Thursday, September 3, 2009

Show Preparation

I've decided to participate in a charity event by our local animal rescue organization and will share a booth with my friend, the owner of the pet food store near me.

To be honest, I really don't like doing events like this - it seems that you expend a tremendous amount of time and energy in preparation, then you sit for hours while people file by and comment on your work as if you weren't even there! I don't mind honest critiques and I don't even mind if people don't like my art, but I don't like thoughtless rudeness at all. And, after all the time and trouble you've gone to, most of the time at the end of the day you find that you haven't even covered your expenses!

But, this organization is one of my favorite causes and while I usually donate a gift certificate for a portrait, this will be the first time I actually set up a booth at the event.

So, now I'm scrambling to get an assortment of items together to display (and, hopefully, sell!) as the event is in a couple of weeks! I'm thinking of unframed work since that will be easier to display and more affordable also. And I'll be promoting pet portrait commissions also.

Jerry's ArtaRama
is having a pretty good sale on their mat show system items and I just bought some mats, backing boards and bags. I received the black mats for the OSWOAs yesterday and matted this cat in the black mat. I hope the white mats come in today and I'll see which one looks the best on each of the pieces I have done so far.

So, wish me luck in the preparation and good sales on the day of the event! I'll let you know how it goes!


Jeanette said...

I can relate to the art show booth stuff. Been there done that, made virtually nothing from it. But it is visibility and I bring something along to work on so it keeps me busy and unless someone wants to know more I just do my own thing.

Good luck with it. I'm sure your pieces will sell and there will be interest. You do lovely work. And have fun!

Jan said...

Thanks, Jeanette. Yeah, I'm sure any artist who's ever done an art show booth can relate! At least this event is more than art - it's anything dog related.

I had already planned to take a piece to work on as that generally garners some curious "looky-loos" if not sales. As you said, it promotes an awareness of my art if nothing else. Plus, even though I've been donating pet portraits to this organization for many years, I'm sort of a hermit who doesn't attend the actual events. I'm not at all a glad-hander and really don't like crowds. I do like people but prefer to get to know them one at a time! Sooooo, hopefully this event will help people put a face to the name they've seen for years and maybe encourage someone who's been on the fence to commission a portrait!

Thanks again for your good wishes!

Teresa said...

So far I haven't even considered doing any type of show or a booth at a festival for the very reasons you've listed. Especially after I read on one blog how an unexpected little storm blew a lot of one artist's watercolor works off his display and into the mud and water. I think I would have cried. If you're going to be outdoors... do keep an eye on the sky!

Otherwise what you're doing is great and I wish you much success!

Jan said...

Thanks, Teresa. I've heard of those horrible weather mishaps too & have gotten some pretty bad sunburns at some outdoor shows "back in the day"!

Fortunately, this is a one-day, 4 hour event and my friend has a canopy for our booth. Even still, if it rains, I certainly won't put out any art - at most, I'll set up a display poster and hand out business cards! That is, if they don't cancel it first.

This is an event in a very rural county but since it is small, it might be a good venue to get my feet wet again.

However, I think you're wise to forego any such events - they're honestly more trouble and expense than they're generally worth!

Teresa Mallen said...

Ah, the things we do for exposure! :-) I wish you all the best. May you receive wonderful feedback and may there be lots of commissions and sales!!

sue said...

Very best of luck from me too. I hate these things ... but sometimes you just have to bite the bullet ... last one I did was indoors and I set the laptop up to display a slideshow of previous works (which drew quite an audience). I had hubby on hand to chat to interested onlookers as he enjoys that sort of thing(I stayed in the background working on a graphite portrait and didn't speak unless I had to)!!!

4 hours will fly by I'm sure.

Hope you have fun and make some money too.

Lori Andrews said...

Jan I love this, and I hear you on the prep and set up and the comments that the lingerings have to say. Good luck and kudos to you!

readingsully2 said...

HI, Jan. that is a beautiful cat.