Art Curator, Art Expert, Art Pharmacy Consulting, Emilya Colliver

'The Australian Art Curator Blog' - How To Be An Art Consultant

One of the more interesting facets of Art Pharmacy is our consulting side of the business, which has really taken off in the last twelve months, with a wide range of clients looking to invest in art for the home, office and public spaces. It’s so pleasing for me to be able to help people find works they can enjoy, and obviously I’m a huge proponent of people buying and commissioning artworks!

Mural commissioned for Step Change's office in Sydney

Mural commissioned for Step Change's office in Sydney

I see art consultancy as a way of connecting people with creatives and help them define their taste, I work with so many fantastic artists across a variety of styles and it’s great to help people navigate their way through the process of acquiring a piece.

But it isn’t as simple as it sounds, and there are some key differences with the range of clients we have at Art Pharmacy - this year alone we have seen large-scale installations in the iconic Queen Victoria Building, and Broadway Shopping Centre that have both utilised local artists to help with their celebration of the Chinese New Year. These are definitely on the larger scale of works that I have been involved in, my private clients will generally start off with a smaller piece!

Elyssa Sykes-Smith constructed a piece of public art in Broadway Shopping Centre to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Elyssa Sykes-Smith constructed a piece of public art in Broadway Shopping Centre to celebrate Chinese New Year.

One of the key factors that will often determine the type of work that is desired is the space you are looking to fill. With a wall it will generally be something two-dimensional that is hung, but if the space is more vast we have more flexibility to look at sculptures as well.

Like all consultants, clear communication is critical to success - you must find out the basic information to start the ball rolling - what their budget is, what the space is, and most importantly, what they’re looking for - I’ve got so many fantastic artists but the key to happiness for everyone is finding a great match in terms of style and also expectations.

A bespoke mural for a games room in a private home.

A bespoke mural for a games room in a private home.

For some of the larger projects I apply for - with councils or large companies - there is a key focus on community outcomes and ensuring that there a broader objective that is fulfilled so they’re able to provide quite detailed briefs that we work towards. With private clients it can often take a bit more teasing out to reach a consensus on what they would like to achieve.

I’ve met some amazing people who have come to me through Art Pharmacy, and one of the really great things is that they get to know the artists we have and will continue to come back and buy their pieces and follow their work.

We collaborated with Reso & Co, artist Jeff McCann and designer Maker Maker Creative to create a 4-metre high rooster for the QVB.

We collaborated with Reso & Co, artist Jeff McCann and designer Maker Maker Creative to create a 4-metre high rooster for the QVB.

It’s always a challenge for me not to impose my taste on my client - sometimes I’ve got a very clear idea of what I think would be appropriate (or fabulous!), but it’s important for the client to be sure of their vision so they will be happy with the end result. Because ultimately I’m here to help people find something beautiful that they can enjoy in their home for many years to come.

Learn more about Art Pharmacy Consulting here