In The Studio: Behind the scenes, show prep

It is no secret that there is a lot of work to be done when preparing for a show.  It is so important for me to put my absolute best out and make my best efforts.  There are so many variables when doing a show that are out of your control.  But, if you do your part the best that you can, then you can’t have any regrets.

36_x_36_oil_on_canvas._Work_in_progress._

For every show I make sure that I can cross all of these things off of my list:

1.  I always make sure that I have new, fresh work that has not been seen before.  It is important for me creatively to always be evolving.  It is what feeds my excitement and enthusiasm.  If you are not actively trying to grow then you will find yourself feeling stagnant.  I believe this will show in your audience’s excitement towards your work too.  Keep your clients guess for what new things they might see at your show.

2.  Once all of my work is finished for a show it is VERY important to document everything.  I keep records of every piece that I have made by taking high resolution photographs and saving them all on my computer.  (I also make sure to have my computer backed up with a time machine hard drive.)  These files are so valuable to have.  After a piece is sold I am able to not only look back on the evolution of my work.  But, I am also able to use these files for prints, marketing, blog features, social media and PR.

3.  All of my pieces are varnished, prepared with hangars, signed and titled.  I make sure each piece is in top condition before being displayed.

4.  The paintings all need to be packed up safely.  I don’t want to end up with damaged work because I didn’t pack up my work in a safe way.

5.  Before any show it is very important for me to design a very nice post card.  My artwork is the most important image that I want my audience to remember me by.  So this image is one of my larger “feature” pieces.  It is also key to make sure that people know where to find me after a show.  So, all of my social media contacts are included, along with phone number, website  and email address.

6.   The last thing that I always make sure to do is promote my show in every outlet that I have.  A lot of people are very consumed with their own day to day lives.  So, I  must remind them whenever I have a show.  Everyone tends to pick their favorite applications for communicating.  So, I don’t leave out any of them.  Currently I am very active on my blog, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat (suzefordart),  twitter, and Periscope.  This might sound like a lot of places.  But, each have different audiences that are important!

7.  The last thing that I always make sure of is that I have plenty of help arranged for a show.  When there is a large audience I would miss talking to a lot of people.  So, I have people that are trusted to assist me.  My mom is one of my key assistants.  She knows how to talk about my work, she is informed on my sales and commission policies, pricing, and she is a wonderful communicator.  It is so important for me to have someone trusted to help me, and represent me well.

After all of these steps are crossed off of my list, I try to get as much rest as possible.  Show preparation and the duration can really take a toll on you.  So eating right, drinking a lot of water, and my share of coffee gets me through it.

So, whenever you see me at a show now you will understand a little bit about all of the work that goes into preparing.  I love getting out and meeting all of you.  I hope to see you all at my next show, The Plaza Art Fair in Kansas City, MO.  September 25th – 27th. 

If you want to see more behind the scenes of what my life as an artist is like, make sure to follow me on Snapchat, Instagram, and Periscope.  I like to give day to day narratives to what my day looks like, new work that is developing, and new projects.  Let’s get to know each other!