3 Ways an Art Show is like a Job interview

I am continuously amazed sometimes at how artists handle themselves at an art show. I did a show this weekend at a gallery with several other artists. I had a great turn out and even sold a piece and received a commission. I also met so many amazing people!

I did make some observations of things that some of the other artists were doing that I thought I would share because I think you can learn from them. I guess I should explain that the gallery lets the artists be in charge of their own information regarding their work.

I think of an art show like a job interview. You are putting yourself up for judgement. People are looking at your work and they are looking at you. Put your best foot forward.

1)  Dress the part. Patrons want to talk to you because you are the artist. I once got another artist an art show in a corporate environment. He showed up in a tank top, stained shorts, and a pair of tennis shoes. I watched all day as potential customers discredited him as not being professional. He wasn’t taken seriously at all. Know where you are hanging. I’m not saying you have to put on a power suit. In fact, for my open studio I wear my paint clothes. Be approachable.154488_4432437842204_2031485799_n

2) Be prepared. I went to my art show early to make sure everything was in order. I had an artist bio printed, business cards to set up, and a notebook for collecting emails. I had time to walk around and look at the other artists work. I was hoping to meet some of the other artists. Almost none of the other artists had titles or their names on their artwork. Interestingly enough, all of them had prices.

3) Show up on time. I can’t even express this enough. You wouldn’t show up for a job interview late, don’t show up for your own art show late. I was asked repeatedly about work of three other artists. This was because there was no information about their work and the artist was no where to be found. I couldn’t even tell them who the artist was. This was still going on an hour after the show had started. The artists still hadn’t shown up! I can only imagine how many potential sells were missed because they didn’t even show up for their own show on time.

If you do nothing else, do these three things. Think of your art show like a job interview, unless you have no intention of wanting to talk about, sell, or market your work. In that case, don’t even bother showing because you’re just  making yourself look like you don’t care.


About strokeofred

I am from Kansas and I have traveled all over the world. I am an artist, and I have a business brain. I love skirts and tennis shoes. I like to get dirty and ride motorcycles. I am sensitive and I can be mean. I love nature, and believe in protecting it. I love to laugh, and feel better after a good cry. I can be stubborn and impatient. I am constantly growing. I am open and free. I look to be inspired and love to inspire. I play guitar and secretly want to play drums. I have a puppy that brings me great joy. I love hugs, cuddling, holding hands...and wrestling. I love the mountains and the beach. I have to make a pilgrimage to the ocean at least twice a year to balance myself. I believe in balance in all things. Traveling is a passion, and meeting interesting people from all over the world is the perk! I have small town values, and big city dreams. I love beer, hate wine. I believe that what you put out comes back. I believe and live by the belief of treating others like you want to be treated. I enjoy stimulating conversation, and a good sense of humor. Caffeine is my drug of choice, and coffee over chess or good conversation is my luxury. I am strong but sometimes feel small. I strive to be my authentic me.
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