Episode 108 – Making It in the Art World by Brainard Carey / A Studio Visit

A Studio Visit

You may also be making the meeting with one or all of the people you have met at openings, so you can bring them to your studio to look at your work and possibly buy it. We are talking here about building relationships in the art world. And if step one is to go out and talk to people a bit, then step two is to make a meeting with them, and step three is asking them something in that meeting, and for this example, what you are asking for is a studio visit.

A studio visit is special because it is so intimate and the viewer is investing a lot of time in coming to your studio and looking around. Also, for people who are not artists themselves, going to an artist’s studio is a very unusual and even exotic adventure. The key to getting a studio visit is to make the person you are asking feel comfortable with you. If you are just getting to know someone, asking them to come to your home or studio may seem a bit forward. The easiest way to get around this is to have a very small party.

Invite six or seven people over, depending on the size of your studio. These people should all be persons who have an interest in your art and are not fellow artists or family. If you have a small gathering like this, you can ask the person you are meeting if they could come to a small party at your studio. If you ask them this directly, they will answer directly and perhaps ask you which day. Be ready to have a day in mind, then get people there! The way to have a party like this is to invite the right crowd.

Welcome to my studio

People who are either fans of yours already or new people that are learning about you are the ones to invite. You do not want this to turn into a party where people are drinking and talking or dancing. You should have wine and cheese there, but it is a very sober event where you are there to talk about your work. That is a very important consideration when deciding how you will have a party or give a tour of your studio. The setting has to be very focused on your work. Remember your goals when you are showing someone your work; you want to sell them one of your pieces, you want them to take an interest in you and the way you work, and you want them to come back again.

So a good technique to get the person who is a new relationship over to your studio or home is to have a party, a small gathering, and have a little wine and cheese, and keep the event to a two-hour window, like three to five o’clock or in the early evening. Keep in mind that you want them to buy something, but in the first visit, just make them comfortable. If you have any press clippings or reviews of some kind or a book, have them all in a little pile somewhere in the studio that is within reach.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.


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