I have just finished being involved in Open Studios in my ASC Studio complex in Kingston for the last 2 weekends. It was a busy time. Well over 250 people wandered into my little studio to view my work and have a chat. All sorts of people came and visited ranging from other artists, the occasional art enthusiast, couples looking to buy for their home and families curious to know what we are up to as well as get their kids (and dogs) out and about.
I spend a lot of time talking, explaining what I do and why I do it. I generally get a positive response. We do try and sell during our open studios but painters fare less well than print makers and ceramicists as our prices are naturally more expensive by nature of what we produce.
With this in mind, I had deliberately created some smaller collage works on paper, wanting to have some art more accessible to the general public who were just out on a wander and not out to make any larger financial investment.
It didn’t quite work out. The public was far too interested in my other work. I had many price queries and a couple of commission enquiries too but it just wasn’t in the public’s price range. I will say this now – I am not expensive. It is simply down to the expectations of the people visiting.
Should I perhaps have not displayed my major work and stuck to exhibiting just my ‘affordable’ collages? The trouble is I am not running a shop. I want to be able to have my main practice on show as it is who I am and what I do. I could always not sell anything and just work whilst people visit but the reality is it is very hard to get any work done with people wandering in and out. It also costs quite a lot to put on Open Studios, so clawing anything back financially is always appreciated.
I did manage to sell a few collages in the end, but ironically this was when my studio was so crowded, other visitors couldn’t get in the door properly, so they only had access to the collages at the end of the table. Ha!
We are meant to be trying to do another Open Studios in November. I’m not sure I will be able to participate as I will have just have started my Masters so imagine I will be in the thick of it. However, if I don’t open up, this will let down my colleagues in the other studios. What to do, what to do? I think I shall just not think about this until nearer the time. Actually I don’t want to be thinking about it at all. I want to be thinking about how to further develop my art practice.