Artist and Craftsman Supply graciously put together a show not long ago called Full Spectrum. In the midst of focusing my energy on answering calls to artist and prepping for an introductory acrylic paint class I put together a few paintings and answered the call. The two paintings were a simple test from the start. Can I pull something together presentable? In a short time? The answer was yes!
What I learned from this, and other similar experiences, is these are as a "stretch" exercise these two pieces did work. The time and
materials requirements were met. A new electronic template for artist tags was created. This creation actually saved me time creating a file from scratch on a subsequent and much larger solo show a month later. The "telling" was deeper for me. With the technical goals met, the unmet goals of showing the work to a purchasing audience and moving pieces permanently out of my studio left me wanting. It was never really built into this venue. My 'emerging' artist was showing through, I should have taken into consideration when answering the call. Caught up in the 'participation' and 'potential' my business sense flew the coupe instead of the art. With that being said, the lesson will likely be repeated a few more times. Finding the right markets, turning shows into sales, is trial and error for me at this point.
Since then I have taken some advice and seen it's truth in action. It was simple when explained, "because of the size and price, both decision makers need to be present for the purchase" and "SHOWING isn't the same as having someone SELLING" my work. Both these truths were so glaringly obvious at my last solo show, I am still in awe. It was a show which I was certain was going to be another waste of my time but still wanted to meet a goal of 'showing' monthly (set six months ago), so on I went. Doubts in tow as I hadn't sold a large painting in a while. Internally I was beginning to wonder if there is a market for my work. Then it happened, a couple who walked in talking about my paintings, when their friend asks which one they are going to buy...a few minutes later the painting was sold! If that wasn't enough for this truth to be driven home, the person who shared the advice entered the venue! Running through the progression of the sale along with a few other examples of how her advice helped me, I was able to impart that her time and guidance were well spent.
From one show to the next, one experience to the next and one lesson to the next I am grateful for the people and opportunities I have been privileged to encounter. Looking back, it has been a fruitful adventure, looking forward I am filled excited anticipation.
Thank you for sharing this journey with me!