Sunday 7 April 2013

Pulling The Exhibition Together

I often get asked what am I working on and although I share many things on this blog and my Facebook page their is a whole area of my process that is generally too busy (and too messy) to show.

So here's a little insight to what has to be done for an exhibition

Ideas and Draft Drawings
I require time ( usual the wee hours of the morning ) to produce the initial sketches. The idea or concept of the show generally comes from a eureka moment in one of these sessions and then it's the constant development of that idea that provides the range of pictures. Some of which don't even make it to inking up stage. I'm embarrassed to say I work on scraps of paper, back of school newsletters and the odd receipt and resurrecting that idea later to good enough to ink stage is something that can take quite a while. I'm terrible at abandoning an idea- i'll push it all the way till I absolutely have to admit defeat.

Inking in
This stage is really about me and the paper. A very personal process when I re-evaluate the line thickness, choice of colour and fluid movement of the ink (which is a living thing and has a mind of its own) all together for a show I require a minimum of three weeks from concept definition to inked drawings. In that time procrastination is definitely not my friend.

What next?
Once I have the product I have to Package, Price and Present it - which in itself can take a considerable about of time. I have shied away from frames in the last year preferring to wrap the picture in cellophane and back onto boards ready for the customer to pick it up and the ink to always to protected from the rain. This is always a last minute job, there is always a bid for something more interesting to do that gets in the way of this.
Pricing the artwork is my biggest headache, what keeps me awake at night and what keeps me affordable to my friends. I have tried many different systems including getting others to price them, working out how long I've spent on them (which is depressing) and figuring out how much I'd like for the biggest one and decreasing the price on size. It's always going to be difficult, I still work on the ORIGINALS ONLY policy ,with trying to offer the customer something unique and having room for my ever evolving style. Pricing is something I'll have to keep an eye on, maybe another Blog post when I've figured it out a bit more.
Presenting, now this is what I love, another creative process to showcase my work. Brilliant fun but be warned great ways to display are important but keep those prices in the back of your mind. It's so easy to get carried away with - wouldn't they look great, in real gold frames, surrounded by ice sculptures and each with a 3D cast of themselves or insert crazy idea of your own. Think longevity, can I used these for another exhibition, Space, will they fit in the back of a car/van/in the actually venue and money,is there a cheaper material that does the same job. We all like a bit of recycled paper buntings, cardboard frames, calico backboards. Be inventive but don't get caught up in your own hype.

This I am certainly still trying to figure out.
Press release .....check
Free Ads listing....check
Artwork list ....check
Email to precious customers......check
Email or friends and family....double check

Everything else just cross your fingers and hope for the best, everyone expects a bit of artistic ditziness so just go for it.

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