Tuesday, April 15, 2008
New Project Plan For Summer
So, I've had this idea churning away in my mind for a while now, it's so easy to come up with ideas and plans in your mind but never actually see them prosper so I thought that if I put it on paper it would make it real and get me motivated to act on it.
Last Summer I visited various counties, many 'local' National Trust homes, stayed at hotels, travelled miles and paid entrance fees and memberships. On my return from every visit, I would drive through my neighbouring villages and soak in their beauty briefly before finally pulling into my drove.
It gradually began to occur to me, that we often fail to notice or appreciate what is right in front of us!
This Summer I plan to open my eyes to my local surroundings.
Not in just any old form though. I won't just be hand picking the huge, decadent houses and the historical landmarks...Oh no!...Although they may feature here and there they will not be my focus.
I will be sketching 'normality', peoples homes, old, new, big, small, fancy gardens and skips. All the ingredients that come together to generate the 'flavour' of the village.
The title 'CLOSE TO HOME' emphasises the fact that these are peoples homes as well as highlighting where I have worked all Summer.
I thought it may be interesting to show my thought process behind this project. I am thorough when I consider anything, I imagine the worst, the best, the angles and the pitfalls.
Here they are:
RESEARCH & THOUGHT PROCESS
Art is very difficult to sell in my area. There is little done in the villages and the Town to promote the arts and therefore most people tend to pick up a mass produced print or a shabby piece from a charity shop...It's a fact! They want affordability at their rate and this causes problems when you work very hard on a piece and have to consider selling well below it's worth.
Therefore, it will come as no surprise to learn there are no local galleries. These are situated in more tourist areas such as Ely and Cambridge itself. Local exhibitions seldom create a huge number of visitors and most are there to browse.
Prints that do seem to sell are location landscapes and landmarks.
I seriously believe that art should be affordable to all. I love what I do and no amount of money will detour me, so I treat it simply as the icing on the cake with the realisation that someone wants to wake up to something I created in their home being far more thrilling to me than a cheque.
* Start in May
* Create sketches, in pen and watercolour, to keep them atmospheric, full of character and affordable!
* Concentrate on my three neighbouring villages: Doddington, Benwick, Wimblington.
* Produce an average of 3 sketches per week
* Look into self-publishing to create a picture book of the project as a whole
* Produce greeting cards with images
* Mount originals and have them shrink wrapped for protection.
* Arrange exhibitions in the 3 village halls - A mini tour, with the possibility of a final exhibition in March (Our local town)
* Exhibitions to take place near Christmas, November time?
By creating plein air sketches that are unframed, I can keep the costs affordable to everyone.
By publishing I increase sales chances both locally and over the internet.
By creating greeting cards, I give the opportunity for choice and enable clients to purchase numerous pieces to perhaps share with friends and family outside the villages.
By focusing on 'normal' homes I create a curiosity, a personal reason to visit the exhibitions...Planting the idea that 'your very own home may be part of this exhibition'
By exhibiting near Christmas I raise the chance of sales as gifts.
WORSE CASE SENARIO
No one visits the exhibitions
No one purchases a thing
Ok, it's not ideal BUT...
Self publishing means that I haven't paid a penny until I make a sale, all I need is to purchase A BOOK for my own bookshelf and show it at the exhibitions, taking orders...Paid in advance.
I have a heap of sketches on paper sheets that I would have sketched anyway. I sketch daily, I like it!...No...I love it!
I send the cards I ordered to family members on various occasions throughout the year until they are gone.
So...There's my plan, my best shot....May it is then!