How to Get Work with a Corporate Art Consultant

Working with a corporate art consultant can be lucrative for visual artists.

Learn how Natalie Blake’s experience worked out for her ceramic art business.

Working with a Corporate Art Consultant Can Be Lucrative

Barbara Markoff is one of the most well-established and well-connected corporate art consultants in Southern California. Also, she and her husband, Rob Markoff, have owned and operated a successful picture framing shop in San Diego for decades.

In 2010, Barbara wrote Becoming A Corporate Art Consultant. It quickly became the definitive book on establishing a career as a corporate art consultant.

Insider Info for Visual Artists

I believe there is no better guide for visual artists to reverse engineer how they can get their work picked up by a corporate art consultant.

Live Your Best Artist's LIfe
Live Your Best Artist’s LIfe

In 2010, I wrote a blog post about How to Become a Corporate Art Consultant. The vibrant readership in the post continues to drive frequent traffic to it. Such activity indicates a substantial ongoing interest in learning about corporate art consultants.

It Pays to Ask

At Barbara’s suggestion, Natalie Blake, a ceramic artist, inquired about a guest post. She explained she had recently worked with Barbara. They collaborated on a successful installation of her work in the healthcare fine art market.

Barbara writes the guest post below. She describes the job and working with Natalie, including accompanying photographs. While this job entailed using ceramic art, it nevertheless illustrates the possibilities for any visual artist who can deliver quality works designed for specific installation purposes.

Besides the income from the job, which had to be a nice boost for Natalie, the residual effect of having one’s work exposed to high-income earners daily in the healthcare market is enormous, as is having the installation on one’s resume.

Barbara Markoff has been a corporate art consultant for 31 years; she owns Artrageous!, an art consultancy based in San Diego, CA, where her guest post:

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An Interesting Healthcare Corporate Art Challenge

By Barbara Markoff

I wrote the following case study to highlight how I chose Natalie Blake’s handmade, ceramic wall art tile ( for this prestigious healthcare project.

Methodist Hospital of Southern California
As an art consultant I am often presented with challenging situations where art is required to hang. Thisproject, the new North Tower at Methodist Hospital of Southern California, in Arcadia, CA was new construction.

The six-story building is the newest addition to the hospital’s campus, which opened in 1957. The
the state-of-the-art facility houses the Hollfeld Emergency Care Center on the first floor, a 20 bed ICU unit on the 2nd floor, 40 medical/surgical beds on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th floors, and a cafeteria in the basement area.

The theme for the new tower at Methodist Hospital of Southern California was to celebrate and embrace the splendor of the southern CA landscape. Within a 100 mile radius of this facility are mountains, valleys, vistas, deserts, beaches, lakes, lagoons, rivers, parks, gardens, and various vibrant and attractive native plants. T artwork on each floor of the hospital had a specific theme.

Public space Methodist Hospital of Southern California
public space
The challenge for this project was finding an artist who could create unique, theme-specific artwork for a circular recessed wall in a hospital setting.  My client was looking for a series of tiles that would convey an ocean theme and fit into a circular space.

For this project, I needed to find three-dimensional, lightweight artwork, which would protrude from the wall no more than 4″ and fit into a 72″ circular recessed wall across from an elevator.

A perfect solution was to suggest ceramic tiles by Natalie Blake ( Kn ing that Natalie
would customize the tiles in terms of glaze color and subject matter made her work an excellent choice for this project.

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An art committee comprised of two project managers, the chief operating officer, and hospital staff (total of 12 altogether) reviewed each artist for the overall art program. Bud t concerns were a factor, and Natalie’s work was well priced, meeting their allocated cost for the recessed wall. I recommended a series of eight 12″ tiles to span the area.

Close up of tiles
art tiles

Natalie’s work was selected due to her ability to produce themed artwork in specific colors within the budget for this project. In addition, I requested a sample of her work which showed the outstanding technique of carved clay. Having a ceramic major in college, I was very excited about her attention to detail and design execution.

When I showed her sample to the hospital art committee, everyone was thoroughly impressed with her ability to produce what was needed. In this spiral project, there were four 72″ recessed walls within the facility, and the decision-makers requested a different artist and different art media for each floor. Unquestio bly, Natalie’s work was the ideal candidate for ceramic art.

This project was my first one working with Natalie. Having visited her website and seen images of other projects, especially in healthcare, helped relieve any reservations I had in moving forward. The tile sale and accompanying photographs showing other ocean-themed works made selling her work to my client reasonably easy.

I found Natalie and her staff to be professional, communicative, responsive and experienced in handling every facet of the commission from the start. I especially liked seeing each phase of the project unfold as images of the unglazed tiles and later pictures of them glazed were sent to me. At all times, I was kept abreast of the progress.

When the tiles arrived, they were well packaged and beautifully executed. Once installed t the hospital, the feedback was very positive; they were among the art committee’s favorite art pieces.

My company offers art in all media and recently began working with Natalie. I hope to continue placing her work in my projects. Many of my clients are in the healthcare sector, and Natalie’s work fits right in with nature-themed artwork.

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