Attending art shows is hard work! Being successful at any show begins weeks before the actual event. On December 16, 2015, I was one of several artists and artisans featured at RAW DC’s holiday art show case held at the legendary Howard Theatre in Washington DC.
RAW DC is a chapter of Raw Artists, a non-profit organization whose mission is “to provide independent artists within the first 10 years of their creative career with the tools, resources and exposure needed to inspire and cultivate creativity. RAW ventures to provide the platform for these artists to be seen, heard, and loved” (Visit Raw here —> Raw Artists)
RAW showcases more than just visual artists like myself; they also include indie talent in film, fashion design, music, performance art, hair and makeup artistry and photography. RAW is an awesome platform for creative individuals to share their talent with their local community and the world. “RAW currently operates in over 60 cities across the United States, Australia, Canada and the UK!”
The planning and preparation for a successful art show involves printing, framing, purchasing and packaging products for sale and transportation. It also involves securing the necessary tools to display the art and art products effectively, such as grid hooks, lighting, zip ties, photo stands, easels etc. To make a great presentation, I design my displays to maximize the space allotted at each show, without overwhelming viewers. I try to create an aesthetically pleasing presentation with information about who I am, the names of my art pieces and prices of all my products. However, I also design my presentations such that they encourage visitors to ask me questions.
I spend the weeks before each show, printing, framing, purchasing and packaging. I pack my car the night before and on the day of the show, I arrive approximately four hours prior to doors opening to begin setting up my display. I think I’ve got this part of the show down to a science; now it takes me, alone, about an hour and a half to fully setup. Then I rush home to get dressed, and my partner and I return to the venue before showtime.
When doors open the hardest part begins. Contrary to popular belief, I’m an introvert. You’ll find that most creatives are. Engaging visitors, taking pictures and meeting new artists drain me of energy, but admittedly these experiences are the most rewarding part of each show. I love meeting new people, hearing their stories and addressing their questions about my art; this part of the show inspires me for new art.
Be persistent. Be consistent. Be You!