It really was more then I had hoped for and the event made me realize two things:
1. I need to get "out there" to show my art. Wow, what a confidence boost. I enjoyed talking with people about my art and meeting other artists. I chatted with all the artists setup around me and hope to continue relationships with them.
2. I need to look at this event as a blueprint for the types of events I should participate in the future. Due to the nature of the event, my art was center stage and that felt great. It far exceeded my expectations and I realized that this type of event, one in which people are coming out to admire and shop for fine art is where I need to be. I have done craft shows in the past and my sales barely break the fee and that has been discouraging. Since they are a lot of time and work. The key is the find the events that work best for you and this seemed to work.
Many thanks to my friend Jill who let me borrow two pro panels to showcase my artwork, they made a huge difference in time and presentation. Silly me took these pictures at the end of the night instead of the beginning so, some things are happily missing.
This year I wanted to make an effort to make more art and get my art "out there". I think setting that intention helped this opportunity come my way and allowed me to say yes when I had no idea how I was going to pull it off. It started with a message on Etsy from the event planner. I submitted an application and we chatted about the event details. After jumping up and down, hugging my husband 'till he turned blue and calling a few people to share in the excitement, I got down to business creating and planning.
I was consumed with the show for the 2 weeks leading up to it. Every moment I had I spent reading about artist statements, certificates of authenticity, title cards, wiring a canvas, how to price my work and why I needed to inventory my art. But more then that I could not stop creating. I had multiple art pieces in progress (usually I work on one or two) and more ideas flowing into my head then I could act on. All I could think about was this blank canvas and that blank wood panel in my garage and how I could make more art! What a rush. I had to balance creating as much as I could with staying sane and making sure if someone where to buy my art I had everything in place for an easy, professional transaction. I did way more then I needed to really, but that's me. I like to be prepared, over-prepared even. Big thanks to my husband who picked up a lot of slack around the house, cooking, cleaning and taking care of the kids while I was all consumed.
The RAW Stimulus showcase was at Martini Ranch, a bar/music venue in downtown Scottsdale. The night of the show, I got to the venue at 4pm. I had a quick interview by the Raw team (should have this to see later this month!) and then setup for the show. During a venue walk thru a couple of weeks before I picked out my space. Since the event was held in a bar/music venue I choose a space with good lighting available since I do not have any lights of my own. I also chose a space with two tall poles on either side which was a nice place to string up my art prints and add a sign. I thought I had so much time to setup (and I did really) but, before I knew it people started to arrive. There were featured musicians and fashion shows that took place during the show which added to the excitement of the evening.
I brought my easel and a work in progress because I thought I would have time before the show to work and I thought it would be fun to work during the show. Yeah, no. It was a good idea but, I didn't have much down time. I was way to excited and eager to talk with friends and meet people. But, I found that people enjoyed seeing the work in progress, it opened up conversation and I would totally do that again. I ended up walking away selling all three of my cute little wood block feather paintings, a pair of earrings, an art jewelry necklace and earring set, my large fireflies painting and a got deposit for a custom painting. I also had an inquiry on my work in progress and hope that will find it's new home once complete. This blew me away! I am honored that my art was chosen to brighten and enliven their most cherished space, their homes.
It was touching to see so many smiling faces there to support me. It made the night more fun and made me more confident then if I was by myself. I sure did miss my family and friends from back east though. I hope to arrange a RAW event in New York when I visit sometime. I am also thinking about doing a RAW event in California and another one here in Phoenix. We'll see ...
They have Raw: Natural Born Artist Showcases in cities across the country every month. Check out their website here to see when you can attend an event or submit an application to be featured in a city near you!