Friday, February 22, 2008

It's alive!

I realised today my show has taken on a\life of it's own. Well actually it's stolen mine, I just hope it gives it back at some point. It is, I suppose, a positive thing. The fact that I am getting so many contacts about it suggests that word is getting about, and I am thrilled by that. On the other hand every day I seem to find more things I have to do for it, and I really feel like I am running out of time now. I don't need more jobs to do.

On the other hand I was very pleased to be contacted by a local paper (see press releases can work) and I wouldn't have changed it for the world. It would have been nice if someone else could have done the photo shoot while I got on with some work :) I have learned a lot already from this experience, and I suspect I have more to come.

Back in October I wrote Planning a Show a collection of advice I was given to help get a show together. It's certainly proved to be good advice. I have a few extra points to note.
  • Press Releases - these are harder to write that I had imagined. I needed a lot of help with mine. So find someone to bounce ideas off and give a different point of view.
  • Don't plan a show with less than 6 months lead time. Really, it's not long enough. OK I suspect no length of time is really long enough, but many publications want your show dates 6 months in advance, so they will not print your event if it is sooner. That can mean loosing a lot of potential publicity. Also people need to hear about an event several times before it really sinks in that they want to go, and that takes time.
  • Publicity - around here the optimum time to contact people seems to be about a month before the event. So all printing needs to be done before then. That in turn means the design and planning must all be done before then.
  • Get help. Any help anytime. I am now realising that if I had asked for more help with things like addressing envelopes and finding addresses I wouldn't be feeling so fried now. At the time I was happy to do the work myself now I suspect I would be better off if I hadn't.
  • Order your guest book sooner rather than later. I assumed that getting a guest book would be easy. It turned out to be harder than I expected at a time when I really didn't need the extra stress.
  • Write down every piece of advice, every lead and every contact. Try and make the notes clear enough that other people can understand them too. I have been amazed by the support and leads I have been given. I haven't managed to follow them all up, but I have them all written down and I will use them next time if not this one.
  • Keep reminding people about all dates your show is open, and encourage people to come on different days.
  • Look for and record all the positive things you get from the show, even those that come up before the show.
    • New contacts
    • New venues suggested
    • New publications found
    • New routes to sell work
    • New friends
  • Try to take time off to relax.
  • Keep enjoying your art.
I have to admit I am not quite managing to follow all the advice. I have several people I would like to get in touch with before my opening, but I think I am just going to have to accept I can't do everything. I have however finally got the details of the Monday events up on my website.

On the exciting and low stress side, I got the proofs of my giclee prints. They are much more effective that I had expected. I wasn't sure about prints of textiles, but it does seem to work. I am really pleased that this at least seems to be going roughly to plan.

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