Self Representing Artists
Unrepresented artists must forge their brands and sell themselves to make money and get exposure. Unfortunately, unless an artist accumulates big buzz at a show or gets selected for a major city project, she may lack the tools to promote and protect her work. Bearing this conundrum in mind, California art professor John Seed developed the concept of self-representing artists.Basically, Seed's vision was to create a network of artists empowered by so-called certificates of authenticity. By consolidating the works of unrepresented artists, Seed and his group, EBSQ, have been able to open these artists up to commercial opportunities on the Web. EBSQ authenticates works both with a validation code and with a digital ID number.Only one artist can validate a certificate of authority at a time. Thus, artists can de facto copyright their works and aggressively pursue their careers via online networking with potential clients. Of course, validation and certification are imperfect methods of copyright protection, but statistics suggest that these mechanisms work well in terms of promoting artists' rights.The pursuit of artistic representation is well known as a 'Catch-22.' It can be almost impossible to gain industry cache until you sign representation. However, you typically can't get representation until you've already established your credentials. Hopefully, the EBSQ authentication system will help determined artists to sidestep this paradoxical dilemma and jumpstart their careers as selling artists.