There are 5 more months until I host my first open studio. Gulp! In some ways I am ahead of schedule. I have art, a social media presence and a mailing list. Since I am one of 18 open studios in my town, where the event will take place, this gives me their expertise and marketing support.
Have you held an open studio or attended an open studio? If so, what do you recommend? My primary goal is to let my local community know about my art. It would be great if someone wanted to purchase or a commission a work of art. However, because my artwork is on the high end of open studio work, I am not expecting that. So, should I spend time making small artworks that could be bought on impulse or not?
Time Well Spent?
One idea I have is to sell greeting cards with mini fiber art inserted into a frame or aperture. I have a pack of notecards with matching envelopes that work. The inserted artwork can be removed and perhaps framed or hung after the card had been read.
I am linking up with Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Fridays.
I’m in Western New York and the open studios I visit here always have smaller items for sale along with their showcase pieces. I think it is a smart decision to offer the notecards. For me when I first starting attending open studios I’d pick up a smaller piece to support the artist, but I’d also pay attention to how much money I’d need to put aside for the next event so I could buy a bigger piece.
Gayle, thank you for your input. How wonderful that you make it a habit to support to your local artists with purchases at their open studios. I am leaning towards the notecards idea.
I applaud your courage at having an open studio. That said, with all the other studios in the area, it’s clear you have lots of support, and the community probably understands what the concept is. Living In the Middle of Nowhere, well…I’m not brave enough to even contemplate it! I have a tiny house full of art and materials (mostly other people’s art on the walls and surfaces) and can’t even imagine having people traipse through it. You’re a brave soul!
I am fortunate, Margaret, when it comes to hosting an open studio. First, my studio has its on floor in our home and does not require walking through the main living area. Although that will be on view. The upside to that is my artwork is quite visible when you walk in the front door. Also, my husband will help with the hosting, answering questions and directing patrons. Also, our home is in lovely oceanside suburb of Boston. There are 7,000 residents, but people come from neighboring towns, too. This will be the 5th year the town has had open studios. We skipped last year for obvious reasons. The timing is great for purchasing holiday gifts, too. 🙂
Not sure I feel brave. For the most part, I know I will do well enough. It is the little logistical things, such as how to handle in person sales (accepting credit cards, collecting and paying taxes, etc.) that have me on edge.
I would definitely go with the notecards and perhaps some cards with photos of your work on the front. When I go to open studios I love to be able to purchase cards with the artists’ work if I cannot afford a big piece. Good luck!
I created notecards using images of my work in the past. I tried selling them on Etsy, back when Etsy was relatively new, so the market wasn’t as saturated. However, I didn’t live in an area where an open studio was possible. I expect they are more likely to sell in person and with me, the artist present. Thanks for the suggestion. Your thumbs up for handcrafted fiber art notecards jives with the opinions of others. Looks like I will be making some mini art each week from now until November. 🙂
You will be great, Gwyned. I wish I could come out to support you and to see your work in person!
Thank you, Rebecca. I am fairly confident with a slight undercurrent of trembling. It would be nice to have you drop by. One of the disadvantages of an open studio is it is in a fixed location. That is also an advantage. It is a great opportunity to meet people from my town and surrounding community.
I wish I lived near enough to visit. I’m sure you will do well. I never had an open studio, but at a one woman show a few years ago I had small things to sell and I sold quite a lot of them, including packets of note cards with photos of my big quilts. Good luck!
I wish you lived nearby, too, Norma. Would be such fun to visit and have art related play dates. The jury is in full agreement. It is wise to have small things to sell, and notecards sell. So, I shall pull together some pieces to give visitors an affordable impulse/memento purchase.
I am in a small town in the middle of nowhere. I have no experience with an open studio activity. But I would think that having some smaller items for sale would be a good idea. Good luck with this event!
The consensus agrees with you. Including small items to sell is recommended by all. It wasn’t until I moved in 2018 to a town with a population of 8,500 that there was an Open Studio format to participate in. My prior two towns had populations of 75,000 and 4,000. The only open studios I have every been to are the ones where all the studios are in the same building. In my town the majority of us will be opening the studios in our homes.
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