Monday, September 19, 2016

Process to Production

Prologue: I've been thinking about this post for several days.  I wrote a bit, saved it as a draft, and thought some more.  I originally titled it, "To Market, to Market"...but as you can see, I've changed that. What follows is an up-dated version of the original...

For the past few weeks I've been spending a great deal of time -- or so it seems to me -- doing something that makes me and many -- if not all -- of my artist colleagues queasy.

That something?  "Shameless self-promotion" -- also known as "marketing".

It's tough doing it even if one is an extrovert, and I'm not; rather, I'm somewhere on the introvert spectrum: capable of speaking and singing in public, capable of "schmoozing" at an art opening, capable of enjoying a retreat or conference with friends, capable of enjoying time with family...but requiring a day or two or three in solitude thereafter simply to recharge my batteries.

So going out into the community with posters and postcards to advertise the forthcoming opening of my first installation is pretty tiring.  Blessedly Maureen, the person at the City who is coordinating the event, has no trouble with such things, and is doing a stellar job for me in Lacombe and Red Deer and beyond...leaving me with far less of it to do than I expected -- much to my relief.

But Maureen's not my art agent (grin).  I don't have one of those.  So...when I discovered a new gallery in Sylvan Lake -- a town about an hour from here -- on a visit in late August...I had to speak up, to engage the gallery owner in a chat about my work, to arrange to show it to her...and then to prepare it for exhibit there.

Though still on a consignment basis, for the first time my work will be hanging in a gallery that features predominately paintings.  There is work in other media there -- glass, sculpture, metal -- and fine craft such as pottery and jewellry -- but mostly paintings.  Mostly what people in this part of the world think of when they hear the word "art".  I am thrilled at the prospect of being shown on the same walls...and hoping that will give people a different way to define 'art'.

This means that this week I was attaching wires to the backs of my pieces mounted on stretched canvas...

And writing up a 'descriptive inventory' that included the sort of things I generally put on a label on the back of my quilts: materials and techniques.

I couldn't help but notice that my materials list was much more than "acrylic on canvas" or "water colour on canvas" or "mixed media".   Hmmmm.

The pieces have now been delivered, and the consignment agreement signed, with an official start date of September 24.  Once Denise, the gallery owner, figures out how many she has room for, and hangs them, I'll go and pick up the rest.    Then...we shall see.

Meanwhile, I continue to work on assembling MOB for hanging (a month from today!) , as well as my latest piece for the 15 x 15 Group...

Sneak Peek at a Detail...

And several projects for gifts; first, for the two new babies in my life....

Christmas Stocking Under Construction

Soon to be a "Blankie"

A terrible "selfie" of me in a cloche recently finished, a commission...

When did my neck get old?!

There's another hat (commission) on the needles as we speak, and plans are underway for the Annual Christmas Boxer Shorts, as well as a variety of knitted gifts for friends and family...

What am I doing sitting here typing?!  Time for breakfast and the sewdio!

P.S. I'm linking late into Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday.  Thanks for reading!


Anna Maria Junus said...

Marketing yourself is enormously difficult whether it's just to get a job, or because you are an artist of one kind or another. You have to do that balance between appearing confident and appearing unbearably arrogant.

You are doing great. May wonderful things come to you!

elle said...

I am very much like you, Margaret. It is good for us to push our boundaries, I guess! lol

Jo Vandermey said...

Marketing oneself comes so easy for some... And much harder for others.
I envy (and that is not a character trait in my book) that seem to do it's effortlessly. Although I genuinely admire some who do it well. I wonder what is the difference in those I admire and those I envy?
My big bold step into marketing this year was creating a business card! I have handed out a few... The best the card has brought me so far is I left my purse at a Tims and a gentleman found it and emailed me to make sure I got it back. This in its self paid for the cards.... I didn't have to replace anything!

Wonderful news about your gallery inclusion and your show.

Maybe with marketing the best way is to do what feels natural for us but to push the limits a bit . To find a way which fits with who we are.
You seem to be on the right track!

Anonymous said...

Good for you for putting yourself out there. It's not an easy thing to do, especially when you're presenting your own work, which as we know, is a piece of ourselves. It's good to see your hard work paying off.