Thursday, January 10, 2013

Presentation is everything!

I just recently got permission to display my paintings publicly for the next three months at a local business. This is my second public showing since my senior show in May 2011, which was a requirement for me to graduate so, really it didn’t count.
I learned a lot in college about presentation of your art work. A lot goes with your presentation and how they public views you as an artist along with your talent. As a professional painter, I take pride in presenting my paintings in a public area. I wish I could make a living as a painter, but that is unrealistic and I would have to be dead to make millions. As a woman, it’s even harder to make it this art world and there’s so much talent and competition out there, you have to unique, talented, and presentable.
Here are some helpful guidelines that I have learned in college and still use today to present my art work. (I am using painting as example) but, these guidelines can be used in all art work.
·         Choose your best work
·         Write an artist statement that goes along with your art work or series; Artist statement is a one page description of the art work you created, include influences, the reason behind the art work, what inspired you on creating your art work, and materials used in your art work.
·         Write artist bio. Artist Bio is different than Artist Statement. Bio is more personal, for instance about yourself—where you work, what education you received, and a short explanation on why you are an artist and the choice of medium (painting, sculpture, ceramics, etc.) you use.
·         Make titles for all your art work when presenting. This includes: Your name, title of art work, size, medium used, year, and price of art work.  I use Presentation white card board material and glue typed paper onto card board and cut it out. Size of titles depends but stay in range of 2” x 3” or 3”x 5” no bigger than that.  Place right of the art work on wall
·         Keep a portfolio on all your work: photos and documentation of all art work.  
·         Framing of paintings—some galleries require it. It can be very expensive, save some money ahead of time.  Display of other work—show boxes, framing of drawings, display pedestals, etc. can be very expensive also.  
·         Business cards or post cards. When presenting your own show or display, always have business cards available. Post cards are the best! You can put a an image of your work in front of post card with all your information on the back and the people can take one with them. People like that. I keep my refrigerator full of them of fellow artists or art shows that I went to. 
Information on Business cards:  Name, website, email, and phone number
Information on Post Card:  Name, name of series, dates of showing of your art work and where and time, website, email, no phone number.
·         Presentation: written and verbal.  This is most terrifying thing that an artist has to do, but sometimes it’s requirement for you to do it at certain shows that you are presenting your art work. Usually in colleges, Galleries, and art museums’.  I had to do one in front of my professors and fellow college friends.  Luckily, it was only 10-15 minutes of torture but, afterwards I was not afraid as much and plus, if gives you a chance to talk publicly about yourself and your art work and what artist doesn’t like to talk about their own art work? None..we all like to discuss out art work!
The hardest thing for me was the questions and answers afterwards.  It’s always good to be prepared in what you will say about your work. When I did mine, I made up possible questions that would be asked and honestly answered them. Presentations are usually done on a power point slides, and you should have notes on what each slide that you are showing to the audience. The presentation should have an opening statement and closing statement about your art work. Most in important! Don’t forget to breathe! Take deep breathes and quick pauses. Slow your speech; speak clearly and loud enough for people in the back row to hear.
I hope this helps some of you. It has helped me and I continue to use these guidelines as a continue to grow as an artist. Good Luck!!!
Lucy Inserra
Display at Boulvard Bread Company in Little Rock
  River Market District

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