While many artists still prefer traditional gallery representation over self promotion, nowadays, more and more artists are choosing to represent themselves and are taking their careers into their own hands.
Self promotion and networking skills are critical in building long-term success and if done correctly, can create relationships with life-long art collectors.
Understanding how to professionally conduct a studio visit will impress your prospective clients and collectors and enhance your sales. The following guest article is filled with tips to help you prepare your studio for visitors…
When someone is interested in your work, set up a studio visit to show them your work. Give them two meeting times to choose from and stay flexible to other times if it doesn’t work out.
- If the appointment is more than a week away call (or email) them the week of the appointment to confirm.
- If the appointment is within a week, call (or email) them the day before and confirm.
- Make sure directions to the studio are clear and the visitor has your phone number.
- Be on time if you are traveling, or be ready for early arrival if they are traveling.
Remember that this studio visit is not just a review of your work but they are also assessing you as a person to see if you are easy to work with and/or would fit with their planned show or gallery.
- Be yourself, but be prepared.
- Before talking about your work, the curator/visitor will want to know about yourself.
- Prepare a short statement noting some background information and highlighting a recent accomplishment.
- Ask the them a get-to-know-you question or two to see if you have anything in common.
- Relax, and enjoy this opportunity to get to know someone new.
The conversation will turn to your work and your abilities. Know beforehand what you want to get across about your abilities and work. Make the most of your conversation by going beyond just answering the question and working in your skill as an artist.
Politicians do this, and they aren’t much smarter than you, are they? Do this by making short statements about achievement or abilities that you posses, and then provide a specific example to illustrate that statement.
- For example: My work is about the perception of spatial relationships. The objects in my last installation are placed so that the objects furthest away from the viewer are smaller than they normally would be, thus exaggerating the perception of distance.
This may sound canned but it is an effective way to communicate what you want about your work and it also highlights your abilities. After practice, this will come naturally. Write down beforehand what you want to get across and practice this. You can slightly adjust your answers to their questions. The more prepped you are, the better you will do.
- Stick to the schedule.
- Don’t take up more time than the curator/collector/visitor has allotted for.
- On the other hand, if you hit it off and are having a great time talking, don’t cut it short.
- Leave a good impression and be sure to thank them for their time and consideration. Most importantly, express your interest and enthusiasm for the opportunity.
- Ask when you might meet again or hear from them.
What do YOU do to prepare for studio visits? Please share your advice in the comment section…we all learn from each other! Thanks ~Lori 🙂
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