Working with Interior Designers and Architects

I�ve had scores of interior designers filter through my gallery over the years.� Out of all these, there are only a handful that I work with.� For the most part, the others are always trying to match paintings with the colors of carpets and fabrics.� They don�t seem to understand that a painting is a window into another world, and that you don�t try to match a window with anything.�

����������� I�ve made dozens of presentations to interior designers, I�ve addressed them in groups, I�ve addressed them individually, and still little has come of it.� For whatever reason, many of those I�ve encountered don�t seem to speak the language of art so much as the language of decoration.� Nor do they seem to understand how difficult the artist�s life is.� As a reflection of this, I�ve often had interior designers borrow paintings to show their clients, then fail to return the works when the sale fell through.� Worse yet, a decorator once asked one of my sculptors to design a piece for a foyer, then changed his mind about the whole thing without bothering to tell us, resulting in much wasted time on our part.� You should have seen the letter I wrote him.

���������� Due to these experiences, I’m highly selective about which interior designers I’ll work with.� As for those golden individuals, do they understand art?� Very well.� Do I give them a discount?� Every time.� Do I enjoy working with them?� Enormously.� These designers are competent, hardworking people who love what my artists do, and love introducing them to their clients.� How could I find fault with that?�

��������� Similarly, no matter where you live, there is bound to be a group of designers who do have a passion for art, a firm understanding of it, and great respect for the hardships that artists endure.� These designers are very much worth working with.� I urge you to find them, get to know them, and, if possible, make fans of them.� You�ll benefit from the association, and so will they.

���������� My experience with architects has been quite different from that of designers.� After all, it was architects who hired me as art consultant for the National D-Day Memorial, as well for a convention center in Kansas City, as well as for a project at the Mayo Clinic.� These projects were significant, but when you consider all the hundreds of mailings I�ve sent to architectural firms, and the hundreds of conversations I�ve had with them, the return seems rather small when compared to the effort.�

���������� There�s a reason for this.� Architects, for the most part, are artists; their projects are their art.� As a consequence, they tend to leave the installation of art up to the client, or the client�s interior designer (God help us).� Even so, most major architectural firms do have a designer whose job it is to select art for projects where there is a call for it.� These people can be very helpful in assisting you with the�placing of your work.� As with designers, make sure you get to know them, and that your galleries do the same.� One good architectural contact can, over time, bring you more work than you can easily handle�an enviable dilemma by most standards.

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