Sabin Howard is a classical figurative sculptor with over 33 years of experience. Known for his works of heroic scale, including Hermes, Aphrodite, and Apollo, the New Criterion has called him a “sculptor who’s work radiates a startling presence, while finding its roots in the classical past.” He’s part of the winning design team for the National World War I Memorial in Pershing Square Park, Washington DC, and he also offers drawing and design webinars in a digital format. Topics Include:
World War I Commission:
- The application process for public art commissions
- Public art as a part of a sustainable business
- Process for designing and creating a 75 foot-long bronze wall that represents World War I with 45 figures in a processional composition
- Communicating an idea in a way that will resonate with the general public
- Learning to collaborate as a form of communication
- The process of rebuilding and ripping things a part
- An elevation of the compositional process
Art as a Business:
- “If I didn’t have a really, really high end product and I hadn’t spent 50,000 hours in front of a model over 33 years, no shortcuts … I wouldn’t have a business.”
- “As an independent artist, you have to decide how to create your own life.”
- “There is a creative aspect to entrepreneurship and business that I really wish more artists could see that.”
- “I have to do the business to drive the art.”
- Teaching drawing as a way of breaking the art market system.
Marketing & PR:
- “It’s about making an energetic connection with other people and talking about my mindset.”
- “Your greatest skill is your craft, but you’ve got to learn how to present yourself.”
- “Artists need to be able to share with people and create a value for that special talent that they have.”
- “As an artist, you need to go out and show that there’s a different version, there’s a different vision that is available and possible.”
- “It’s important that an artist be involved in showing their work and takes ownership of what he makes rather than have somebody else take over his business.”
Art World & Galleries:
- “You have this thing called “the art world”, art world is run by the status quo.”
- “Art is seen as a commodity. It’s seen as something that a lot of people will buy because it’s like a stock that will go up in value.”
- “The gallery system did function once, but it doesn’t anymore because the gallerist would encourage and push artists through the sales.”
- Started his own gallery for 7 months to sell his work publicly.
1 thought on “Playing Your Art Forward – Sabin Howard”
The greed of too many people has killed the responsible and idealistic galleries long ago. The landdlords, the powerful ones, are the first to blame. All gallery have to decide what the percentage to the artist will be, to meet their own overhead. 30 years ago we charged as little as 20%. Today, If we were still in business, we would have to charge 50/60%. What is even more rediculous is that we could not even exhibit an upcoming very talented artist at a reasonnable price as even if we sell out totally, the income would not be enough to cover the expenses. Just imagine a large gallery pays 200,000 per month rent. They can only exhibit a piece worth 50,000, as an example. With this situation, all the hype and PR begins. We know artists, who were and are fantastic but probably work their behinds of for far less than minimum wages.
Money has become our God. It is sad, to say the least. Sabin Howard, perhaps the best sculptor of this Century is correct having given up on Galleries entirely. He was forced to be an artist and a sharp business man all by himself.
How many artists have this dual talent? I don’t know very many.
This whole subject falls under the category of what we have become culturally. Beware of our future.