tips for Artists Open Studios

Open Studio season is coming up… whether you are an old hand or this is your first year showing in this way we have some ideas for promotion and things to do in advance,  during and after so that you make the best of your Open House events this year. 

Apple podcast

This week

Louise’s promised task from last week has resulted in the satisfaction of a fully completed expense tracking sheet. (I admit why I’ve cheated this in the past) Alice decided a day out of the house was called for and enjoyed the discovery of two new exhibitions, mentioned below, and has been creating a new inspiration board. If this sounds like something you could try, you make like to see this post about creating a mood board for your art.

Making the most of your Open Studio event

Open studios are fast growing as popular and relaxed way to discover work by new artists in your area. Because they are in your home there is perhaps more to think about than showing your your work at a gallery or art fair event. I’ve listed a few of the points we discuss below as quick reference, but this episode is worth a listen if you are showing for the first time – or even if you are more experienced you will also pick up a few tips.

tips for Artists Open Studios

Before the event

Volunteer within your organisation – the success depends on everyone doing their part. They will probably have guidelines for you and be providing certain items, eg advertising posters, flyers, booklets and banners but don’t rely solely on someone else doing the work

Make the most of your own publicity – see last week’s podcast for places to update on social media

Order a card reader (test it!) and receipt book I recommend and use Sum Up because it’s the lowest rate for more irregular usage (this link should give up a discount and me a thank-you!)

Prepare your home – remove valuables, decide which areas are off limits, with a sign if necessary. Let your personality show, but remove other artwork, personal photographs etc

During the event

We discuss different options for clear pricing; wall labels vs lists. And at the end there is a great alternative to the “no photos please” sign – an idea to get people following and sharing what they are discovering!

Consider having things for children to do; an interactive project can be great, but don’t let it take all the attention!

Keep track of visitor numbers – not just as a total, but across each day. This will help next year if you feel it’s a slow or busy day. Memory can be deceptive!

Refreshments – keep you occupied. (Alice makes a cake if there’s a quiet lull and has cordial, but both agree no tea or coffee)

Make people feel welcome. Having the door open or closed is a personal choice, but be clear you are open to all visitors. Ideas include chalk signs on pavements, bunting, balloons, signs …

Collect email addresses from visitors if they wish to hear more – you can do this by having access to an online sign up, but I like to keep a visitor book. Let people know if you are planning future events eg before Christmas.

After the event…

You may feel like collapsing as it’s over for another year, but do follow up with visitors; thank them for coming, send them an image of a painting they were interested in. You can do this as a wider email – or more individually.

Review what went well – you will forget!

Audience Question

If you have a question you’d like us to discuss, click here to send it to us

Inside / outside inspiration

CyTwombly at Bastian (until June 15th)
https://www.galleriesnow.net/shows/cy-twombly-natural-history/

Gerhard Richter at Gagosian “Overpainted Photographs” (until 8th June 2019)
https://gagosian.com/exhibitions/2019/gerhard-richter-overpainted-photographs/

Follow Alice on Instagram @alicesheridanstudio
or Louise @louisefletcher_art

Credits
“Monkeys Spinning Monkeys” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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