It’s funny how many people watch my blog and then talk to me in person about the contents. It’s way more personal than typing comments at the bottom of the page. It also means that I need to recap for those of you who are following along remotely…
The big question this week is, “If you’re still doing shows with weaving for another year and a half, why the rush to get printmaking out there?”
Well, a year and a half is a short time to get a business profitable, and that’s if you have the skill to produce good work, know what the customers want, find the outlets to sell it, and make the sales. I have none of these. So here’s roughly how I see it shaking out…
- Obsessively study and practice printmaking techniques in preparation for my Constellation Studios residency
- Begin online marketing and sales
- Residency with Karen Kunc at Constellation Studios in Lincoln, Nebraska
- Study and practice new techniques from the residency
- Focus on two styles, abstract geometry and landscapes
- Design and acquire new booth setup
- Design and implement inventory tracking systems
- Get some work into a few retail environments before the holidays
- Mount and frame two boothfuls of work, one in each style
- Jury photography of work
- Two booth shots of different styles of work
- Start applying to next year’s shows
And this is all on top of running the weaving business that pays the bills and provides most of the investment money for this new venture. In 2017, I will do more shows than I do now with many of them being shows of printmaking. These shows will provide the vital feedback to guide the development of a marketable style and hone the types of shows that I seek out.
As you can see, this is a very aggressive schedule. With the pedal to the metal, I will barely be ready for next year’s show applications. The booth shot is the biggest hurdle. Shows ask for this because they want to see that you have a professional retail presentation and plenty of inventory to carry their show. Anyone with artistic chops can produce close-ups of gorgeous work, but few artists are ready to provide the level of service that a high end show requires. Designing, productizing, and displaying a full booth is an unbelievable amount of work, even after I have the skills and designs ready.
Wish me luck!