|Arbutus Beach, 30x30, original painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki|
The West of Main Art Walk event was my main project over the past few weeks and it has been a great success in all aspects. I've befriended some wonderful artists, met a few potential business partners, and expanded my collector base. Most importantly, I was thrilled by how my art was displayed and felt satisfaction from the positive feedback I received from the visitors. Sending several paintings off to their new homes was a cherry on the cake.
Over the years, I have participated in numerous art events and if I learned one thing about them it's that they are all very different from each other and one can never assume which one will be a success and which one will flop.
I gave this a lot of thought and these days, I am very selective in picking and choosing where to direct my resources and my art.
Here are a few lessons I've learned:
1. Should I?
Be very clear what you expect from an event. It may be sales, promotion, fun, education, collaboration, or something else. Whatever it is, research the prospective event to make sure there is evidence that it has what you require. Ask fellow artists who participated in previous years and search the internet for clues. If the event isn't a real deal, someone out there will have said it.
|West of Main Art Walk 2019|
Gala opening at the Roundhouse Community Center in Vancouver, BC.
It's a well-organized and well-visited event where art is king.
2. Can I?
Make sure you satisfy the requirements of the event. Do you have enough art available? Can you deliver it, present it, and do all the other things needed for successful participation? Can you afford the resources required? Is the timing right and can you realistically plan all the steps from the moment you commit to the actual event? For this event, I wasn't sure how to transport and mount my paintings, but luckily, I found a solution I could implement. It included purchasing several display easels and testing how much stuff I can pack into my car.
|How many easels fit into one Acura? Eight! :-)|
3. Make it Happen!
Once you are pretty sure it's a good match for you, planning is crucial. Consider what art you need to make or modify, how you are going to promote your participation in the event, and all the logistics including the spendings and actions you must take over the period of time you have. Your list might include art materials, frames, display gadgets, labels, shipping/delivery, promo materials, communication with your fans and collaborators. None of this is to be taken lightly or left for the last minute. In planning, attention to detail and timeliness rule. For example, I used an area of my home to stage my display and that helped me in deciding which paintings to include and how to finish them.
|West of Main Art Walk - Kitsilano Neighbourhood House venue|
Easels and grid walls galore.
"I am impressed," one visitor exclaimed. "There's no sloppy art here!"
Last but not least, take some time to think about having a great time yourself. It's important because your own personal satisfaction will be reflected in your art. Social events are hard on us introverts but we can learn to enjoy them. Prepare well and take care of yourself. What makes you happy when you are out there? A glass of wine? Cool clothes? A friendly face? A chat with someone you trust? Do you enjoy doing a demo? Plan your event around these goodies and avoid things that you don't like.
|It was a good day for a demo!|
Easier said than done, but we can do it for the sake of our art!
In other news, my painting Whyte Islet received an honorable mention in the FCA postcard competition. Watch for the cards with these lovely images over the next year in the Federation Gallery on Granville Island.
May your next art event be a great success!
P.S. My acrylic painting workshops are filling in quickly so make sure you sign up soon if you were planning to. The North Vancouver one is in just two weeks! More info on my website HERE.