DURING THE EVENT
1. Keep calm… although it may seem that everything is falling apart at the last minute, TRUST that everything will turn up fine. In this exhibition, we had some “hiccups”… the venue was not “confirmed” to be booked, one of the artists (our leader) had to pull out at the last minute! In the midst of the preparations, I asked to my iCuts and it said: “artists need to waste time”! How appropriate, thus the day before, albeit working on the last details, I was trying also to play and keep calm. If this is the path that makes me happy I should try not to “contaminate” it with old behavioral and thinking habits: stress, anxiety, “I’m not good enough”, catastrophising, etc.
2. Engage with people. Be prepared to talk about your work, be enthusiastic, passionate. People relate through emotions. But also know when people do not want to talk. One way of engaging with people is giving them some stickers to vote for their favorite painting, this is a great ice breaker and it sparks conversations. At the end give people (specially children) a chocolate or a sweet treat.
3. Music, plants, desk, pictures, ambiance! Create a theater for your exhibition, bring some music, have the lights on, have a central desk where people can relate to you and try to create a sort of “sensation” thus people leave your place with something positive about the experience. I played an endless loop of images in the projector available in the place.
4. Visitor List: This is one of the most important tools and outcomes of the exhibition. Even if you do not sell anything, it is crucial to keep a list of who liked your work and their emails. In the literature this is called social capital, as it is the people who have liked your work. I used my contacts for my first “mail list” using the free program Mail Chimp. After the exhibition send them a thank you letter perhaps offering 10% in their next visit.
5. Dress like an artist: Remember that people engage with the “mythology” of an artist. Wear clothes that you feel comfortable with and that reflect your artistic personality. IN some cases the dress makes the nun… as we said in Colombia, so, embrace and assume your new personality. there is not room for “shy” flowers… if you want to be known you need to get out there!
6. Do not expect everybody to like your work. Take criticism in a gracious way and develop a thick skin. What people say about your work is not about yourself! Do not take it personally. Also try to write down what people say about it, good and challenging, and reflect on what can be used for your own process. People’s opinions are valuable information, treat them with respect!