WM Staff February, 2019
Being an artist today is difficult, and success is rare. Artists need to be creatives, but they must also be business people, promoting their art. Art school education has focused primarily on teaching students art skills, very rarely do they cover business principles. A new class by art market entrepreneur and University professor Magnus Resch should fill this gap. We have taken the class. Below is our review:
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What is the MagnusClass:
MagnusClass (www.magnusclass.com) is an online course for artists to teach them everything they need to know to find success in the art world. Think of it as Masterclass for artists. It’s run by Magnus Resch, one of the world’s leading experts in art management and best-selling author. Magnus takes a practical approach to art business education. The course is comprised of lectures, expert interviews, and documentation. MagnusClass’s goal is to teach artists how exactly the art market works today, and give them the tools to make their art career flourish.
Who is Magnus Resch?
Professor Magnus Resch teaches art economics at Yale University (next course in fall 2020), and has previously taught at Columbia University and the Sotheby’s Institute. He has published 5 books on the art market, among them “Management of Art Galleries” which is considered the go-to book for gallerists. Magnus is also an art market entrepreneur. He partnered with Leonardo DiCaprio to launch an app that functions like Shazam for art. He also co-founded the leading art collector database, larryslist.com.
Magnus’ career has been portrayed in publications such as The New York Times, WSJ, Vanity Fair, and The Financial Times. Magnus understands the art market on a global level; He completed his PhD in Hong Kong, and has lived and worked in Berlin, London, and New York.
Who should take the class?
MagnusClass can help artists at any stage in their career. Aspiring artists and students can learn how the art market works and position themselves for success early on, while more experienced artists with existing shows can learn how to find the most effective gallery representation. Whether you are just starting out, want to re-think your business strategy, or are thinking about a career change, MagnusClass is the perfect resource for anyone who wants a clear picture of the current climate of the art market and is interested in pursuing art as a profession. Those interested in working in galleries or auction houses would also benefit from taking this class. There are no restrictions or requirements necessary to take this course, and Magnus makes the material clear and accessible.
How much time do I need to invest to watch it?
It takes roughly 8 hours to work through the entire course (all lectures, expert interviews and documents). If you decided to only watch the 33 lectures it takes roughly 4 hours.
How is Magnus’ teaching style and how well is the syllabus prepared?
We all remember lectures in school that made us fall asleep. MagnusClass is the opposite. Magnus’ teaching style is entertaining, fun and encouraging – you will never feel bored. He is certainly not the old-school type of professor. His examples are vivid and realistic, his language clear and to the point. Slides in the background help to support his argument. The syllabus is structured very well. Viewers never feel lost. Overall, the presentation and course structure is very professional with a high production value/
Key Lessons Learned:
First lesson: The art market is unlike any other industry so explanation is necessary to understand it. Magnus shows how it works in nontraditional ways without the rules and regulations you might expect. MagnusClass sheds light on the hidden power play, the key players, and where an artist fits in. Artists will learn how to effectively communicate with gallerists, collectors, journalists, and other artists to further goals and broaden their professional network.
Second lesson: Being an artist actually means more than just creating art.
MagnusClass provides practical recommendations to help artists manage their career and make money. You will learn how to define success for yourself, and how to market and sell your work. Magnus goes into specific detail on crucial points like developing a media strategy and selling artworks online.
Third lesson: Legal documents help artists to be better prepared.
A highlight of the course are the documents. Legal documents (or lack thereof) in the art world can lead to conflicts. But Magnus provides all the contracts and documents an artist needs to run an art business effectively. With these documents you can ensure you are presenting your work in the most effective, industry-standard formats, and protecting yourself on the business end.
What you get:
There are 33 concise and comprehensive lectures, each roughly 7 minutes long. Magnus addresses relevant topics such as pricing your art, finding the best representation, brand strategy, using Instagram to your benefit, convincing collectors to buy your work, and much more.
A full list of topics can be found here: www.magnusclass.com/course-content
There are also over 10 expert interviews that give insight into the perspective of the key players in the art market: gallerists, collectors, artists. Magnus even consults a data scientist to discuss trends in the art market and what we can expect in the future. These interviews are each approximately 20 minutes long. Magnus asks industry experts including artist Marylin Minter, German gallerist Johann Koenig, and American collectors Susan & Michael Hort questions such as: What do gallerists look for in an artist they want to represent? What makes a collector buy a piece? How does an artist foster positive relationships with gallerists? What advice do you have for an aspiring artist?
Find a full list of experts here: www.magnusclass.com
Magnus provides 10 downloadable documents that artists need to make a living as an artist. Each document comes with a video explanation. Examples of documents include the Artist Statement, Consignment Agreement, Gallery Artist Representation Agreement, Commission Agreement, and more.
Which package to choose?
We tested the Premium level of MagnusClass. If you can afford to, we would recommend you opt for the Premium level as well. The lectures alone will help you tremendously, but the expert interviews and documents supplement and support the content in the lectures. You will get advice from 10 more art world experts, and be prepared with materials you need to make safe business dealings and properly organize your business, saving you time and energy.
• You can get practical and realistic advice you can’t find anywhere else
• Crucial insight into current state of the art market from someone in the center of the network
• The material is presented in a straightforward manner from an experienced educator
• Inexpensive, especially compared to university or offline courses
• Easy to navigate interface
• Accessible on the mobile app (just log in with your MagnusClass credentials)
• The courses, documents, and interviews are always available to re-watch so you can refer back to them as you progress in your career
Making a living as an artist is difficult. MagnusClass isn’t going to change that. The class can teach steps to find success, but does not guarantee representation, media exposure, or a thriving network. These are things artists must manifest for themselves. MagnusClass can equip artists with the knowledge they need, but artists must be willing to put the time and energy into turning their art practice into a successful business.
MagnusClass (www.magnusclass.com) is worth your money. It is packed with information essential to managing an art career. Your branding, marketing, networking, selling, and storytelling strategies will be more efficient after taking this course. You will walk away feeling prepared and informed, knowing all the right places to direct your efforts to make the most out of your art business. WM