How to Maximise Interest in your Art Exhibition

Tell your Story

So you are preparing for an exhibition. Perhaps it is in your own art studio, or an Art gallery, or even in a Retail Art space. No matter where it is you need to add some ‘commercial thinking’ to your planning.

Here are 6 top art tips for getting your customer interested, talking with you, and ultimately buying some of your artwork. Each tip is based around Telling the Story of your artwork. People love to know more about you, your artwork and your inspiration. Where is the right place to tell your own personal art story? Try these strategies…

Tip One

Create a folio of your works, that is, a folio with original works, or photos of your artworks, slipped into it. Have a story underneath about your inspiration, where you were when you came up with the idea, or the relevance to your current place and time. You can also include interesting facts about your process and method.

Tip Two

Have your personal story and CV available to give to customers or even potential customers who show interest but perhaps cannot purchase something of value right now. An A4 page, nicely branded and presented will tell of your background, art education, exhibitions you have been in etc. Include a business card too.

Tip Three

Combine the artwork’s story with a condensed version of your own journey and CV. This is given to buyers of a particular art work. It gives them provenance and shows that the work is an original of yours. It also allows them to talk about you to others. They might proudly post their purchase on social media and this document can provide them with your interesting art background.

Tip Four

Tell a Story with the way you arrange your work. Whether you do jewellery, wall art, sculpture or another art form, you can group your work into themes and influences. Place this art story next to the groups of works, nicely presented of course. People browsing your art work can stop, read, and consider. This means they are engaged in contemplating the buying process for longer, increasing the chances of a purchase. Often your story resonates with them, and they bring meaning of their own to the work.

A favourite artist of mine, Miranda Plumb, created a wonderful piece of ‘Surf Art’. It was a young male surfer standing on a cliff, facing a huge wave that would surely soon engulf him. The lady who brought it did do with huge emotion as her own son had lost his life facing overwhelming odds, and was also an ocean lover. You never know how your work could relate to others.

Tip Five

Place the artworks in a setting that it may well end up in. For example would your painting or print be placed above a mantlepiece? Could you show it above a shelf with some complimenting lounge room items around it? Perhaps a vase with flowers. What if the piece was on a chest of drawers in a bedroom? It can be a good idea when framing smaller pieces of artwork to have them adaptable to a stand or hanging. Place some bedroom items such as perfume bottles or a jewellery box nearby. Whatever you choose, make sure that the mood and colour tones of the items enhance your artwork.

Tip Six

Give your artwork interesting titles. Not so that they exclude the buyer from exploring their own interpretation, but enough to create interest and the desire to find out more about the piece. A fellow artist friend creates beautiful woven baskets. On seeing one of her pieces I immediately thought… “This could be called Secret Women’s Business. It spoke to me of a special place that I could place my little treasures. A descriptor near the art piece when displayed could also evoke ideas on the way it could be used, and therefore present another reason why the buyer should own it.

Important Note

When describing your inspirations it is important that the stories you tell are not so personal that they leave no room for the art viewer to place their own meaning over them. Use language that presents choices on the interpretation. Remember that the art buyers needs to feel they can relate to it. You help them get to this point by providing information to increase understanding, interpretation and appreciation. Your words, either written or discussed, are the bridge between you and them.