While a little off the beaten track, several visitors nonetheless managed to find my Open Studio and offer fresh insight into my work. Feedback ranged from the format and type of artwork that would be best to focus on, to which events and art societies I might participate in – a lot of thoughts to digest!
Belying my office-job roots, to help me sort out all the feedback I have resorted to that most mediocre of organisational tools, the homemade Powerpoint presentation – NB mediocrity was introduced by the creator, not the software:
Notably, little feedback was given on pricing, although I asked; people are unsurprisingly shy about this (it’s always a little awkward telling the artist to their face that their work is overpriced…)
Although several visitors were people I knew, some were completely new to me and making the rounds of many Open Studios, and one turned out to be a local artist only a few minutes’ walk from my house. Most heartening of all, a couple of commissions have come my way as a result.
I hope to take part next year as well, although I’m undecided about whether to opt for a more centrally-located group, or to try and enlist a few more local artists to create more of a draw to visitors in this area.
I might not bake quite so much next time though; only a few people availed themselves of the edible goods, so I had to demolish three tins of homemade shortbread, two tins of flapjacks and three loaves of focaccia bread* almost by myself… but I managed.
*ah wait no, I actually baked another loaf for a belated visitor today… and they ate some!
Well, Open Studios is more than halfway through, so time to share some initial impressions…
I haven’t had many visitors. I wasn’t expecting many… but three out of the six groups of people who have turned up were either fellow artists I arm-twisted into coming, or were turning up anyway to pick up some artwork. I suspect some of the lack of footfall is down to:
- My ongoing inability to handle social media in any form…
- My house being a bit out-of-the-way for getting pass-by trips (though one musician called in who was on the lookout for an audio version of Open Studios – a thought for another year, perhaps!)
So, maybe next time I’ll try to participate as one of a more centrally-located group. Obviously this means I won’t be able to do any demos in my studio, but it also means I won’t have to do any special baking or house-cleaning (always a plus to one as lazy as I).
Also… yes I know, I know… I should get an Instagram account. Perforce, also a tablet / iPad of some sort.
From the visitors who have visited, I’ve had some interesting feedback – both for specific pieces of work and in general (leading to the rough-draft print pricing here).
Although I’ve been in my studio (nominally) producing artwork during most of Open Studios, I’ve managed to visit a few of the other artists participating in St Albans, with a couple more scheduled. So – lovely work on view at:
- Marks & Tilt (artists Jonathan Emmerson, Jane Bottery and Gail Robins)
- Angela Mellen’s printwork and beautifully decorated house
- Trestle Arts Base cafe (artists Flea Cooke, Jo Stapleton and Linda Brown, plus more specific info on their Open Studios exhibition ‘Glimpses’ here)
- and Hatty De Barnard’s gorgeous Nude Tin Can gallery (artists Dorienne Carmel, Liz Rogers, Emma Boote, Matthew McLeish, Stephanie Littlechild and Hatty herself).
Looking forward to seeing more of the OS artists next week!
The final owl commission, subtly different from the previous three owl commissions, and finished just in time for Herts Open Studios.
Also completed just in time were several shortbread biscuits (plain and lemon & white chocolate), flapjacks and some rather tasty focaccia bread ^^. I may even spend some time doing artwork tomorrow rather than baking…
[Edit: *smacks own wrist* also here is the credit for the owl source image: