Whew!! It’s all over. My recent solo show by all standards was successful and quite the experience. I must say it was a small gallery in a small town in France so I was much like a big fish in a small pond. I’m really glad I did it! It pushed my limits and learned so much AND to my surprise I sold 5 pieces! I wasn’t expecting to sell much considering it was a small venu so that was a bonus. Also got to meet some local French artists and had a few influential folks (museum curator, university professors etc) give me good feedback and positive response. It was also a plus for my CV and the newspapers did a few articles about myself and the show.
Here’s some of my take-aways:
- Don’t agree to a solo show unless you have enough time to prepare for it or have enough work on hand. I found myself trying to crank out work and the result was some very uptight paintings.
- Get out of the studio and enjoy other aspects of your life. I was so focused on the need to work I didn’t have any fuel from the outside world to feed my soul. Definitely showed up in the work.
- Be sure you have a good understanding of the biz arrangements. I wasn’t clear on the % the owner took, partly due to my lack of solid French language. It all ended up ok but I could do better next time
- Save one big piece that you are sure you won’t show for the end. I had one like that and with 2 days left I just did an I don’t care approach to it. This was the piece I thought was the best because I left it at a fairly raw stage and realized that’s what I’ve been trying to do in my work.
- Plan a bit in advance – I had a bit of a hodge-podge of work. I think it would have been good to put down some parameters or ideas I want to pursue first, just to keep me moving in one direction. I think at this stage in the practice I’m still trying out everything as I find my way. So maybe having an idea of the direction I want to go would have produced a more unified collection of work.