My exhibition runs for two more weeks starting today, so I had a look at the sales totals for week one.
3 Framed Paintings
As of today – day one of week two – I have already sold four postcards. The weather isn’t very nice, and we’re just before a bank holiday, so I expect most of this week to be quiet. Saying that, you never can tell.
Comments in my guest book are wonderfully supportive and many visitors are pointing out their favourites. I can’t tell you how this support and appreciation for my work touches me and gives me hope for the future. I do what I do despite trends in art or what I think might have commercial appeal, and the clear message from people who’ve been to my exhibition is that they get it. You get me. Thank you.
Unsolicited advice for artists: get postcards professionally printed of your work. I watch for half price sales to order mine, upgrade the stock, and while they are still expensive, they are proving to be extremely valuable for getting my art in people’s minds and homes. I keep a stack of slightly flawed postcards (print jobs I’ve had to request reprints due to repro faults, not mine) as promotional giveaways too. Nothing is wasted and every shred of promotion is a good thing. Do this right and you will have positive results.
It’s been a long, difficult six months since I began my exhibition preparations back in November 2014, but it all came together and I am very happy to report the exhibition looks great. Not only that, but I’m getting wonderful feedback and sales! We put on a little two hour view party on Sunday afternoon which was not only fun, but hugely valuable for talking with people about my art. I found out what pieces seemed most well-liked, but also confirmed that you can’t know what people will be drawn to, as there are a few pieces I nearly didn’t show that now seem popular! It is possible to be too close to your own art to be objective, and so this exhibition is proving to be a tremendous learning experience.
As of Sunday afternoon, I’d sold three paintings, a couple of mounted drawings, and lots of postcards. Postcards are expensive to have made – and after the gallery commission from the £1 price, I only break even on them – but they allow a visitor to take away a memento or own a little something of a piece of a work perhaps they can’t purchase.
The exhibition continues in both the Blanchminster and Willoughby galleries at The Castle until the 7th, but the Willoughby ends a week later on the 14th of May.
The Castle, Bude
Bude, Cornwall, EX23 8LG
Good morning! Let’s catch up.
It’s the Monday before my first solo exhibition, and I have some thrilling news to add to the excitement: Due to a sudden availability of The Blanchminster Room (the other gallery space at The Castle, Bude), I’ve been asked to expand my exhibition into there for the first two weeks! That means, my exhibition has nearly doubled in size. OH MY GOODNESS!
I’ve mapped out 21 framed paintings for The Willoughby Gallery room (the larger of the two spaces), and 15 framed paintings for The Blanchminster Gallery room. That’s 36 works on the walls, plus I’ll have ready to frame, mounted originals in racks, and a postcard display with 20 designs available for only £1 each. This exhibition went from big to massive! The main exhibition is for three weeks (24 April – 14 May), and the additional room is from 24 April – 7 May.
I’m in the middle of waiting for the laser printer to churn out some A5 flyers and A4 posters for me to distribute around the local villages and towns. The to-do list is getting down to the last tasks. The art works have been done for a month, the framing wrapped up this past weekend, so now it’s a matter of updating my inventory database, finalising my exhibition pricing structure, creating additional labels for walls, and finishing promotional activities. I’ve been working my ass off since November for this show, and I’m so glad I’m in the home stretch before hanging later this week.
There will be photos, video, and probably some Periscope footage of the exhibition. For family and friends in far-flung parts of the world, I’ll arrange FaceTime and Skype tours. Links to all this online stuff will appear later this week.
Sounds like the printer is done. Back to it!
Had a brief freakout this morning after I phoned my regular bespoke frames provider to purchase long length moulding only to be told they don’t do that… This is contrary to – an admittedly old – catalogue I have of theirs. I’ve experienced some particularly awful depression lately and so this news hit me hard. I cried. I have a major exhibition next month and to help with the huge expense of framing, I had decided to do it myself. No moulding was suddenly a big problem.
I got my cool back and hit the internet searching. The frame company has to buy their stock somewhere, so I started looking through wholesalers. The moulding I use is a very specific type; it is a “tray” style which can be cut two ways to accommodate either deep or standard depth canvases. A match for this somewhat unique product isn’t easy to find, but I have. For all I know, the framer I used orders from this company.
I called the wholesaler, spoke to a very nice guy, confirmed they’d sell to me and the 20 metres I require. They’re sending me their catalogues too. Oh, and I’m getting my order overnighted for free (which is standard practice for them). I’m so pleased.
Putting together a solo exhibition can be stressful, but I’ve been taking care of tasks for it since November of last year to avoid as many curveballs and late nights as I can. The frame moulding issue wasn’t a thing I thought would be a problem, so I didn’t concern myself till now to order. Just goes to show that you can’t take anything for granted and that a phone call can change everything. Fortunately, a phone call to a new supplier undid the mess I found myself in, and I am smiling.
Time to set up my mitre saw! I’m going have a lot of frames to make!
I’ve been a busy bee over the past few days crafting a crowdfunding campaign… I’m hoping it passes the review stage today and goes live so I can tell you all about it!
In the meantime, there’s always plenty to do in the studio, especially since I’ve got an upcoming exhibition starting next month and then Open Studios 2015 after. It’s all systems go around here!