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As an artist, you will be involved with group and solo shows throughout your artistic career. While it is often regarded as an achievement or milestone in any artist’s career, it is also where you are most exposed with challenges on what you should do and what you should not because you are the ‘star’ of the show and this is where collectors and the public will judge you.
Whether it is at an opening or an open studio show, you will feel uncomfortable (unless you are the celebrity type of artist) because you are suddenly put under the spotlight of being the star of the night. It is like a wedding day where everything is focused on you. This is a perfectly normal emotion that you will have to go through but that does not mean you shy away from the crowd or worst still, not turning up at all.
Openings are the best time for you to network and know your collectors. At the same time, this is where you will be able to strike and impression and to showcase your work as they mean to you. Make sure that you are there regardless of how sick you are. An artist who do not attend his or her own opening is regarded as rude, not serious and not committed. It looks bad to the collectors and certainly affect the gallery representing you. Ensure that you are there before everyone else and be the last one to leave.
Always be visible throughout the show because there are all types of people there. There would bound to be questions and hence, you must be ready to answer them in the simplest forms possible. You can flaunt your artistic knowledge but at an opening, that is not necessary as they probably have no idea what you are talking about. Leave the jargons for artist dialogues and such. Your opening is not a social meeting for you. Spot those people you don’t know and talk to them. Your friends and families are there to offer you support, so don’t go about drinking and mingling with them throughout the whole event.
Think about what you want to talk about and when you do, you can assume that they are not aware of what they are looking at. You are free to talk about your techniques, the process, medium used and your influences because that is what they are interested in. Never in any case put up an attitude. No matter how much they don’t know about art, or even if they cannot afford to buy your art, there are always others who do and they are always watching.