Or Just Another Excuse to Clean up the Workplace?. . .
Sometime ago when I most assuredly was not in my right mind (or more likely having lost the memory of all the stress, hard work and angst that was bound to come), I agreed to join my good studio friend and artist, Tyrell Collins in participating in the Annual Pro Arts East Bay Open Studios this year.
When I had my studio in a separate building at our house in West Berkeley, I managed almost every other year to join the over 400 East Bay artists who most generously opened their doors to strangers and friends alike. There, I was on a virtual corridor of studios and so, more often than not, people came who had no idea about my work, what they were about to see or about me personally. I’ll never forget the woman with 6 year old in tow who came in from seeing my “Open Studio” sign on the corner of 8th Street and University on a Sunday and asked me, “What are you asking for it?” I wasn’t sure which piece she was interested in until she made it clear she was wondering what the rental price of my studio was! Open Studio/Open House – same thing in her mind.
Opening my studio has always been an interesting ride, although exhausting. What I remember now very clearly is it usually took me about a month to clean and organize the studio in order to show the work in the best light and then another month to get the studio back into working order. And this was when I was a lot younger! This year I will be spending the next couple of weeks before opening on June 1 actually working on the pieces I hope to show. Hopefully, that will give me enough time to get the studio in “show” order. If not, at this point in my life, I’m getting more attuned to the attitude, “what is, is.”
But already, there has been a lot to do. Once I decided to actually pay my Pro Arts dues and sign up, there was a list of dates to remember – a date for getting the digital image and studio info to Pro Arts so they could include it in their 64 page color directory; a date for getting the 16” piece I planned to install in the Pro Arts gallery for the month long exhibition; a date for posting 8 images on my personal online Pro Arts page along with my artist’s statement and resume; a personal deadline for getting postcards and any other marketing materials printed . . . and I’m sure I’m forgetting something else I’ve had to press myself into action to accomplish in the last few weeks.
All this, of course, on top of getting the work done. And not surprisingly, getting the work done is really all that makes me feel that I’ve accomplished anything whatsoever.
No wonder very few of the artists I know have little if any interest in marketing their work. It’s a matter of dusting off and revving up the less often used left sides of our brains. Which makes the case for my point – not being in my right mind when I signed up for Open Studios.
My only hope is this momentary lapse will be worth the effort expended.
Maybe you should come to my studio on June 1 or 2 11 AM – 6 PM and see for yourself?