Saturday, May 1, 2010

Underpants (and other things)...

This week I've drawn a hundred pairs of underpants. Essentially I've been drawing men's and women's adult diapers, in a gazzilion different styles.
The glamorous things you have to do to make a living as an artist!

Get a load of this...(edit-I've removed the gallery and owner's names since, after 1 year with the help of Goldman, Evans and Trammell finally the money was recovered)
xxxxxxxx of xxxxxxxxxxgalleries in xxxxx, xxxxxx had me rush him this bronze rabbit last December...

He asked me to send it overnight (I sent it 2 day air, I thought I'd be saving him a bunch by doing that). He said he had a buyer for both the one he already had in the gallery, plus this one.
I asked if I should send 3 mice too, (OK, sure), and just as well (or so I thought) since one sold right along with the two rabbits.

A couple of months after that any and all attempts to contact him or the gallery were fruitless.

Being a sculptor has been great, but it is a risky business. There's a never ending stream of money going out to pay for bronze casting, metal chasing, mold making, bases, etc etc.
It seems whenever checks come in, more checks have to go out!

You've got money tied up in inventory all over the place. It's not an endeavor for the faint of heart!

It really doesn't help when the people who are selling your work don't pay you for it when it sells!
That leaves the artist out of pocket, since it's unusual for a gallery to buy your sculpture outright, the usual method is to receive payment after it sells, and they take their chunk and pay you what's left.

But I digress...
I tried the gallery phone (disconnected), his 2 numbers - left messages which were never returned) and his email to no avail.

So I put my detective hat on (actually it was Meridee's detective hat: I borrowed it)...

On Google maps I found his gallery and checked it out in 'street view'.

I went up the street a bit, and saw the name of the gallery next door. I called them.
The very kind lady who I spoke to popped next door to xxxxxx gallery and said there was an intern working at the back, but otherwise it seemed empty of people.
I eventually managed to communicate with this person, who was having nearly as much trouble as me getting hold of xxxxx.

I eventually just gave up expecting to get anywhere and left more messages stating my intent to pass the matter on to a collections agency, and document my progress online.

Odd. That day (or the next at the latest) I got a call from xxxxx who arranged to make 4 payments, each one a month apart, after which I'd call it quits at less than the amount owed.

I got the first payment, but a month later encountered the same stony silence as before (actually he picked up the phone and said he'd mail me a check, but that never happened), so I've handed it to the collection agency and will keep you posted (last I heard they've had no luck reaching him).

Of course my deal of letting him off some of what he owes me is now off the table, since the collection agency take their 25% of the amount recovered, and I'm certainly not cutting myself short.

I'm sorry to be describing such a tedious matter on my blog: I promise something more fun and creative next week!

So when it comes to making a living, thank goodness for me that there's good old reliable (if not glamorous) underpants to fall back on, eh?!

Click these links to visit my website... - Sculpture that loves you back
or my Etsy store, CritterVille