Every contact you have with someone is an opportunity to wow them with your art and your professionalism, so you don’t want to miss the chance to wow from the beginning.
Robert Mapplethorpe knew this. For his first solo exhibition in 1973 at New York’s Light Gallery – a show of Polaroids – Mapplethorpe’s invitation was a hand-printed image from a Polaroid original.
He embossed his name on the outer edge, included the protective Polaroid cover, and inserted everything into hand-addressed, cream-colored Tiffany envelopes.
His invitation was a work of art in itself because, he believed, an exhibition doesn’t begin when you go to the opening, but when you receive the invitation.
An art exhibition begins when your guests receive the invitation.
The moment people hear about the show, they start judging. Will it be any good? Who else will show up? Is it worth my time? Is there something better I could do that night?
What experience do people have when they get an invitation from you?
Here are 7 ways to use your invitation to elevate the cachet of your exhibition.
Today we take time out to honor the humble, under-utilized, centuries-old, low-tech postcard.
Why spend virtual ink on such an old-fashioned method of communication? Because postcards can do what email cannot do.
Postcards can’t be targeted as spam by an aggressive filter.
Postcards can’t be accidentally (or purposefully) deleted by recipients.
Postcards are likely to be tacked to a refrigerator or kept as a memento.
Postcards are tactile. We can hold them in our hands and ponder them. They have the potential to delight, which is something we rarely say about email these days.
You, like the private clients I advise, would benefit from sending three or four postcards a year.
Postcards are most often used to invite people to an upcoming exhibition or open studio.
Some artists design a single postcard with a schedule of all upcoming shows they’re participating in.
But if you don’t have an upcoming exhibition, you might wonder what you’d say on a postcard or why you’d send one in the first place.
Here are 8 other occasions for using postcards to promote your art and build relationships with your list.
The November 2014 / January 2015 edition of Professional Artist magazine features an article by me titled “Think Before You Leap: Beware of People Who Tell You to Follow Your Passion.”
The editor suggested photos of artists at work to accompany the article and I knew exactly who to contact: ceramic artist Patricia Griffin.
Patricia Griffin in her studio. Photo by Debbie Markham.
Patricia is a member of my Art Biz Incubator and I receive her newsletter.
Months ago she sent an email with gorgeous photos of her in the studio. I complimented her on the images and she told me that she had hired a professional photographer to take photos of her in the studio. It showed.
Patricia’s photos were so engaging that they stood out among the hundreds of emails I see from artists. I remembered them
You know I love email, right?
I don’t necessarily love all of the spam that hits my inbox or the countless hours I spend reading and replying to email, but I can’t imagine running my business without it.
How would I ever be able to help as many people as I do for such a bargain rate?
And as much as I love email, I love real mail even more.
The supplies arrive.
Why You Should Rave About Real Mail, Too
Here are three reasons why I’m raving about real mail to my students, members, and private clients, and why you should, too.
1. Real mail is tactile.
Envelopes and postcards are things you can touch. You can cut, tear, and unpack a package (sometimes you can even smell it).
Add a handwritten note and voilà! You’ve enhanced your
Are you announcing, commanding, or inviting in your marketing messages? There is a place for each of these in your art marketing, but I encourage you to be aware of which you’re using and when. An announcement is a presentation of the facts. “I’m having an exhibition. The opening is at this time and this place. Here’s how you see my art.” Tamara McElhannon’s lovely announcement is pictured here.
Email has become indispensable for marketing, but sometimes we can’t see what’s right under our noses. If you are in an email funk and not seeing results from what you’re sending, consider these five remedies. 1. Understand the difference between newsletters and solo emails. A newsletter is usually a regular update (weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly) that has consistent features.
Don’t underestimate your audience’s desire to know more about you and more about your life as an artist. And never underestimate the story that a good photograph can tell. Share photos of Your Art, Your Office, Your Studio, and You. I’ll bet you already have a lot of these photos, but are you showing them? Could you share a quick link to them if you were asked?