First Art Exhibition ‘How To’ – My Learnings Shared

Later today I am opening my first art exhibition so here is the post I would have liked to have read before I started out. Here’s what I have learned so far and what I wish I had known.

1. Create in standard proportions

Do this right from the start. This will make it easier when framing,  reproducing and packaging your artwork and prints. Otherwise you’ll have to lose some of your image, have white space or have to use more expensive customised fittings.

When creating something  that you may wish to reproduce on canvas have enough space around the main subject (s) to wrap around a canvas frame, this means that you needn’t lose any of the work and will avoid time spent stretching or mirroring the image to make it cover the frame.

2. Learn how to scan, stitch scans together and colour match/adjust.

Find someone to teach you, this will save time, money and give you more control.

3. Be open to opportunities

In July 2015 I hobbled painfully on my recovering leg on a journey I had planned since the previous December. Whilst skating in the Christmas Show at Ice Sheffield Anwen, owner of Cafe and Gift Shop Airy Fairy, had seen my art on a cosmetic bag and suggested I visit her shop to discuss options for displaying my work.

Major knee injury just days after first speaking to Anwen had delayed my visit to her shop; but on meeting Anwen we discussed my work and she offered a five week exhibition in the cafe.

As my art is bright and sunny so I felt that it suited the month of April, so we scheduled the exhibition. I had seized the opportunity that arose through the chance encounter. I knew I would learn a great deal through the preparation process and would be able to show my art to a wider audience.

4. Measure and photograph the exhibition space

Don’t be shy about getting a measure of the exhibition space. Measure the space, take photographs.

Decide roughly how you will exhibit in the space and then curate from your art. I had lots of doubts, “do I have too many pieces” or “too few”. A scale drawing of the space would have enabled me to visualise the exhibition better, sooner and saved me time on the long run. Ask for a floor plan, your venue may have one.

Visit the venue to see how other artists have worked in the space and consider what works and what you might like to do.

5. Edit your collection

Deciding what to include is difficult, I thought about what would be popular, what would people like, what would suit the customer base. What I should have thought from the start was – which artworks do I like best, which show my skill/ability and are my greatest accomplishments. Those are the pieces to include. I came to under stand that we cannot control other people’s interpretations or how they will respond, not everyone will like everything as art is very individual.

6. Ask for supplier recommendations

I wanted to do as much as the process myself, so that I cold maximise the learning and my understanding of what goes into producing canvases and prints. I learned a about paper stock, print colours, calibration, image resolution, file format, scanning, canvas quality, canvas frames, hanging fittings, fishing wire, labelling, packaging, copyrighting and my nemesis… pricing.

7. Research and Read

I referred to Lisa Congdon’s Art Inc, Kelly Rae-Roberts Flying Lessons and Lila Rogers Make Art That Sells throughout the process. If anything I wish that I could have had a knowing artist buddy by my side who had been through a similar process.

8. Log all component costs into a spreadsheet as you go

Log all the artwork components and packaging elements so that you have your cost prices per artwork calculated well enough in advance.  Pricing is challenging, so the baseline cost price is important.

9. Have someone to bounce off

A friend that can give a second opinion and to help you set up the show will calm your doubts and make it more fun.

10. Enjoy the process – stay creative

An exhibition is very personal and is you showing the fruits of your creativity and hard work. I found that when I wasn’t enjoying the preparation process it was because I wasn’t being creative enough. I learned to stop and think of a more creative approach which enabled me to be the artist, to be innovative unique and original. I also liked it when things were more personal and quirky. Our printer decided not to print anything in black ink just days before the event, but I have to say that I am pleased with the results and glad that it challenged me to find other ways and colours to express in.

11. Accept that there will be admin tasks

Spreadsheets, contracts, insurance documents, inventories, price lists, advertising, press releases, invitations, briefing notes. It’s all part of the process, it can be fun when you find a creative approach and know that this is to celebrate your work and give the art the chance to breathe and be seen beyond your home or studio.

12. Don’t over complicate, don’t stress

This is art, it’s not definitive. Focus on showing the best you can, what happens from there is out of your control.

13. Appreciate your followers  

Their belief and support is infinitely valuable, remember that when feeling doubtful or confused.

14. Keep going and believe in yourself. 

If it is, like me, your first exhibition this is totally new and so it will be challenging but keep going and believe in yourself, who knows where it will lead. There will be set backs, just now I’m waiting to pack the artworks into the car but I can get through the hall as there is a man working on our broken boiler. Hopefully the boiler breaking is the only setback today. Lastly, celebrate how far you have come and be open-minded about the future.

My art exhibition runs for the next five weeks until 2nd May at Airy Fairy, London Road, Sheffield. The exhibition comes after a journey into art, see the blog posts about the 52 Art Challenges that I completed on the way.

 

Spread your wings and fly!

 

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Art Exhibition – Just days away…

Just a few days and some chocolate eating to go until my first Art Exhibition. Exciting times, better go, final preparations are underway. 

 
From 29th March until 2nd May at Airy Fairy, London Road, Sheffield. 

See my Facebook page for more related news… and feel free to see how my artworks have been created in the posts here. 

Thanks for your support and have a very Happy Easter.

Kim

Emerging From Injury To Produce Art Exhibition

PRESS RELEASE:

22nd March 2016 – In January 2015 Kim suffered acute knee injury requiring major surgery and thus began two years of rehabilitation. The injury forced Kim to forego sport, and her successful public relations career, and instead she began to explore a passion for art. 13 months on Kim is to hold a month long debut exhibition in Sheffield.

After a literally ‘top flight’ career in travel industry public relations, including running the press office for Thomson Travel Group, Kim swopped words for pictures to become a mixed media artist. Kim’s works of art will be exhibited under the brand of Inspire by Kim from 29th March to 2nd May Airy Fairy Cafe and Gift Shop on London Road, Sheffield.

Kim said, “I am delighted, and still pinching myself, to be holding this exhibition of my art. In the past year art has been my distraction, a pain reliever, one of the few things I could do despite my injury. I’ve found comfort creating bright artworks and although I’ve not been able to go far I’ve loved exploring through art, using traditional media and digital, from 2D through to animation.”

Anwen Fryer-Burrows, of Airy Fairy, commented, “I have seen the development of Kim’s art since we met in December 2014 and have been impressed by the body of work and different styles she has developed. It feels a pleasure to host her first exhibition.”

Kim said, “Art has been the good that came out of the injury and I’m thankful for the inspiration that colours and creating have given me. I hope that my art will now inspire others in whatever is meaningful for them.”

The exhibition runs from 29th March to 2nd May. Visitors can enjoy refreshments or lunch as they browse the exhibition.

Airy Fairy Cafe & Gift Shop produces and sells local arts, crafts and jewellery as well as stocking crystals, magikal supplies, candles, aromatherapy oils, spiritual books as well as fair trade gifts from around the world.

To see more of Kim’s work visit, including 52 Art Challenges completed on the journey to becoming an artist, visit her website at www.inspirebykim.com or Facebook page.

***ENDS***

For further information contact: inspirebykim@outlook.com

 

My First Art Exhibition – April

I’m delighted to announce my art exhibition at Airy Fairy Cafe & Gift Shop, London Road, Sheffield, S2 4NF from 29th March until the 2nd May 2016.

The Inspire by Kim exhibition will feature artworks created in a range of media, all are bright and designed to inspire and uplift. Visitors can enjoy refreshments or lunch whilst browsing the exhibition.

Airy Fairy Cafe & Gift Shop produces and sells local arts, crafts and jewellery as well as stocking crystals, magikal supplies, candles, aromatherapy oils, spiritual books as well as fair trade gifts from around the world.

Pay and display street parking is available or it is just 10 minutes walk from the city centre.

Exciting times. I’ll be posting the story of how that came to be and my learnings from the preparation process. More on that in the coming weeks. 

 

Self Portrait in Acrylic Paints

After my markers self portrait there was an opportunity to try a portrait in acrylic paints.

I put a photograph alongside the canvas and painted. I was trying to remove my thinking from the process and just look paint, look paint, colour match paint until the face was done. I did the hair the next day trying to create the texture with the marks I was making.

The portrait reminded me a lot of the Katherine Jenkins paper cut portrait that I created from magazine pictures a year ago this week.

Learnings

Don’t look away from the canvas whilst the brush is in contact with it.

Keep stepping well back to look, squint to see it sometimes.

It’s not as hard as I thought it be, keep being courageous.

What’s Next

I would like to try a portrait in oil paints.

Related Posts

Art Challenge 52 – Self Portrait

Paper Cut Portrait – Katherine Jenkins

Oil Painting – Underwater Calm Lady

Having stretched and prepared a canvas I was ready to give oil paints a second chance.

When I previously tried oil paints I didn’t have a great experience as I didn’t know then about turps, linseed oil, thin and fat.

On this occasion I was fortunate that a local artist guided me through the essentials and I started to paint. I was sceptical that the oil painting experience could eclipse acrylic painting, as I love the bright pigment and neons available in acrylics.

However as I started to paint I enjoyed the feel of the paint on the canvas as the brush passed over it. I enjoyed the line, the texture and how the canvas felt so different than when using acrylic paints.

I was keen to create a painting from a marker (then digital with photo and watercolour elements) piece that I had created of a woman enjoying calm under water. Before painting I drew the lines in charcoal. I did this quickly and in future would spend more time on that stage.

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Copyright Inspire by Kim

I am normally keen to create swiftly and achieve the end outcome, but as I painted I enjoyed the action and, similar to my experience with life drawing, I found it a very pure form of art. I could have painted with those materials hundreds of years ago, there’s something magical about that.

So here is the final piece, plus the fun little duck (inspired by Jeff Koons) to place the lady in the bath. I’m pleased with the outcome, can’t wait to start my next oil painting and I learned a lot in the process.

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Copyright Inspire by Kim

Learnings

I learned to plan the piece out well beforehand.

To think about the layers of the painting.

To have a clear picture of the face that I want to create, trying to oil paint from my head was tricky.

To think about the proportions of the canvas to ensure they are standard, as this will make it easier to reproduce the artwork if you wish.

Not to paint too close to the edges of the canvas as if reproduced some of the painting will be lost.

Set up the easel in a position with consistent light and in a place that you can get far enough back from it so see it from a distance, as this can reveal things not apparent at close quarters.

Developing the artwork

I took the image digital to test out different elements during the process.

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Copyright Inspire by Kim

I used the key elements of the artwork to create a lino cut for printing. I used Picasso‘s reduction technique to add to the effect. Here are some of my favourite prints.

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Lino Printing – Art Challenge 49

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