldn’t be so focused on sociological photography. Oneness for example never was a “look-how-cool-I-am-with-a-horn-in-front-of-me”, but a need to express and scream to the world that we men, women, animal, plant, should live much more in respect as one. As “B Shot by a Stranger” never was a “look-how-cute-these-guys-are”, but instead, putting a finger on a social wound called loneliness, having them as if they were myself when I was a teenager.

Zebra, by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Porn Zebra, by ©Gonzalo Bénard

When I get emails from different Universities telling that they’re studying my photographic work on their lectures and year programs because of my way of doing photography, they are usually not aware of what’s behind it. I know that what I did was breaking the rules, breaking the continuous using of digital photography like if it was analogue. People didn’t get yet the possibilities and different means. If you’re a painter you know the difference of painting with watercolour and painting with oils. In Photography, people keep doing digital photography like if they were doing analogue. And people that doesn’t do photography keeps believing that analogue photography is somehow better than digital, which is ridiculous: there are great acrylic painters and great oil painters and the techniques are completely different. Another vicious circle based in myths and misinformed minds.

All of this is great, I have a mission in life, I get exhibited, I have clients and I work on something that really gives me pleasure. But as I wrote, it takes a life to achieve many things you fight for. I keep studying and reading and doing research daily, and it’s wonderful every time I learn something new.

And that’s why I work 14/16 hours per day: to be able to help others, keep learning and be better in what I do as a creator.

I’m keeping 2HeadS that was born to be useful to you, when I start having people asking for tips and inviting me to give lectures. I found and curate the YCP on tumblr, a community where you can submit and show your photographic work under a human related theme for our more than 350.000 followers. My own work as editor and writer for other zines, my own work as art photographer, the project B Shot by a Stranger 2013, and some major ones that I’m working for later this year. And my next series of self-portraits too.

But now I need your help: your support.
Now, for me to keep helping, writing and shooting – focused on some wonderful projects I’m starting now to work on – I do need your knowledge, your expertise, and your sponsor as patronage.

I loose an incredible amount of time and energy trying to do something I don’t know and most probably I don’t want to know, as I’m not good at it: marketing and sales. Maybe something you can do in few minutes or as a not that big effort from you.

To sponsor you can always donate even if it’s 10 euros to keep the pages on and updated. You just have to donate through paypal using my email or going to where you’ll find the link “donate“.

But there’s another wonderful way that you can help: sharing.
If you like my work, if you found yourself useful what you read, please share it: on your FB profile, your webpage, your twitter (@GBenard), tumblr, etc, no matter which social network you’re using, please, help me doing that marketing part that makes me loose so much time which I could be using just creating for your pleasure. It doesn’t matter if you only have 10 friends or if you have 10.000… I’m sure that some of them will enjoy my work as much as you did. And you’ll become an art sponsor just by sharing!

I want to start doing more interviews to other creators, create a more dynamic 2HeadS, but for that I need much more time that I don’t have. If you donate and sponsor sharing and talking about 2HeadS, it will make my life much easier to go deeper in my work, so you can keep appreciating it even more.

Thank you!
(and congratulations for arriving here!!)

I need a good team of art dealers, art galleries, marketing and sales to work based on commission.
I’m always open to your suggestions, so feel free to comment or email me.

by ©Gonzalo Bénard for 2HeadS
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For any other contact about 2HeadS or my Photographic Work, from Art Galleries, Curators, Art Collectors, etc, please use the GBénard/2HeadS email. Thank you.

Feel free to comment, ask or share any article on 2HeadS everytime you feel that you can add something interesting and positive to the articles.