Open Your Door & See What Walks In!

Open your doors

My door is open! I participate in Final Fridays in Cincinnati. It is when the Art world of Cincinnati holds open houses. I love to participate because I love to see where artists work & the behind the sciences of theatre, dance, processes. I like to meet the masters behind the talent. I like to learn the stories and see the process. Every Final Friday of the month from 6pm to 10pm I put out some drinks & snacks & hang up art & open that door! I hope you come visit some time.

Open your doors & see what walks in!

Here are 5 tips for an Open Studio
  1. An open studio allows you an opportunity to get great feedback on your work. At my last open studio, I debuted a new process & was very happy when visitors responded positively. I even pointed out that this was my new direction then I closed my mouth & listened carefully to their response. Use open studio as a time to expose your process. Visitors will appreciate & value your work more when they understand what goes in to it. New people will walk through your door so you will have an opportunity to introduce work to new clients. Make sure you take advantage of the new exposure by being ready to capture their email & contact information. 
  2. You can sell your art without paying commission, Most galleries charge 305 to 50% commission for a sale. When you are your own gallery - you keep the commission! Make sure you keep your prices consistent in all the venues you sale in. It is not cool to charge more at a gallery or show and less in your studio! Have several price points so those on a budget can have options to purchase from you too. Maybe it is less expensive prints or note cards of your work. I have a metal jewelry line that is priced lower than my collector pieces.  Give them options.  Offer payment plans or barter for services of equal value, I once received haircuts for a year!
  3. Make it easy for people to visit your space
Make that night about your art, display your work professionally, pay attention to unnecessary clutter and lighting. Be welcoming, there is a fine line between welcoming and over bearing - make it easy for them to come in. Sometimes if your working on something it invites conversation.  Have take aways. Have your cards, postcards etc available and near the door so they can take a bit of you with them! Be ready for the sale, be ready to take cash (have change), credit cards (I use Square) and checks. If you would rather not deal with one of these have your policy posted. I post my an “options for payment” sign so my visitors can see it 
  1. Promote, Promote, Promote. Don’t expect them to just come - use social media, press release, posters, email, website and what ever other avenues you can. Start 4-6 weeks before your open studio - write up a launch plan.
  2. Follow up - hopefully you captured emails of your visitors and made notes - now do not forget to thank them for coming and keep the discussions started in your studio going (that is why I make notes.) Send them a link to your website or shop page - send a list of available work - send them an invite to other showings! Track the # of people who came and take note of comments and pieces that attracted attention. This is great market research.

Ok, so that was really way more than 5 - but whatever!

Check out these cool open studio events coming up through out the USA!
Brooklyn, NY
Greenville, South Carolina
San Luis Obispo, Ca
The Center for the Arts , Grass Valley, CA 
Denver, CO

Tell me when your opening your door - share what you do at your open studio - Tell me about your local open studio event

Thanks for letting me into your world
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