It's true, they don't teach you everything in art school. Specifically, the skills to actually, ya know, sell some art.
"I worked in the art business for a long time," she says. "I saw how artists struggled, how universities and art schools were failing to serve them and properly prepare them for life after school. Many years ago, I wrote the outline to a book on the topic, but my agent told me that there weren't enough artists in the world to warrant publishing it. Now I know that is false . . ."
The Working Artist was built from Cloutier's own personal experiences as an art dealer. "I cover all of the nuts and bolts of the art business, from the CV to the bio and the statement, pricing, contracts, presentation, marketing -- all of that," she says. "But I am also interested in the ethics of the art business, in goal setting, in getting past blocks."
Cloutier originally developed The Working Artist as an in-person workshop. For the past three years, she has traveled around the world teaching both new and established artists the tricks of the trade. Locally, she's held workshops at Tilt Gallery and Mesa Art Center.
But the cost was prohibitive to some artists and arts organizations, according to Cloutier. "I did a little research into other programs available online where I could send people to be educated about being a professional artist, and that was when I realized that such a program doesn't exist" she says.
So Cloutier decided to create a digital version of The Working Artist that could be accessed anywhere at a discounted rate. Thus, her crowd-sourcing campaign was born.
"Until five years ago, I had spent my entire career in the Valley. I had a gallery here, ran a large studio, I've sat on boards and committees for nearly every art museum; this is my community, this is where I have left my mark," says Cloutier. "I came home because this is the community that I knew I could trust to help me see this through. And I have not been disappointed."
The closing event will take place this Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. at Tilt Gallery. Cloutier will be giving two mini-workshops during the evening -- one at 6:30 and one at 8 p.m.. For more information or to contribute to the project, visit The Working Artist on indiegogo.