7 Thoughts about having an Exhibition.

Portuguese Spring

Portuguese Spring

1. Sometimes you just need to decide to do something rather than wait for someone else to give you permission.

2. Once I’d decided to do the exhibition I had to break everything down into small steps.

I used a method inspired by Ariane Goodwin of the Smartist Telesummit. She advises mapping a time line in reverse , starting with the event itself. Using a lot of sheets of paper taped together and a huge amount of different coloured post-it notes I plotted each task that needed to be done and allocated a particular time for each  to be completed by.

 Although it took quite a long time to get all the tasks down on paper, it definitely made things easier because there was no worrying about whether I had overlooked some essential task. Completed tasks got a silver star – I suppose that part isn’t entirely necessary !

3. Everything takes longer than you think it will (or should).

4.Some of  the things that took large chunks of time and energy beforehand were not necessarily the things that brought the biggest results. Unfortunately it is hard to work out which things these are beforehand. I console myself with the fact that this exhibition was a huge learning curve and a lot of the tasks would be dealt with much more speedily in future.

5. It is much easier to blog every day than once a week. ( Apart from the time factor)

6 Artists can be reluctant to come out of their studio and show their work to the world- for a whole variety of reasons. I am one of them which is why “Reveal” was my “word of the year” last year – but there are definite benefits in doing so.

An artist friend who said she was never very interested in showing her work was given an alternative view today by someone who told her that seeing people’s enjoyment of  her work would enhance her own enjoyment as an artist. Also, along the lines of my previous post on encouragement, you never know who you might be encouraging by exhibiting.

7. I was also reminded to celebrate the completed exhibition before diving straight into the next project.  The automatic tendency for many is to brush aside any completed event or project and move straight on to the next thing – but a little reflection and celebration can round off the whole process.

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5 thoughts on “7 Thoughts about having an Exhibition.

  1. First an artist has to find a gallery or other venue before one can even think about having an exhibition.

    Getting the gallery or other venue is the hardest part, showing the art is easy.

    Selling the art is whole different game.

    An exhibition is a sales tool, not a validation that you are an artist. If no one buys your art then one cannot continue making art (unless they have a full-time job, spouse with a job or other source of income).

    And blogging? A marketing tool. How many people are reading it each day? Is it worth the time or would it be spend better elsewhere; such as painting, finding more places to exhibit or?

  2. Thanks for your thoughts and comments Ann, Catherine, Claudia and Sally.

    Probably the circumstances around exhibiting vary a lot. In my case finding the venue was actually the easiest part. Agreed that selling is a different thing altogether. But if you don’t take the step of putting your art “into the world” then you can never find out if anyone would like to buy it.

    My initial push towards blogging was indeed from a marketing perspective , but I’ve discovered that there is a whole different side to it, that I hadn’t really expected. Although I read blogs for a while before, it was only once I also started to blog that I felt involved in the conversations.

    Apparently some surveys have shown that successful artists spend between 50% and 70% of their time on getting their work seen and marketing. It doesn’t seem to leave much time for actual creation – but at a certain point perhaps it is more important to show what you have produced so far, than to keep creating more unseen work.

    “i’d Rather be in the Studio ” by Alison Stansfield has a lot of good marketing ideas for artists.

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