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10 top tips for putting on a successful illustration exhibition

Making sure your exhibition is a success can be tricky; luckily Faye is here to give you her ten top tips to help guarantee triumph. Faye recently put on her own exhibition in Brighton. Now it's over to Faye to share her top tips: 


1.     Promotion

It’s a good idea to get going with this as soon as possible, particularly the online, social-media side of it. We started tweeting and instagramming about ours several months before. It’s nice to show sneaky peeks of things you are working on for the show. We designed our posters and flyers several months before as well but we decided to distribute them the week before and during the exhibition so it stayed fresh in people’s minds.

 

 2.     Range of prices

We had a range of different priced pieces ranging from 50p postcards right up to £300 framed originals; this worked really well for us. Our most popular pieces were from our £10 ‘wonky drawing’ range.

 

 3.     Remember snacks!

This is an important one to remember, particularly if you are doing a solo show, as you may have to sit in the gallery all day which is surprisingly exhausting!

 

 4.     Freebies

People love a freebie (me included!). You could give out stickers, postcards, posters etc. These are all fairly cheap to get printed but act as a great prompt to get you talking to customers.

 

 5.     Plenty of business cards

I ran out of business cards on the third day, which was silly. Ideally you want to be able to put one in with every purchase and also have them to hand to give out to people who are interested in your work but don’t want to commit to buying something on the day–this means they can look you up online which could possibly lead to sales.

 

 6.     Scope out the venue in advance

You want to get an idea of footfall in particular. We put on our exhibition at Gallery 40 [http://www.gallery40.co.uk] which is a lovely little space right in the heart of the North Laines in Brighton, it has excellent footfall and is right near the main train station.

  

 7.     Bring something to do

I am not a pushy saleswoman, so whether I’m doing a craft fair or an exhibition, I like to allow people to just browse without feeling intimidated. I say hi when the customer walks in, but that’s it unless it’s clear they want to chat. I personally hate it when you go into a shop and they start chatting to you! I bought a sketchbook and my laptop with me so I could get on with work whilst people were browsing. It’s also good to look busy and can be interesting for people if they get to see you ‘in action’, in my case, drawing strange naked people in my sketchbook.

 

 8.     Share the show

Charlie Simpson [http://charlie-simpson.co.uk] and I worked on the show together. It’s really nice to be able to share the experience with someone and also to halve the workload and cost.

 

 9.  Be friendly

Putting on an exhibition is less about making money and more about meeting people. We met a lot of really lovely, friendly local artists, photographers and illustrators. I hate the term ‘networking’ but I guess that is what it is, a lot of the people Charlie and I met during the week we plan to keep in touch with and work on projects with in the future.

 

 10.     Window displays

We were lucky enough to have a beautiful space with excellent, huge windows. We used them as a way to draw people in – we put large, interesting pieces in the windows along with 3D items. We had a lot of people walk past and stop to look at the bits in the window. Often pointing and laughing at our weird characters!

 

 

Got anything you want to add? Leave a comment in the box below!

Comments

Barbara
21 Aug 2014 16:31
Love the idea of 'wonky drawings' - I've made plenty of them in my time!
Lolly
21 Aug 2014 19:21
Love all your helpful information. Can I ask how many pieces of art do you need to have an exhibition shared with another, and do all paper works need to be mounted and framed? Lolly x
Su Mwamba
23 Aug 2014 07:59
Apart from the fact the exhibition itself looks awesome, this was a really helpful post, with lots of things to consider. A lot of the points raised can equally be applied to selling at craft fairs - common sense goes a long way, but their are always things that don't cross your mind until it's too late! Thanks for a great post. :)
J T
28 Aug 2014 14:52
thanks for sharing! this is a really great post!
Alex Wilkie
29 Aug 2014 13:14
9 is the best advice for all walks of life
Victoria Minchener
29 Aug 2014 14:53
Some really helpful points here! The photos of the exhibition look lovely.
Jannatul
23 Sep 2014 06:01
Uh for the first time I am seeing this. Great idea for the designers that they now can make a great exhibition with their work.
Stuart Glegg
09 Apr 2015 07:51
Great piece, really good advice. Be friendly and work hard and you'll be fine.
Humayun
20 Aug 2016 05:26
Great idea. Simply great to go for next exhibition.
Jack
27 Jan 2017 12:40
This is such a good blog, great tips
Clipping Path
18 Nov 2017 11:31
Windows display is the best work.
Clipping Path Service provider
09 Dec 2017 09:17
Really so informative post.Thanks a lot for this tips.
James Hodges
05 Feb 2018 07:28
You are so cool! You easy to explain things in such great detail in a way that is easy to understand.

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