The public unveiling of your art–the artist’s role

Before last week’s INSIGHTS teleseminar with Michael Shane Neal, Peggi Habets wrote in with this question:

Something I’ve wanted to know for a while now, what is involved in an unveiling? What is the artist’s role?

We weren’t able to answer Peggi’s question on the call (because Shane had so much other rich content to share!), but Shane talked with me about this after the call and gave me permission to post his thoughts here.

Neal_unveiling Shane said every unveiling is different. Sometimes, he’s asked to speak, sometimes not. I got the idea that if you are the artist attending an unveiling you should be prepared to speak. (Of course, it’s my suggestion that you are always prepared to speak about your art at a moment’s notice.)

Shane also shared that before the unveiling, he has postcards made of the painting being unveiled. He said he stands next to the painting after the unveiling so he can talk with people and hand out the postcards. I think this is a great idea! Not only do the postcards have Shane’s contact info on them, but they have an image that will connect the name and contact info directly to him–and a memento from the day. (That’s Justice Sandra Day O’Connor helping Shane unveil her portrait at a recent ceremony.)

On the INSIGHTS call, Shane was generous with his information about building a career as a portrait artist, landing commissions, dealing with people, pricing, and more. If you weren’t able to join us, you can still get the audio of the call. See INSIGHTS: Michael Shane Neal (it’s at the bottom of that page).

By the way, even though Lisa Call doesn’t claim portraiture among her many talents, she said “I learned a ton of good stuff from this interview. Shane’s enthusiasm for the artist’s life was great–a good reminder of how important it is to maintain that positive attitude.”

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