I wanted to tell you a little bit about how I get ready for a show like this, which covers the areas of promotion, sales, generation of supporting materials and day of show preparation.
Before the paintings could be framed they had to go to the photographer, Tony Molatore of Berkeley Gicleé, who uses a large format camera to generate high resolution images I can then use to make great quality gicleé prints. Tony also prints my gicleé orders. After all the work was photographed I published them in this website and ordered a few prints of the most popular paintings. I determine popularity via the number of responses they get on social media.
I chose to frame the paintings. I believe they look better that way. But framing 16 paintings can take some time, so we started early. Sarah has always helped me to place hanging wires and secure the paintings to their frames. I bought the unfinished floating frames in bulk, and we painted them black during
a couple of hot days just outside of my studio. I also like to identify all of them on the back and make sure they are signed.
Promoting the show took place on several fronts, print, social media, email and the press. I chose the show’s image early and ordered the postcards early. They were mailed three weeks before the show. After that I sent out some mass emails to all the people I know who are not on Facebook or Instagram. Then I promoted some ads for social media. The press release was the last thing I sent out – Sarah was my press contact. I was interviewed at a radio show and provided a few writers with a press kit I created to make our lives easier.
To get ready for sales, I updated my Square inventory, downloaded Venmo and collected the
sales materials I normally display: business cards, postards, a table, signage, a clipboard and various forms I use to sign people up for my newsletter or order prints. I asked a friend to help me staff the sales table during the opening. In a gallery, you need to coordinate painting sales with the gallery owner. I gave her a list of pieces with photos and prices so she could label them appropriately.
Every evening for the last month or so I have been working on a folio with more information about the show, which I made in duplicate so more people can read it during the opening. Writing the series statement was hard and it had to be done first so Maria could print it in a large format. I also I updated my bio and resume and printed photos of the painting process and printed past reviews. Because this show was backed by so many people on Kickstarter, I generated a timeline of the whole project and a final budget.
Right now I am moving to the day-of-show preparation category. Sarah is coordinating the live music and helping me with the opening reception food and drinks. I have asked volunteers from the Bay Area for a Sustainable Puerto Rico to be there to pass out information, but I have also gotten help with the gicleé print sales. I just sent the last minute reminders and I have been posting on social media. I am ready for the opening and so excited this project is getting close to completion!