Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Gallery Representation

Pretty crazy news actually.
Moving forward, my work will be represented by the Ian Tan Gallery out of Vancouver and that for Western Canada.

I KNOW! :)

When I got the initial request to show my portfolio to them, I was a little bit surprised. Wasn't this just a little error from their part? Ian and Julie told me they were looking to add a photographer to their artist roster and where thinking of me. I mean... Me?! But after a phone call and numerous emails back and forth, I knew it wasn't a mistake. They were dead serious about it.

Needless to say, I was going to grab this opportunity by the horns!

So for the last month I was keeping myself busy preparing a 16 photograph Prairie Portfolio. And – as usual – I learned a ton of lessons during the process that I want to share with you.

From the get go, I knew I wanted to present these photographs NOT as loose prints in a box, but as matted – finished – 16x20" works of art. 8ply mattes were a must. Problem with that was that 8ply is pretty thick. And by adding a decent backing to the photographs, that made every photograph about 3/8" thick. Which was initially causing me a lot of stress. Where in the heck would I find a box that was 6" high?!

All of the archival boxes I could find came as 3" or max 4" high. Not 6". Was I allowed to bring a 16x20" box with me on the airplane was another worry. I called Westjet. Who couldn't give me a definite answer. 'It is all up to the clerk at the desk, and if that person makes an exception for you'.

OK that wasn't going to work. I needed something sturdy (just in case I wasn't allowed bringing it on the plane in my carry on luggage). Something.... wait a minute. I needed.... a road case!


I found this awesome guy in Olds who build me a custom 16x20x6" (inner dimensions) road case from scratch and it fitted the prints perfectly. Now I could just check in, put the prints in the belly of the plane, and KNEW they were going to be alright. No need to worry. 


SO in the end, I prepared a 16 photograph matted portfolio, some extra pages for in the portfolio (like a title page, statement, bio and summary pages). And a leave behind package containing everything in print what I had showed them, including a few interviews and features I had in the past. I also prepared a DVD with the whole portfolio in low res files, the above mentioned leave behind as a pdf, bio, statement, basically everything in pdf form. And a slideshow (which you can see at the bottom of this post). Yup... I was prepared. :) I was going to knock this out of the ball park.

Meeting with both Julie and Ian from the gallery was like meeting good friends really. We had an awesome meeting last Monday and time simply flew by. Before I knew it, it was time to leave for the airport again. And then it hit me.

Holy cow! I have gallery representation! I had to pinch myself a few times to make sure I wasn't dreaming. Dreams really DO happen.

Ok to be completely honest, I feel like this is the accumulation of 2.5 years of hard work and determination/perseverance. Proof to myself that you always need to stay the course and stay true to what you believe in. Work away at your plans and dreams. Wait, and eventually good things will happen.

But I couldn't have done this without these people:
  • Costas from Resolve Photo. For his ongoing expertise in printing B&W work and giving his honest opinion about my work. If it's not up to par, he always lets me know. Very much appreciated my friend.
  • Hannah from Framed on Fifth. For her expertise when it comes to framing and matting my work. You make my stuff look good. Big huh!
  • My friends Zoltan Kenwell, Paul Zizka, Jeremy Fokkens, for giving me their unsalted opinion on my initial selection. They helped me narrow it down from 24 to 16 images. Thank you guys so very much. I am lucky to have such great friends/peers like you.
  • My colleague and copywriter master Noel Blix to help me out rewriting my bio and artist statement to better suit the portfolio presentation. You ROCK!
  • My friend Kris Schofield for giving me his opinion on both the artist statement and the bio page.
  • And of course Cliff from RoadCaseGuys for building the road case on such short notice.
I couldn't have done this without you guys! Thank you so very much!