Saturday, August 16, 2008

About being an Unseen Artist...

Yesterday was the opening for the Unseen Art Show. Tonight I'm sharing a few observations about this experience. Participating in this show has been a real eye opener for me. I learned so much about the business side of art. It's quite a process. Prior to this experience, I've never offered any of my art for sale. In fact (this is embarrassing) I didn't realize that there was a sales component to entering an art exhibit like this one. I realize that is very naive of me but, there it is. When I was told that I needed to provide prices for my pieces I realized I was in for a new experience. Settling on a pricing strategy that I can live with going forward took a bit of research and some advice from knowledgeable friends - you know who you are... thanks!

Further, I learned a great deal about framing art and the costs of doing it at home (Ron's future hobby ;) vs outsourcing it. Among other things, I had a lesson in linen hinging and discovered that many artists simply use acid free double-sided tape to attach their art to the backing board. Who knew?

Another observation, a critical one for me, is that it takes quite a bit of time. Since my "art time" is limited by my health I need to make conscious decisions about how I spend that time. Although I understand the learning curve is steep and I'm past a bit of that now, each art exhibit involves application, framing, delivery, showing up for the opening, picking up art at the end, etc. Many of the activities that I began during preparation for this show will become second nature (stretching watercolors as I complete them, framing immediately, archival photography, etc) and eventually entering a show will as well. The issue is this - promoting my art takes time away from painting my art. I'm going to have to consider if there are other ways to sell art more suitable to my needs - Internet sales, clothesline sales, or other new approaches... maybe I'll dream up something on my own. Any ideas?

Don't get me wrong... I am SO glad I have this opportunity to show my art in public! It's something that I never dreamed I would have the opportunity to do when I began painting 3 years ago. AND... I will do it again. To make future shows easier I will incorporate some habits into my art routine and that will make those opportunities easier to manage.

And lastly... NO HEELS ON CONCRETE! PERIOD.... never going to happen again folks!


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