The Art Project That Bit the Dust: How Nice It Is to Have a Hobby.
In November I had started working on an idea for an exhibit called How Nice It Is to Have a Hobby. The concept was to explore an idea around the work of woman artists as an inconsequential activity parallel to having a hobby.
I was excited about the possibility of showing work in a public gallery and to a different audience from that of my commercial work. It allowed me to present something exploratory. Do you have a distinction between your commercial (retail, production, utilitarian kind of work) work and more probing art work to exhibit in a public gallery?
Public Galleries Are Wonderful Places To Present Your Latest Ideas
I haven’t exhibited in over 5 years, so I was prepared for the possibility of failure, particularly because I was working in clay and with new techniques, which can present all kinds of challenges. Time was not on my side. Sometimes several attempts are needed before I’m happy with the results and I don’t want to show work in a gallery setting or sell commercially unless I’m 100% happy with the results.
It Doesn’t Have To Be Perfect; It Just Needs To Be Perfect For The Level Of Work I’m Capable Of Doing At That Moment
Even though my latest project didn’t work out for exhibition purposes, I was challenged, excited and committed to exploring this area of my career.
There are times when you’re in your studio and happy accidents are part of the plan. You’re playing. It’s the little changes in technique or use of material that can produce the most interesting results. How you use those happy accidents and how you work them into your art work is what is referred to as process. My advice, play with methods and materials as often as you can.
Sharing work that has the potential to be seen and enjoyed is what creative’s should strive for, but it’s sometimes the hardest step for beginners to take. Once you’ve decided to take that step, choosing the right venue to do it in is a journey towards finding your audience.
Self Promotion Is A Skill We All Need To Polish
I’m going to share my journey – my strategy and thought process – with you, over the next year.
I’ve taken time to think about my commercial work and its audience. I’ve decided an online Etsy shop and selling in unique local shops is a good starting place for me. I’m just starting to sell commercially and this is the plan I’ve decided on. Small pieces are affordable and allow me the opportunity to try out new designs and techniques without investing a lot of material and time. I can evaluate what people are responding to and expand on that for more complex projects.
Strategy: Deciding How You’re Going To Move Forward In A Purposeful Way
When my Etsy shop opens, you’ll be the first to know. For now, I’m selling the few pieces I have through a local gift shop. I’m preparing the paperwork and presentation of pieces today and should have some work in their shop in the next week or so.
Marketing: Know What You’re Offering And How To Share That With The Right People
Here is a link to some practical advice on how to self promote from the UK Craft Council
If you want to learn more about the process of making art for public galleries read 101 Things to Learn in Art School, by Kit White