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How To Get Publicity for Your Art Show

Sea Urchin teapot with wooden parts

Getting people to come to an art show is almost an art in itself.  So where ever you are and whatever your artistic medium, consider this a quick and dirty guide to getting eyes on your work

Our second woodturning show opened to the public at Doongalik Studios on 28th February, 2016. The show was entitled ‘Growth’  featuring my work and that of David McGorrin and Robin Hardy.  Go here for pictures and read The Nassau Guardian’s story.

Here are five things you can do to get people in the door: 

Sea Urchin teapot with wooden parts

I’m A Little Teapot 2 by Jeremy Delancy

Social Networking & Social Media

Let me say emphatically that I don’t like Facebook and I’m not on twitter.  Luckily, I know people who love Facebook and are on twitter.  In my case that someone is K. Smith of The Place for Art and organizer of the Green Earth Festival.  I did a short press release, added a photo and he put it on his Facebook page. In less than a week 23 people confirmed they’d attend attend. That’s not much but way more that if I’d used my Facebook page.

Tip: Find that person among your friends with the most Facebook contacts and get them to do a little free marketing.

 

Use Your WhatsApp

I have less than 70 WhatsApp contacts including friends and family, but of that number, four have bought art from me in the last year, two more are regular customers.  I put everyone who might be interested into a WhatsApp group and invited them all.

Did everyone show up? Nope! Four people from the group showed up BUT one person bought two items.

Tip: Expect some people to drop out of your WhatsApp group immediately. For those who remain, a gentle reminder of time and location on the day of the show is a good idea.

Small wooden platter

Slots by Robin Hardy

Ditch the Technology

Certain age groups old people with money are not big users of Facebook, Twitter or WhatsApp.  A typed invitation on high-quality paper with an actual signature is appreciated by the more affluent. With so much electronic stimulation around me, I actually enjoyed writing the invitation letters as a change of pace.

Tip: See my post on who to send the letters to, here.

Don’t be afraid to pay for it

Art newsletters are probably the best thing to happen to the art world in the last two decades.  Every cosmopolitan  city has an art newsletter and Nassau is no exception.  For our show we paid $90 to be in the Bahamian Art & Culture newsletter on the 19th and 26th of February.  With over 5,000 subscribers interested in art it’s worth the money for the exposure.  

As part of her Doongalik Studios , Pamela Burnside featured ‘Growth’ in the galleries newsletter which goes out to 3,000 people.  This combination of art newsletters provide a one-two publicity punch.

Tip: Don’t be afraid to pay reasonable prices for publicity.

Getting on the Air

Few things are more likely to validate an artist in the public’s eye as much as seeing them on T.V  Last year we were featured on the Guardian Radio show, ‘Blank Canvas’.  This year we were lucky to be interviewed for the ZNS show ‘Arts and Entertainment’.  While the show will be aired after our exhibition has closed it will build awareness for next year while showcasing woodturning as an art form.  

Sunrise in Wood Art

Dawn by David McGorrin

Wrap Up

It doesn’t matter how good your art is if no one sees it and  as a budding artist you are less likely to continue working if no one buys it.

Attention is  precious and every opportunity or tool you can use to get it for your art work increases your chances of having a successful (Spelt: p-r-o-f-i-t-a-b-l-e) show.

How I Beat B.E.C

B.E.C Power Station

The Bahamas Electricity Corporation is one of the most hated companies in the country due to their high rates and frequent power outtages but is it possible to beat them at their own game?

  Both Bahamian businesses and Bahamian families have to allocate a significant part of their income just to keeping their lights on.  Recently there was a reduction in rates but that might change once the cost of oil goes up again, which it is expected to do again in 2016/2017.  Even now I hear of friends speak of home electricity bills that are equal to mortgage payments.

I no longer worry about paying B.E.C and months will go by without me opening the bill.  Here is how I did it in three easy steps.

 

  1. Dollar Cost Averaging

I’ve written about Dollar Cost Averaging here.  If you’ve made a a resolution to save your time, money and/or sanity you should really read the post.  If you’re too lazy or too dumb, here is how to make it work with B.E.C.

 Sign onto B.E.C’s website here.

Once you’ve set up your account, go to “Service Summary”  to find your monthly average, pay the monthly average plus $5 -$10 extra.  If you can’t pay your average then you seriously need to read the next step.

B.E.C Power Station

B.E.C Power Station courtesy bahamasfilms.com

  1. Lower Usage

Year ago, I had an electrician install an on/off switch to my heater (the single biggest consumer of electricity in my house) and each morning before I walk out of the door I shut it off.  Given B.E.C’s love of burning up computers and televisions I would unplug them as well.  I also installed CFL bulbs which I will be upgrading but more on that later.

 

  1. The Drop In Rates

The first two measures were already in place and humming along nicely when there was a drop in the cost of electricity.  This lowered my monthly average bill from $97 per month to $79 per month.  Since I was paying $110 per month (remember I don’t always open B.E.C bills) per month, I quickly built up a credit which means in the summer months I can blast the A/C without worry while cutting back on the amount I pay each month.

 

The Future

So, what am I doing with the money I’m saving.  I’d like to report that it’s going on wine and women, but, that would be a lie.  Some of the money will be going to the purchase of LED bulbs (These are even more efficient, don’t contain mercury and are guaranteed to last at least a year, but they may last for 15 or more years) which will lower my bill still further and then I’m going to take out my wall A/C and replace it with low energy split system.  The intention is to lock in place an electricity bill that is below $80 per month for at least the next three years despite rising oil prices.

 

If you are doing anything to lower your electricity bill please let me know in the comment section.

P.S

I’ve recently been informed by my friend Betty Rolle that  Dollar Cost Averaging (Number 1 on this post) is the technique that employees of BEC use to pay their electricity bills.  If it’s good enough for them then it’s definitely good enough for me.

NEXT MONTH’S POST

Getting publicity for small shows/events.

My Favourite Job Interview Technique (It Works!)

New grad with sign looking for work

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Three Perils of Thought Leadership

Michael Collins at Rally

“Two percent of the people think; three percent of the people think they think; and ninety-five percent of the people would rather die than think.” ― George Bernard Shaw     It’s virtually impossible to visit any corner of the Business/Entrepreneurship/Management  Web without someone announcing themselves to be a ‘Thought Leader’.  In theory, the clash […]

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. . . . . On Father’s Day

Photo Credit: Rennett Stowe via Compfight cc

  In my last post, I stated how grateful I was to my friends and family, who’ve made my life possible.  Since it was Mother’s Day, I focused on women, so for Father’s Day, I’ll concentrate on the men. The problem with writing about close male friends is that in the modern age, we have […]

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