Alan Dean Artist

About Artist

Alan Dean Artist
My   name   is   Alan   Dean   and   I   am   an   African   American   artist   and   even   though   I   am   unknown   to   most   of   you   I   have   been   doing   my   art since   the   mid-1970s.   My   drawings   were   on   the   walls   in   the   men’s   dorm   in   Spike   Lee’s   movie   School   Daze .   I   probably   would   be   just   as well   known   as   the   top African American   artist   in   the   United   States   today   if   I   had   signed   up   with   one   of   the   many   Publishing   Companies that   were   marketing African American   art   to   most   galleries   in   the   United   States   since   the   early   1980s.   I   have   talked   to   several   of   these   art publishing   companies   when   they   first   went   into   business   and   I   decided   that   what   they   were   willing   to   pay   the   artist   was   unfair   so   I declined   doing   business   with   them.      All   the   art   publishing   companies   that   I   spoke   to   were   only   willing   to   give   the   artist   10%   of   the monies made from selling their artwork to the galleries. I   recently   spoke   to   a   gallery   owner   who   has   been   purchasing   art   prints   from   these   publishing   companies   for   over   35   years   and   he   told   me that   he   didn’t   know   that   the   artist   was   only   receiving   10%   of   the   money   that   he   was   giving   to   the   publishing   companies   for   their   artwork. His   daughter   said   to   me   on   another   visit   to   their   gallery,   “why   should   their   gallery   sell   artists   art   prints   anymore   when   the   same   artist   will sell   the   same   print   on   the   internet   to   the   public   at   the   same   wholesale   price   that   he   or   she   sold   it   to   us.”   During   the   prosperous   days   when African   American   art   was   selling   very   well   the   galleries   and   the   publishing   companies   made   a   lot   of   money.   However,   the   artist   who used   these   publishing   companies   was   only   getting   10%   from   the   sales   of   his   or   her   artwork   to   the   public.   So,   I   don’t   believe   that   you   can blame   the   artist   for   taking   advantage   of   the   internet   where   they   could   make   all   the   money   from   the   marketing   of   their   art   work   instead   of just   10%.   Myself,   I   have   decided   not   to   market   my   artwork   on   the   internet   because   the   internet   don’t   produce   jobs   or   retail   businesses   in the African American community. In   the   early   days   of   my   art   career,   I   had   two   offers   from   two   well-educated   individuals   to   be   my   business   manager   and   handle   the marketing   my   art   work   for   me.   One   person   was   a   professor   teaching   at   Morgan   State   University   and   the   other,   was   a   wise   old   man   from India   who   worked   for   the American   Embassy   for   20   years   in   India   and   after   he   retired   he   came   here   to   the   United   States   and   opened   a store   selling   goods   from   India   where   we   met.   I   admired   and   respected   both   individuals   very   much   but   I   turned   both   down   because   they wouldn’t   accept   anything   less   than   50%   of   the   profits   to   represent   me.   Maybe   I   am   just   an   unreasonable   person   but   I   still   believe   that   if they   really   believed   in   me   as   an   artist   and   wanted   to   help   me   to   be   a   successful   artist   they   would   have   accepted   my   counter   offer   of receiving   one   third   of   the   profits.   I   could   have   accepted   their   agreement   and   then   fired   them   after   I   became   a   successful   artist   because   I believed   that   they   were   charging   me   too   much,   but   that   wouldn’t   have   been   right   either.   A   manager   of   a   band   traditionally   would   only ask   for   20%   of   the   profit   for   managing   a   band.      When   I   first   got   into   doing   and   promoting   my   art   in   the   1970s   a   gallery   would   put   on   a one-man   art   show   for   an   artist   and   the   gallery   would   only   ask   for   one   third   of   the   profit   for   representing   the   artist.   Nevertheless,   I   am now   an   unknown   artist   to   most   of   you   but   I   have   no   regrets   for   my   past   business   decisions. After   all   of   that,   I   am   still   willing   to   accept professional business representation but only if it is I a fair agreement and at this stage, only with someone who believe as I do. I   am   originally   from   Baltimore   Md.   but   I   have   traveled   to   and   lived   in   several   states   in   the   United   States   over   the   years   and   I   eventually ended   up   moving   to   the   Caribbean   where   I   lived   for   over   a   decade,   enjoying   the   beautiful   people   and   places   down   there.   While   there,   I produced   several   of   the   drawings   that   you   see   on   my   website.   I   was   also   blessed   to   pursue   my   other   love,   which   is   singing.   I   billed myself   as   The   Soul   Singer    and   I   entertained   tourists   visiting   the   resorts,   hotels   and   restaurants   on   the   island   I   was   living   at   the   time   by singing   to   them   classic   soul   oldies   accompanied   by   my   karaoke   band.   If   you   would   like   to   hear   my   singing   and   see   a   few   of   my   videos from the islands you can visit my website and click my singing tab. 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