24 May 2013

Life of Art SitRep #172 The Reception

So I attended my first artists' show reception last Saturday. The snacks were positioned under my photographs, so a lot of people saw them.

When I first got there, I was standing by myself scanning the cliques in the room, when a man turned from the snack table, saw me, and said, "I know you," as he walked over, "but I don't remember your name."

I wouldn't have recognized him out of context but I immediately knew who he was because I'd read his name on the list of artists in the show. "Claire," I said.

"Dmitri," he offered.

"Right." He wasn't someone I knew much at all in high school since he'd been a new student senior year, but we were in the same graduating class.

We caught up for a bit and then split off.

I ate some pieces of pineapple and cheese and crackers and then spotted someone else standing alone and looking at a loss.

I approached her and asked, "Did I hear you talking about those photographs?"


"Hi, I'm Claire. Those are mine," I said pointing to my photographs which were a couple of feet away from hers.

Look at me talking to strangers. Woo!

Here are my takeaways from that afternoon in no particular order:

When I wrote that I produced and edited artist interviews in San Francisco in my bio (true!), people may expect me to be able to name some of those artists. I recall the work more than the names, but either way the talk will turn to their work rather than mine. Maybe cut that out of my bio.

When another artist from the show complimented me on my work, I tended to reciprocate by saying I liked their work immediately instead of letting them continue and giving them a chance to ask about my pieces. Say thank you and shut up for a minute.

I should be more open and friendly to the non-artists, they are the potential money spenders after all.

When talking about my past in film, it was like that first date cliche where you go on about an ex and why it didn't work out. Find a way to at least discuss the joyful parts first, the cool gear, actors I got to work with, Paramount studios, set for Soul Train, shooting on the Queen Mary. Something, not just slave labor and having to rely on other people for work without final artistic say. Clearly I still have some feelings about that.

Definitely wear a layer over your shirt so sweat stains won't show. Blue fuzzy hoodie accomplished that well fortunately. If I'm wearing that hoodie, commit, don't try it and take it off and put it back on. Static will be crazy especially with your striped rayon shirt!

Don't worry about what to wear so much, at least for this show. Wide variety among other artists there. Most were equally or less dressy than I was. (Can a fuzzy blue hoodie be dressy? It's fitted, so I say yes for this particular show.)

Offer people your business card! Should have when another photographer gave me one of her water reflection ones. Should have remembered that mine had another water reflection image on it too.

Don't camp out in front of the business cards! (This was unintentional.) Make sure people can access them easily.

Make artist statement/bio shorter overall. Cut out more of bio I'd say. Make it a quick easy read for people, something they can easily scan with larger type. Can have longer one on website for more info.

A couple hours after the reception I felt exhausted, a social interaction hangover, if you will.

In a group of three people (all artists from show), I'm not likely to get the chance to say much, even if I want to.

On artist statement instead of stickers maybe print a full bleed edge to edge photo so it can be larger and have more impact from a distance.


Also this week, I finished watching Fine Art Portraits with Brooke Shaden and Marketing and Promotion with Sue Bryce.

Sent an email to the nice, young photographer I met at the reception with a link to creative LIVE's job page since she's interested in living in San Francisco and CL has an SF studio now.

Created Navy and White Zigzag pattern and products:
Navy and White Zigzag iPad Covers
Navy and White Zigzag iPad Covers by RocklawnArts
Check out more Blue Powis iCase at Zazzle

Updated LOA summary.

Rocklawn Arts blogged Green and White Zigzag and Navy and White Zigzag (up next Tuesday).

Changed 2 top picks on my store.

Shot some more photos of the gallery with new hanging arrangement of my photos. Moved the empty table that was in front of my artist statement and straightened my top photograph.

How was your week?

4 years ago on TTaT: I don't know what this is except maybe a bad idea gaining momentum (This was 4 years ago? Damn, time flies, eh?)


  1. Yay for your show! It's always good to remember things to do differently, etc. I am always so bad about that and end up repeating things I said I wouldn't. I'm such a spazz sometimes.

    1. Thanks, Sarah! Rest assured, my spazz quotient is also high. I couldn't believe, after the fact of course, that I hadn't said one good thing about my time working in film.