|This week's efforts when into completing this commissioned portrait. I did two versions, because I wanted to show the client how it would look before I drew it onto her mother's special envelope, which she received during the war in 1944.|
It seems like the art world wakes up in March. Most of the exhibition deadlines occur this month and plans are announced for all the upcoming shows and artists opportunities to be held during the year. As I think about what I want to accomplish this year, I'm torn on the issue of entering all the exhibitions that I so diligently listed on my calendar. The deadlines are looming... but should I or shouldn't I?
This past week, I let the deadlines for two local juried exhibitions slip by without entering. I'm wondering whether it's worth the money and the effort to enter every local competition that comes along. I used to think that it was vitally important, but now I'm not so sure. The entry fee was $45 for one painting, and $10 or $15 for each additional piece. If your work is not selected, you lose that money. Period. Your money helps to fund not only the judges' fee, but the awards, the venue rental, refreshments, and various other costs involved in putting on an exhibition that no longer involves you. That's something to think about. Maybe that $60 could be better spent elsewhere! When you look at the number of people who actually attend the exhibitions and walk away remembering your name and your artwork.... I think it's very few, indeed. It's mostly just other artists who attend those things, and they already know you. I will enter a few juried shows, yes, but only those with reasonable entry fees and high attendance rates.
Many of my blog friends display their work in local banks and places of business. I always thought that was a really good idea, because folks like to support their local artists, and buying artwork from somebody whom you've met face to face, or you've seen around town, makes it a more personable item to own and display in your home. I summoned my courage the other day, and asked the owner of my favorite Fedex/UPS shop if I could hang a few of my envelope drawings on his wall. I prepared a drawing of a nearby church and also hung my drawing of the old schoolhouse down the road, both of them nicely framed with my business card taped to the corner.
The next idea that I'm considering is the email newsletter, letting past customers and potential customers know about new pieces that I've completed. I thought I could send a PDF file once or twice a year. However, I'm having trouble figuring out those websites that offer newsletter services. I want to have a little "Subscribe Here" window on my website. Friends, If you offer an email newsletter, and you have any suggestions, let me know. I have come to rely on my blog friends, and they always have good insights!