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I really need help!!!

1152 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  slackercruster
Hello I'm Sherina and new to the forum and I have a ton of questions that I think could be addressed in a art business forum, so I think this is the correct place. I'm a pastelist self-taught and I'm thinking about having a solo art exhibit in late spring or early summer. The thing is I won't be selling my originals, but I want to sell quality Giclee prints.
The problem is that I'll have 24 pieces of work on display from 32 x 40 up to 40 x 60. I know there large, but I just can;t seem to create anything on a small scale and trust me I've tried. I totally get creative block.
The company that I have used in the past to create my Giclee's suggested that I offer each piece in 3 different sizes. Not to mention the other 14 images that I need to have captured digitally at $75.00 apiece before they can be transposed into giclee's.
The problem is the cost I'd incur. I don't have thousands of dollars to invest in that many giclee's, and I don't know any other artist that I could invite to participate and share the cost. So I'm wondering if anyone here has a better idea?
Then I have to find a location, provide appetizers and beverages, and have monies for some type of promotional things like exhibition invitation cards, which I could probably do from my computer on some good card stock paper. Please I'm open to any and all ideas and thank you in advance. I'm going to try and upload some images of my work, so you can have an idea of what I create.


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If you are planning all of this for spring or early summer and you are asking these questions are to late! If I understand correctly you are the one putting this together and footing the bill. For something this large and what you want to do will take about a year to accomplish and that is if you stay at it diligently, the first and most crucial mistake you could make is throwing it all together and having your work and show poorly executed and present your work in a bad way. It would not just be a waste of money, it would be a reflection on you and your artwork.

My strongest advice to you would be step back and plan, join an artists guild, look for up and coming shows that are already established and weigh your options with them shows. If you want to do a a solo show, scale it down even said only 24 pieces and your format is 32X40 to 40X60...that's a pretty big show unless you have a very large venue you want to show in. You do not want to cram your work together, you want it to breathe and let people come in and flow with the artwork.

I would take 1/3 to 1/2 of your best work to hang depending where you show.

Alternative venues:
*At your house
*At a friends or family members house
*Local Community center
*Local park (if you want it to be outdoors)

Promoting your show is the main focus of your show, if people do not know about it then it would be a bust and waste of money because their won't be nobody there.

*Printed materials, such as...flyers or catalogs for the show, flyers for hotels and other high traffic areas where people are abundant,
*News report articles
*Social media

The art work that is to be displayed will make an impact of how it is presented, will it be framed (I am guessing it will be being it pastel) and if they are not framed already add that cost to your budget. How will you present the giclee, will you offer them framed or not. You will need tables to hold your prints and will have to cover the tables so they are presented nicely and work with the overall show. You will need volunteers to work the show to help out because you will not have the time to rub shoulders with potential clients and run the cash register and all of the job requirements to run a great show.

It will cost ruffly $1800 to $2000 to have your work scanned if you go with all 24 pieces, which I would not do...the pieces that you show should be scanned and available for immediate purchase. How many prints will you need, that depends how well known you are in your circle of the art world and to the public. Three different sizes of prints, maybe! Will you have your prints the same size as the originals? If so how many people will have the room for that large of artwork on their walls? Half the size is still quite large but for the largest format you are showing and is respectful for the smallest format that is showing.

Here is the thing, all of the money you will put out for this show as a solo show you will end up loosing more money than you will be bringing in unless you can find contributors and other artists to join the show with you. Even then it won't mean you will sell your work in order to break even of what you have in the show.

I would say that if you planned this for next year for the time period you have stated and done the research and made a great project plan and followed it, this show could be very productive. If you throw it together for this year you will find yourself disappointed and out a large some of cash...

I hope you the best in whatever decision you make and if I can be of any assistance let me know. I'll come back to this thread with more conclusive ideas later on...

Oh and welcome to the forums...
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I have organized and ran many shows small to large in scale and there is no simple way to do it unless you have a great project plan to follow. I was just stating realistic facts that for what you want to accomplish in the time frame and lack of funds it would be almost impossible for what you have to work with. Why is a year too long, what is the hurry? What is your goal for the show, establishing clientele, profit, making or strengthening your name as an artist with your peers?

There is two contributing factors that could possibly get you where you need to have successful well established are you as an artist and knowing your budget!

The most important aspect of any show is PRESENTATION and how well your show is organized.

How many prints do you plan on having printed up...I suspect that you want quite a bit of them and I would say that is way too many unless you are well known and established. Depending on your print house and if they require a certain number of prints for each run. Printing fewer and in the different sizes will cut your budget to a more manageable scale.

This is what I would suggest in order for your show to be held in the time frame you are looking at...

*Don't scan any of the art work yet, except maybe one or two of the very best of your work. Print these to the scale you are planning to sell. Have these one or two pieces at the show in order for your guests to look at the quality of the prints.

*Present your original work and take orders for the works sold.

*Take a deposit or the full sales price for the pieces sold to cover the cost of scanning and printing.

*Take only the works sold to have scanned and printed to your print house.

*Deliver your clients artwork.

By doing this it will free up your budget to use for the show.
Establish your budget...and start looking for a venue, this could be your biggest cost in the show. Also look into insurance that you may need to have your show at this venue.

Start planning your marketing, flyers, press releases, social media, catalogs, price sheets.

Be realistic on what your goals are and you could have a really great show for the time period you are looking for.

I have seen it many times at shows when artists are disappointed in the results and blame it on the shows curator and in some instances they were correct but in most cases it was the presentation of the artists that lead to disappointment. So be clear of what your goals are and even with the best of planning things most always don't go the way were intended, there is always something that emerges that factors in to poor turnout, low sells, weather, wrong venue, poor publicity and the list goes on and on.

I still think your best bet would be to wait and find an artists guild to join, research established shows in your area and participate in them before jumping into your own show. Participating in shows and festivals are one of favorite endeavors as an artist I look forward every year, I get to meet so many people and bring in new clientele.

Sorry to take your wind out of the sail, just wanted to be realistic of what you had in mind in order for you to have the very best experience you can have.
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