I feel quite confident as an artist/maker. I have a great studio, no shortage of creativity and the skill and ability to create art work that I am happy with. But I do have a lot to learn about promoting and selling my work. There are many tips and guides out there, but it is very important for me to use the methods that I feel comfortable with and which reflect my ethos and personality.
On Saturday, I went to an event put on by Devon Artist Network in which artists shared some tips for successful promotion of their artwork. I came away with something concrete from each speaker.
First, Double Elephant Print Workshop founder and printmaker, Lynn Bailey, has recently started using Facebook, ETSY and now Twitter. Lynn has a personal Facebook page and a separate page for her art work. That seems like a good solution, because I definitely want to keep my business and social life separate. I’ve also been seriously considering opening an ETSY shop for my lines of Wearable Art and Beautiful & Useful objects. (I really don’t think that I’ll ever be a Twitterer though!)
1. Yesterday, I created a Facebook page for my artwork, Inspiraculum, which you are more than welcome to ‘like’ if you are on Facebook and so inclined. It’s an adventure-in-progress, so join me!
James Tatum is an expressionistic landscape painter who had phenomenal success last year selling his work at his studio in Lustleigh. He shared his strategy on how to promote his work locally, using Devon Open Studio’s design material. He is an interesting guy in that his background is in engineering and manufacturing, so he has lots of good business strategies. He spends 3-4 hours a day applying to Open Art Competitions around the UK, on publicity and also on his art work. A good tip was to take the time to personalise emails to people when announcing an Open Studio event. He also suggested doing at least one business and one creative activity per day. This is a good idea, though challenging as I balk at discipline and routine!
2. I’ve committed to doing one business and/or one creative activity per day, when possible & viable.
Clive Adams is the director of the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World, an art and ecology centre near Exeter. His career spans almost 40 years, during which time he has curated dozens of contemporary and historical exhibitions which have focused on our place within nature. He went on to curate independently, and launched the careers of Andy Goldsworthy and Peter Randall-Page. Clive talked about how he professionally mentors artists to help and enable them to develop their careers. He also mentioned a geodome pop-up exhibition space at CCANW.
3. I’ll be in touch with Clive to explore the mentoring programme and to find out about showing ‘Enter the Forest of Dreams’ and some of my other art quilts in a geodesic dome. I also want some good honest feedback about my work from someone outside of the quilting/fibre art world. I’m still figuring out where to pitch my work.
So, all in all, it was a good day and I came away with some positive steps forward.