The world of CPD (continuing professional development) continues with the second session with my professional mentor, the London-based creative consultant Alison Branagan…read about session one here. This time we met in London at The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (known as the RSA) on a chilly late January afternoon. I’d never been to the RSA before but during my short time there that afternoon, I felt an affinity with its mission and aims, a confidence within its walls, a friendship with it’s people…perhaps time to become a member and another space for wordgirl to meet? We will see.
Fuelled by caffeinated drinks and an energy for mutual chatter, Alison and I continued talking future wordgirl and business, this time focussing on developments and outcomes from the two-day small business course, ‘Start-Up Your Creative Business’, at the Institute for Creative Enterprise (ICE), Coventry University that I attended earlier in the year…and other key business areas including testimonials, website translation/bilingual, business name(s), trademarks, CV, intellectual property, terms of trade, tax, VAT and more as unravelled below.
Alison very kindly gave me a copy of her book – ‘The Essential Guide to Business for Artists & Designers’ – that I can’t wait to get between the pages of and also share with my students. I have a feeling this is going to be a very relevant piece of print…
In this second mentoring session, Alison and I discussed:
- Testimonials – their importance on your personal website. Where to place them on your website – under profile statement. Possibility of making a link to TED China due to a personal testimonial from them, and vice versa linking to myself.
- Translation – English and Chinese. Two separate buttons on my website? Brought in translation? Or automatic translation? Quasi translation?
- The name of my business – RM Consultancy? Rachel Marsden Arts Consultancy? Rachel Marsden Arts International? Marsden Arts International? Specific specialism in Chinese contemporary art and transcultural curating. Include “associates” – those friends and colleagues who help and assist me with my practice and work (such as Patrick Regan, Helga Henry, Art Radar, Randian, CCVA, CFCCA and more). Create an associate agreement/memorandum of understanding/contracts at a later date. (Here a mention of Professional indemnity insurance.) Need to decide whether I am either in international contemporary art consultancy, with specialisms in certain sectors, or specialist in Chinese/Asian contemporary art. Search for company names already registered through National Business Register.
- Trademarks – Looking into my used words and phrases, specifically #wordgirl, wordgirl, word girl. Online database check through the UK/EU’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO), then to discuss with an IP solicitor. Largely I will be based in Class 41 (16, 41, 42 are also main categories). Can also register/trademark images. TM until you get the registration, then you put R in the circle.
- CV – One detailed for academic applications, another more simplified version with graphic design injected into it such as a photo profile, then a commercial profile CV with biographical details and key clients. It is all about IMPACT. Photo, biography, key projects, PhD, endorsement quote at the bottom. “If you wish to see a more detailed CV see of academic research”. Must be able to present yourself in a different light…businesses don’t want to see/need to see certain things. Design my name/business name?
- Intellectual Property – Discussion into my current social media feeds and which ones to keep. Talk to those within the commercial sector as to what they view and want. Want to give an impression of past experience…build a sense of presence in international consultancy. Must cut half of them down…gain social media control. You share the rights when you post an image (Instagram/FB/Twitter)…different if you share a link. Therefore, embed watermarks or embed a logo. IP tagging – http://www.creativebarcode.com/iptags.html embedded into your files…people can then always try to find you. QR code for images? Try to always make links to the blog…low-res images/watermark/creative barcode…always think how to protect images.
– Blog – Rachel Marsden’s Words
– New website – monthly post(?) on an arts consultancy blog, keep it in website
– Facebook – keep ‘The Temporary’…different for Facebook business page? Good for student and subject specific groups. Only logon every few weeks? Question – is Facebook right for what I do?
– Instagram – Is this now only for a younger audience? Bigger than Twitter?
– LinkedIn (standard profile)
– Academia.edu and Research Gate profiles – for who?
- Terms of Trade – Term’s & Condition’s – done with a solicitor. Can trade without T’s and C’s. If dealing with lots of different business people, you need them. It clarifies cancellation fees (still demand a fee afterwards); warranties – things taken on trust such as keeping within budget, not selling fakes; the delivery of work – have to open certain time period, missing content, arrives in 7-10 days…unpredictable time frame? Reduces personal liability; Art dealers contract – two sets of T’s and C’s, one with galleries/client, one with artists…ask gallerists for assistance. A key thing to worry about is fakes…find specialist advice regarding this. Suggestion of reading Grayson Perry’s new book – ‘Playing to the Gallery’ (shown below). Sending by emailing and online…who’s copyright is that, are they happy for you to use the image? T’s and C’s – battle of the forms, under English law, the last set of terms to reach the last party in the agreement rules/governs the relationship…in different countries they don’t exist. How does it apply to working in China? Research within the Society of London Art Dealers who can help to point in direction of solicitors regarding China.
- TAX – Discussion into self-employed versus LTD company. Corporation Tax…drawing dividends after corporation tax is paid, if you’re not paying yourself anything and earning elsewhere. If have one room used explicitly for office/storage – claim 25%, 25% council tax, 25% gas, 25% electricity as expenses. Research goes under fees – argue 100% plane fare/taxis/hotel/food business expenses – base on how you use your time. Capital allowances are premises/plant/equipment/cars (See HMRC website for percentage depreciation). Computers are an expense. Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) only for self-employed…different for a company.
- VAT – VAT on the purchase price. No VAT paid on purchase price of art. VAT margin scheme right for art buying/sale…charging VAT only on the purchase to sale cost.
Another thorough and intense meeting that had my head all motivated and in a mini financial spin. All things that I will get my head round over time and developments that you will no doubt hear about soon.
After seeing Alison, I went to meet a Chinese art colleague and friend Katie Hill at the ICA to drink far too strong coffee and talk a world of China, then headed on to the opening of Sarah Sze’s exhibition at Victoria Miro in Mayfair (still on show until 14 March 2015). Here, Sze has created ‘a field of small sculptures especially for the space. Each acts as a discrete model serving as their own temporary site marking a precisely composed moment. The sculptures, conceived as models of chance occurrences, highlight the tension between the effort to map, dissect and understand information, and the inevitable measure of futility in that effort.’ These have been displayed alongside a series of print ephemera, a new series of silkscreen prints marking a singular moment in time – 1 January 2014. They are based on newspapers gathered from around the world on that date, with their images replaced by depictions of the midnight sky. The series follows the rotation of the earth as one year turned into the next.’ These prints I’ve put in a pigeon hole of exhibition planning…all to do with paper and book ephemera.
Also below, is an image of Francesco Clemente on the cover of Modern Painters magazine. I was lucky enough to spend the day him and Richard Hsu visiting MAUS, the Museum of Art and Urbanity Shanghai…together we got lost in history and architecture. The art world is so small sometimes. Yet seems so big. I want to get lost again whilst keep getting found.