Yesterday I had the opportunity to paint live at Pottery Barn in Frisco, TX. I also did a small pop up shop featuring work from my latest series of work The Sea Soiree Collection as well as some of the abstract globes I created from a previous body of work. I loved working with the Pottery Barn crew! Everyone was super helpful and made sure I had everything I needed for the event.
I painted in the center of the store on a gorgeous wood and stone bar flanked by two shelving units. I brought in a variety of pieces to show including larger abstract work on canvases, fine art globes, and mixed media pieces on watercolor paper. The store manager allowed me to use any frames they had in store to frame out some of the pieces.
Painting live was a totally new experience for me. I was surprised at how natural it felt to interact with customers as I painted. It was an honor to answer questions and learn about the work they envisioned having in their personal spaces.
This event was great for networking and meeting collectors/customers face-to-face. I would definitely recommend any new artist or maker get out of the studio and work on being more visible to your local audience.
Here are a few tips and things I learned from doing this event:
1) BE DARING If you see something you want to do just go for it! You don't have anything to lose by asking for what you want. You want to do a live painting demo in Anthropologie to show case your work? You want to teach a collage class at Paper Source? You want to have a retreat in off the coast of some place fabulous? I say go for it. Be bold + brave+ badass (with a plan of course). You might be pleasantly surprised just how receptive people and brands are to partner with you!
2) ORDER EARLY If you need business cards or any other printed materials that must be delivered--order with more than enough time for things to arrive. I needed business cards and they didn't make it in time so I spent the morning putting something else together on Canva. My substitute cards turned out great but it would have been nice to spend that time getting other things done.
3) ASK FOR HELP Asking for help is not always an easy thing for some of us...ahem, independent women. But you can't do everything alone. Well you probably could but why not utilize your tribe--that's what they are there for! I was so fortunate to have my friend Andrea fly down from Colorado to hang out with me and help out. It really made a huge difference in me being stressed out instead of enjoying the experience. We had dinner the night before and talked travel and big creative dreams. It was so nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of and to take photos.
4) DON'T BE SHY As much as I run my mouth you wouldn't think I'm not a shy person but I must admit it takes a lot of effort on my part to be social but I think it's important to take that next step and really get out an interact with people. Let them know what you are all about. We have all these things that speak for us when we are not around (websites, Instagram, etc..) but it's equally important to be able to talk with people too! I think my personal effort to hand out my information and engage customers helped make my event more successful...plus it's actually really fun to meet new people.
5) SHARE YOUR PASSION I was talking to the store manager about The Creative Brunch Series and she loved the idea. I was asked to come back and do another event and she even suggested getting Williams Sonoma to provide the food for my guests! I probably would have never thought of doing something like this on my own. It pays to talk about what you are up to and be really excited about sharing your passion. You never know what opportunities can lead to more opportunities.
Have a great week guys! I'll be resting from all my hard work and getting ready for summer travel. TTFN!
Photos by Andrea Dixon