When I signed up to participate in Open Studios for the first time, I was excited and lost. I knew it would be a great way to build awareness of my art in the community, but I had no idea how I was going to appear professional from my garage studio or what I should do to prepare for such an event.
As usuaI, I strive to do things right, so I started researching Open Studios around the country. With piles of articles and advice in art forums stacking up in Evernote I compiled a list of tasks and ideas that I wanted to implement and make the entry cost worthwhile.
I followed a lot of the advice that I found through my search, but I didn’t read much about how to prepare my artwork for such a display.
Painting passionately, I anxiously pull out another canvas or panel before the first one has had time to dry. I hate to stop when those creative juices are flowing.
So despite my fairly large inventory of work, my paintings aren’t completely finished. The edges aren’t finished; they aren’t labeled, framed, or set for hanging. I hadn't even begun to think about pricing, invoicing, or archiving.
I tackled this issue by creating the Artwork Checklist and Pricing spreadsheet. You can find both in the free mini kit I’m sharing with participants of the Santa Cruz Open Studio Tour.
By the way, my first “open studio” was a huge success in my opinion. I sold 20 items tripled the names on my email list and most importantly, met some great people within the community. Relationships are key. People buy art from those they know, like and trust.