I had the joy of hearing Senga Nengudi talk about her art. Nengudi makes soft installations and sculptures from pantyhose. When we (about 100 of us) were getting ready to leave, Nengudi said she wanted to give us a gift to remember her by. In line with her work, which transforms a functional item that many women wear every day into art, she considered a gift that we could transform into something new.
It doesn’t take a genius to understand why nobody came to your art show. Let’s set aside the bad weather, natural disaster, flu epidemic, or major tragedy in the community. And not count people who are out of town or live too far away, or those who have tickets to the theater or a sick child. We’re going to focus on those able people on your mailing list who would be most inclined to come out and support you.
I’ve been surprised at how difficult it can be for artists to introduce themselves as artists. “I’m an artist” doesn’t seem to roll off the tongue easily for some people. And yet it’s critical to be able to say it with confidence. It seems to be easier for people with art degrees to pronounce their profession to the world. This might be because there is a piece of paper that says you completed a curriculum to the satisfaction of an institution.
If you’re feeling a little like a wallflower or left out of the art conversation, here are six tips – short of renting billboard space – to get you back on the radar of the VIPs in the art world. Most of these actions work well with arts administrators, arts writers, gallery directors, or curators. Any one of them would be a step in the right direction.
You’re promoting your art as best you can – or so you think. I’ve offered some advice so frequently that I imagine you must be tired of hearing about it. But, then again, I’m not sure you’ve heard it. For example, I’m still getting emails from artists with lame subject lines.
If you have a big event or art exhibition coming up, don’t wing it. Create a promotional plan for peace of mind. 1. Define the individual tasks – make each one as specific as possible. They should require just one step to complete. David Allen calls them next actions.
A few weeks ago I received an impressive email from Elaine Kehew, my client in Nairobi, Kenya: “I wanted to send a big thank you to you. I have experienced a huge increase in sales in the last two months. Between different kinds of promotion for my upcoming exhibit (which is selling before the exhibition date- oh my goodness!) and finally using my mailing list, I am really moving paintings.”
Last week I pulled together an Art Biz Blog compilation on email blasts for a client. No reason to keep it secret! First, this is really good, basic advice that you should never take for granted: Slow Down and Get Your Email Blast Right. Next
If I were asked for advice on promoting my workshops, these are the actions I’d encourage organizers to take. Please use this format as a guideline and adapt it to any event.