by Priscilla Burris…. jumping in to the future with both feet!
SUMMER is fully and firmly in the NE finally, and as my husband and i prepare to leave for island adventures, I’ve been thinking again of transitions. LIFE is one big transition…things do NOT remain the same for long. None the less, change does bring both possibilities and challenges. I’ve been going through several transitions the past couple of years, and one of those is my professional movement to ‘semi’-retirement. Further, this has caused changes then for several of my older valued artists as the agency and our markets have necessarily changed and transitioned as well.
Occasionally, it comes time to release a long time artist…their style just isn’t feeling ‘today’ after many years….and that is never easy! We bond in this industry! Or a newer artist just isn’t ‘selling’ like we’d hoped. One has to study what is being published and sold and try to flexibly keep pace. Artists and Agents must be pro-active.
A business truth about agencies and publishers – we all need to change, to let old styles go and take on new styles to keep INTEREST in the agency group high and current. To stay smaller and ‘hands on’ as we like, we have to release some artists to make room for others. SO HARD but a fact. If an artist isn’t adding TO this endeavor of making our agency vital and current, then they are taking FROM it. It isn’t personal! But of course with a ‘tight’ group as we’ve always been, it will feel personal. It is however BUSINESS. If we are not vital we are not doing our JOB for any of our artist group.
Speaking personally again, I am generally very comfortable with my transitioning into managing only a few projects over the next year or so, and being in a ‘supportive’ role with my duties. I still have a wealth of information to share (and Christy kindly acknowledges and allows that sharing!) but my my current market information has big holes in it! I haven’t run around NYC etc. in 5 years now, and it shows! Fortunately for us all, Christy has the energy, enthusiasm and more necessary! She has been making the agency her own, and I am so grateful. It’s been the perfect time to transition.
As for me and my dear artists of the past- at times change, especially sudden changes, can be a bit unsettling, to say the least! Remember though….transitions are FROM something INTO something else. It’s a time for reappraisal and a re-plan of attainable goals in the future. In previous posts I have talked about the “BUSINESS OF ART” and those two are important (yearly!) activities for ALL to do when you are a professional. When a big transition happens, planned or not, like health, life situations, or losing (or gaining) a professional connection, this introspection of ones creative abilities and business plan is vital! It’s a time for growth and renewal. A rest period to catch one’s breath is a good idea. Look around. Study markets, agencies, or areas of interest. Take another breath….honestly and brutally assess your style and what you might have to offer TODAY, and to whom. Renew your energy for something new. Find the positive and align with that and jump back in…perhaps in a new pond!? Transitions of all sorts take time, even if they often do happen abruptly.
That IS what life itself really is….movement, change, growth, adjusting, accepting. Aren’t we grateful for that, and for our human tendency to move toward whatever that might be with hope and promise!
HAPPY SUMMER ALL!
from Patrice Barton…. me! ok I might have taken about 70 years off, but…..