With the opening call for our Fiber Fusion Show in mind, we thought it might be helpful to review the various steps needed to create a successful application for any open call from shows or galleries.
We will be posting a series of steps designed to prepare you for applying to shows and galleries etc. If you’re new to this process, these steps should provide you with some basic tools to help you stay organized and produce quality entries. If you’re already participating in shows, these steps are a great reminder for you as well. As artists, focusing on our art is always our desire, but in reality, a good amount of business needs to be conducted if we want to become successful!
Before you even decide to enter your art into a show and complete a call for entry form, it is a good idea to create an inventory of the art you want to enter. The inventory will serve for insurance purposes and will be your record of when you finished your art, where your art was shown, the price, the materials, artist statement, and what has sold. Plus, having the inventory will make completing the entry form much easier.
Most shows will require you to name your photos with your name, usually last name, then either your first name or initial, the title of the art, and whether this is a full or detailed image, for example: Matthews_Barbara_Happier Days_Full.jpg. Using that naming convention for all your photos makes the entry process that much easier. If you organize your photos under one folder, you can easily find them when it’s time to complete the entry form. *More on preparing photographs of your art will come in a later post.
Below are some recommended fields of information that you could have in your inventory (Please note that not all of this information will be required by a gallery or show, but it important to track for business purposes!):
Inventory of Art, Definition of Fields
|Title of Piece||The name of the piece as you would like it to appear on the label and in a portfolio.|
|Date art finished||Month and year the piece was completed. If you are like me, this date is a few dates before the first show date.|
|Width in inches (whole numbers)||Width in whole inches.|
|Height in inches||Height in whole inches.|
|Depth in inches||If the piece has a three dimensionality to it, then enter the depth in whole inches. In cases where a piece is not in standard rectangle shape, enter the maximum of the width, height, and depth.|
|Materials and Techniques||Usually there is space on the label for one or two lines for the materials. You will save yourself some editing later, if you stick to less than 120 characters (including spaces) for this field. The main idea is to include enough, so that the viewer has an idea of the process. For example, ‘Hand-dyed silk using the Shibori method, wax resist, and machine stitching’. Please note, if you use a product that was made by someone else, you should note that, for example ‘Purchased hand-dyed silk…’ This prevents misrepresentation of your art to the juror and public.|
|Statement about the art (maximum 500 char)||Here you talk about the inspiration for your art and hopefully draw the juror and viewer into the moment(s) when the art was created. Colorful, descriptive adjectives and active tense make the description more interesting. To help, think of asking yourself the following questions:
1. What inspired you to make this piece?
2. What does the piece mean to you?
3. What is unique or special about the way you make it?
Speak from the heart and after the first draft, eliminate the lofty language that doesn’t add to the description and will only serve to turn the viewer off.
|Insurance value||If you keep good records of the materials and supplies used, you will have an easier time developing a value for insurance purposes. Unless you have a track record of sales on similar art, a claims adjuster will want this documentation of costs. The insurance value is not the price you place on a piece or the amount you receive after the commission is deducted. The insurance value will not change over time, but the price may.|
|Where art has shown||It’s a good idea to keep a list of all the places a piece of art has shown. Many galleries or shows have rules about artwork having previously shown at locations close to them.|
|First venue where art was shown||Keep track of where your art has shown, this will prevent showing in the same area/gallery in the future. This official name also is your reference in the future—was it Northern Lights Arts, Northern Light Art Center?|
|Dates shown||The start and end dates of the show.|
|Price at that venue||Price listed at this venue. This does not suggest that the price of the piece should change from venue to venue. Goodwill with the customer will not be preserved if a customer bought a piece at a higher price just weeks before seeing a similar piece in another venue at a lower price. However, that said, you may want to move your art and lower the price if there is adequate time between shows.|
|Second venue where art was shown||Repeat these above four rows for the second, third and subsequent places the art was shown.|
|Images of piece||Names and file locations|
|Full image||Show requirements for title of image files are typically Last Name, First Name, Title of Piece, and whether an image of the ‘Full’ art or ‘Detail’ image. These could be separated by underlines, for example—Matthews_Barbara_Ghostly Trees_Full.jpg. If you store your image with this name, the process to upload images for a call for entry will be easier. Images in a jpg format are universally accepted format. You should always retain an image at the highest resolution possible, so you can prepare an image that meets the requirements. On a PC, if you right click on the image and select Properties and Detail, you will see the resolution of the image and the dimension of the image in pixels. On a Mac, Open any image in Preview and press Command+I.
There will be more on image size in a future post.
|Detailed image||(Ex: Matthews_Barbara_Ghostly_Trees_Detail.jpg)|
|Photographer||This field is the name of the photographer, if you, then your name. Photographers are artists too and should receive credit for the images.|
|Status of the art||Has the art sold, what price? What was your share and date sold?|
|Name, Address, and email of the buyer||To put on email list for announcement of other shows.|
|Awards Received||Title and amount of award.|
Inventory or Art Template
This is a template you are welcome to use for your art (The light grey fields are not required for the SDA-WA Fiber Fusion show)
|Field||Information about art|
|Title of Piece|
|Date art finished|
|Width in inches (whole numbers)|
|Height in inches|
|Depth in inches|
|Materials and Techniques|
|Statement about the art (maximum 500 char)|
|Where art has shown|
|First venue where art was shown|
|Price at that venue|
|Second venue where art was shown|
|Price at that venue|
|Third venue where art was shown|
|Price at that venue|
|Names and file locations of Images of piece|
|Has the art sold, what price? What was your share?|
|Name, Address, and email of the buyer|
We hope you find this helpful! We’d love to hear from you if you have any feedback or suggestions!!
The SDA-WA Team