How to Get Ready for a Show

September 15, 2009


In a perfect world, we would make and make and make and have lots of stuff for that eventual show of our work, right?  HAH.  Never happens.

In my case, I teach like crazy so studio time is pretty minimal.  Oh yeah – and in a perfect world, I would run to my studio every chance I got and make and make and make, right?  In reality, I find myself to be tired or hungry or having just enough time to sleep or maybe wash some dishes that really need attention.  Sound familiar?

OKAAAAAY.  So where do we go from here?  I know.  It looks like we’re all in this same boat.   Of course you can’t avoid needing all those creations to show so here are some ideas:

— If you make jewelry, figure out some production methods for streamlining what you do:  make multiples of a shape and then individualize them if you’re a one of a kind artist.   A friend of mine, a famous jewelry artist, showed up at a show some years ago without much inventory.  She stood behind her table with two trays lined in black velvet that held beads she had made – about 20 of them – and that was all she had for the two day show.  I hold that picture in my mind because it makes me aware that the biggest thing is that you’re there with your work, bottom line.  Whatever you have is good enough!

— If you paint, try cleaning your brush (when you are ready to change colors) on another canvas.  It might turn into something useful and at the very least, save you from ‘white canvas fright’.

— Most importantly for everyone: take a deep breath, take a walk, get lots of sleep, eat well and do whatever it takes to relax.  These things will help you get there and you’ve just removed a whole bunch of excuses, yes?

Lastly: good luck!  Know that every artist understands what you’re going through.  Breathe through it.  It is what it is and what you have is what you have.

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