IncPlan.net works with Start-Ups from all over the globe. We find it incredibly exciting to work with people who are pursuing their dreams with energy and success. The Start-Up Spotlight Profile series shares the stories of these dynamic achievers. Today we would like to present our Entrepreneur of the Week, Nancy Josephson, owner of Big iDeer Designs.
Artist Nancy Josephson just doesn’t know when to stop herself. With beads, sequins, and other found objects the invasion into home furnishings and accessories begins! As a well known self taught artist featured in galleries and museums around the world, Nancy’s new work transforms an individual’s surroundings in quirky, playful, and sometimes head scratching ways (see pics of her own cremation urn which reads “Does this make my ashes look big” on the back!).
She embellishes the ordinary, extraordinary and all things in between. Mirrors, lighting, jewelry, and YES even cremation urns are lifted from mundane to glorious celebratory sparkling works of art, and every piece is one of a kind, handmade by the artist.
However Josephson’s art is not just about taxidermy molds, sequins, figurines and beads. It’s a reflection of her spiritual beliefs and her love of rich textures and beautiful objects. Born in New York, Josephson has had exhibitions all over the world. Although raised in a Jewish household, she studies voodoo and sang with a gospel choir in the South side of Chicago.
In fact, Josephson’s early passion and career was music. She sang and played bass for several groups–the Buffalo Gals, Arlo Guthrie, Peter Rowan, Fiddle Fever, and most recently was founder and lead song writer in the popular group Angel Band. In 1980, when she and her husband, David Bromberg, moved to Chicago, Josephson began a career in visual art which continues today. As an artist-in-residence in Wilmington DE, she works on her pieces in her studio in the revitalized Market Street neighborhood.
Josephson work is permanently displayed at many museums around the world including the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, MD, and was an organizer of the first “Art car and anything that rolls” parade, in Chicago. In 1999-2000, her installation “Princess Layer Cakes’ Vodou Boudoir” was exhibited at Halle St. Pierre, Paris. She had the honor of having an exhibit in Benin, Africa, the birthplace of Vodou.
The business of Art, the Internet and the Artist-Gallery Relationship
Traditionally an artist’s relationship with their gallery was really about building a business relationship, but it had inherent boundaries that don’t exist today with the advent of the internet and global reach. In some ways the gallery is now more about how the consumer is looking for a “vetting” system since the bandwidth for any given commodity is endless.
When the gallery system was the only significant way the artist sold work the relationship included the gallery taking care of the business/client building part of the artist’s career. Presently the artist is put into the position of having to negotiate both creative and business aspects which require a broader range of skill sets…not to mention time management issues.
In fact, the traditional gallery model is in decline, according to a new report by the non-profit dealers’ federation Cinoa (Confédération Internationale des Négociants en Oeuvres d’Art), which found that fair-led and online business is taking over as the main source of revenue.
The artist as Entrepreneur
Her new business venture, Big iDeer Designs, features her website where clients can browse her work, and choose pieces to furnish their homes and offices with original art, or find a unique piece of jewelry. And for the person who has everything – a final resting place – a custom decorated Urn.
Nancy’s business model is to use the website as way to speak directly to the consumer of her work, both before and after the creation of pieces. Through her on-line gallery Nancy is presenting creative ideas to designers, decorators, architects, and collectors to begin the discussion on commissioned work.
On the Horizon
Nancy remain busy today with an upcoming solo exhibition in May, 2013 at Judy Saslow Gallery in Chicago featuring work from Big iDeer Designs as well as additional pieces from a series entitled “Domesticated Animals”. Also upcoming is a showing in New York City at the Outsider Art Fair Jan 31-Feb 3, 2013. A true multimedia personality she is even working on TV show pilot that incorporates “outsider” environments, music and food.