Artist Rule: We must never let our artwork leave our hands without documenting first!
Natalie Sappier, Aboriginal Outreach Officer
Creative spirits usually have more than one project on the go and most active artists can relate to the chaotic world we create. Moments like commissions, running out to the studio to meet a deadline, and fine crafters rushing to complete a line of inventory for an upcoming craft show. Then the moment happens when we hand our cherished piece of art into the hands of the buyer and realized we never documented the piece of art for our portfolio! Documenting our artwork is important; it is our resume of work. It helps us receive grants, awards and other opportunities that will help our career. We must never let our artwork leave our hands without documenting first!
I have been painting and designing for the past 12 years and so much of my work is not documented and/or is poorly documented; giving no justice to my work at all. There were a few times when I would knock on a buyer’s door and kindly ask them “can I please take a picture of my work.’ For the work that traveled out the Province I am sad to admit that I am left with these crappy, glary, pixilated shots that I had quickly taken in my living room. These photos are not only important for opportunities but they are important for the artists to have so we are able to grow in techniques, styles, explorations.
These past few years I have made a promise to myself to professionally document my artwork before it leaves my hands. An investment and resource that most may not think they have but if you have an ordinary camera or cell phone, creating well photographed work is possible.
On March 25, artsnb and JEDI (Joint Economic Development Initiative) partnered up for the “Documenting Art” workshop in Tobique First Nation. The workshop was facilitated by Mark Hemmings from Hemmings House Pictures. Mark taught the artists the tips and tricks of documenting 2D and 3D art in your own space with a low-cost camera and cellphone. Also, how to save the photo files in the correct resolution for printing, grant applications and websites. Each participant walked away with a USB of professionally documented photos of their work and the knowledge to be able to successfully document future projects in their own home!