Artist Spotlight: Hotchkiss Mobiles

Artist Spotlight: Hotchkiss Mobiles

Joel Hotchkiss, West Stockbridge, MA
ACRE Philadelphia Booth #1318

 Joel Hotchkiss started creating mobiles in 1978 in Oakland, CA. His designs have been continuously sold in the Guggenheim Store in NYC and SFMOMA since the the mid 80's. He has also created many commissioned mobiles for numerous private residences and commercial spaces throughout the US, Europe and Asia. He currently lives and works with his wife Sandra at their Galery/Studio in West Stockbridge, MA.

Describe Your Work
Mobiles are magical because they trigger the viewers’ curiosity and imagination. The fact that mobiles are balanced in air and are intended to exist and move in space, separates them from other art forms. I create a mobile as a poet or lyricist would write a poem or a song. In the end all the elements have to work harmoniously for the composition to be successful. Mobiles tend to be a joyful and uplifting art form.

How did you get started in the crafts business?
In 1973 I moved to Boston and worked as an Art Director for 5 years. I realized it was not my life’s passion and began creating and filling my apartment with mobiles. An “eye opening” trip to California in 1977 inspired me to move to Oakland, CA a year later and “fully dedicate myself” to the "art of mobiles".

How long have you been wholesaling?
I started wholesaling to the Fan Francisco Museum of Modern Art Store in 1981... and still wholesale to them.

What are your top 3 marketing methods for reaching new buyers?
I send out emails to current accounts via MailChimp. I try to do one or two Wholesale Shows a year. Many times I will get a cold call from a sore or gallery owner who has seen my mobiles in other locations. I also try to call sore owners and managers directly on occasion... not too often!

What percentage of your business is Wholesale? Retail? Commission, etc.?
Wholesale 40%. Retail 40%. Commission 20%.

How has IndieMe helped your business?
The Shows have gained a very good reputation and the support staff is very helpful.

What advice do you have for new craft artists?
The fact is art is all guts and glory. If you believe in your creative you just need to persevere and believe you will succeed. Never panic, just let the roar of anxiety and uncertainty rush by. Things will fall in place over time!

What advice do you have for new craft galleries?
Every gallery should carry mobiles in their spaces! :)

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