What We Think About When Organizing Our Own Art Event – Artist Podcast


hey guys if you’re watching this on
YouTube the video that is accompanying the podcast is actually of my 2015 show
you are here the strange curiosity of now enjoy the footage of the craziness
while you enjoy the podcast hola you amazing artist it’s Rafi and Klee and
today we’re going to talk about getting ready for your own art events oh boy
so we have a pretty big art event coming up soon it is a the Rafi’s art
extravaganza or arctic art Stravaganza I think is what I called it and it’s
basically a birthday bash for me that we’re having in this location called
Dolce and gelato which is an amazing location it’s a very eclectic like
really cool looking place and she’s got wine and gelato and craft beer y/n I
think Revolver Records which is a vinyl record shop is in there as well and they
have a stage so it’s going to be a really awesome venue to do the birthday
bash and have artwork jewelry music gelato wine it’s it’s gonna be a blast
I’m excited about it in this podcast I want to talk about what our plans are
for getting ready for the actual event because a lot of people ask me like well
what do you do for marketing and what do you do for you know getting ready for an
event like that yeah and this can be really scary if you don’t think you know
what to do yeah exactly and I mean what’s what’s interesting about this is
that I’ve done a few events that I’ve had to like organize myself and for the
most part I just kind of fly by the seat of my pants yeah do what I think you
need to do yeah which is good because every events a different animal so you
do kind of have to wing it but there are certain motivations behind it that I
think are important to look at when when I’m doing all of my marketing and stuff
like that because I think that the motivation is really ultimately what
matters when you’re getting ready for an event especially if you’re deciding to
do the marketing and I think what happens because I talked to a lot of
artists who are setting up their own event I think when a lot of people
we’re thinking about marketing they’re thinking about it more along the lines
of like what marketing do I need to do to get people there because I need to
make sales like it’s all very financial things getting bodies through the door
yeah exactly in a way that I look at it is which is ironically great that this
is a birthday bash because the way that I look at it is no matter what events
are doing you have to think about it as a party like what cool thing am I gonna
have at this party that is going to attract people to go to it because there
are plenty of things to do that night oh yeah because a lot of people were like
will rely on friends and family and stuff to like show up to their parties
but like if your party’s gonna be lame nobody’s gonna want to go and
unfortunately for a lot of art events um they’re kind of set up in the
traditional way where it’s like just art on a wall and you show up and you’re
expected to just buy things and honestly that’s not fun that’s not fun for
anybody yeah I’m not easily enticed by cheese
cubes have you come to this event or is gonna be cheap wine and cheese cubes and
some art on the wall that I expect you to buy and like that’s really a lot of
the motivation that goes behind marketing that artists do not
understanding that like hey it doesn’t matter if you don’t sell anything it’s
about setting up a memorable event that people are going to remember yeah
they’re gonna take away an awesome experience yeah because the more that
what you want to do is make sure that your name is associated with fun and you
know awesome things and that way your name which is associated with whatever
creations it is that you create and your creations vicariously become awesome and
fun things as well yeah not only for your patrons but so that you have a good
time cuz after all this is your life there you’re there and you’re stiff and
you’re just like so are you interested in buying my art or are you having a
good time are you there just meeting people and having a conversation and
that’s essentially what it comes down to you’re creating an event so you could
meet more people so you could solidify the relationships with the people that
you already have and so that you all could have fun mm-hmm and that’s when it
comes to Anna you know added bonuses your artwork is there and if they see
something that they want I sure they’re gonna buy it but it’s not
about that and I think that that’s where a lot of artists get lost in the idea of
putting together an event they think that it is simply about selling the art
and really when it comes down to it it is simply about establishing and
reinforcing the relationships that you have or that you will have absolutely I
think the fun gets lost a lot which is so weird to me and things get really
serious and then all you’re left with is the stress of organizing this thing I’m
totally guilty of this I’ve gone through several projects and events where I
stress out until the day of and then it’s like I don’t let myself have fun
until the things actually happening and that sucks for events like that any
events that you do you want to be on point to a certain extent like you don’t
want to totally turn your back on the art sales side because that’s that’s
another reason you’re there is to also sell your art but it cannot become the
priority it’s on it your cell sales of the art should become the secondary
thing the primary thing should be a
relationship building and that’s really what it comes down to so when you’re
doing your marketing everything that you do for this event should be geared
towards that that includes what kind of food is there what kind of drink is
there what the venue looks like and what your marketing looks like and what your
marketing is promoting and what kind of music and ambiance you have there yeah
exactly are you creating as an awesome like secret piece of art that nobody has
ever seen before that you’re gonna do the unveiling at the event like what
motivation is there for them to go to the event the problem is that a lot of
artists think that well it’s just it’s me so that’s reason enough for them to
show up their family their friends or whatever blah blah blah and like really
um that that’s kind of like a half-assed way of doing it you want to do something
that is outstanding so that when people come to your art event it becomes a
memorable experience it’s not just they come out to your art event to support
you they come out to your already event to support you and you support their
enthusiasm and fun by doing something quite amazing
by giving them a good time at least now on the flip side of what you just said
it’s me and you should come out in support of me because my art is superb
is the other side of that which is like well I’m not really that interesting of
a person and I don’t really know how to do anything outside the box and my
events probably not going to be that cool so I’m really just kind of shooting
for the bare minimum and hopefully it works out the reason that that ends up
happening is because it seems like this thing is a an something other than just
a party like yeah basically what it is you’re just throwing a party together
and if you have a hard time throwing parties together because you’re awkward
or you know something like that get a friend to help you that loves parties
yeah and think about it in that way think of your event in a way where it is
going to be fun and that that’s where it falls into like even what it’s when it’s
scheduled because you want to make sure that there’s nothing else that people
are gonna miss out on by going to your event you want to make sure that you are
keeping those people in mind and they’re fun like whether or not they’re going to
have fun trust me that you’re gonna have the serious art people show up you’re
gonna have the the the not so serious art people show up it doesn’t matter you
want to set up your events to have fun it’s one of the things that the the
what’s her name I forget her name when she was doing her galleries in New York
she was like some of her galleries she would have the artwork set up on things
that would like turn around it wasn’t just walls like you went to her gallery
and it wasn’t just normal gallery etiquette it was fun there were they
were basically like art parties and that’s the way that you should really
look at your art event as especially if your personality is somebody who is fun
and or you want to have fun at this event think of it as an art party think
of it as a venue where you’re able to do something really really fun and
something extravagant and if you don’t know how to do that because you are
socially awkward then definitely get friends to help you mm-hm and just think
of like what would you to experience and I’m sure that any of
you artists out there have gone to plenty of art events and I I could tell
you that the art events that stand out in my mind are the ones that they did
something that was different than the typical art events of going into a
gallery and there’s a bunch of artwork on the wall and cheese cubes that can
also seem scary like maybe you’re saying like I want to do this fully immersive
experience but I don’t have the technical skill set and so the other
thing I want to point out is it doesn’t have to be this massive
like undertaking with animatronics oftentimes it’s really just about the
mood like the lighting don’t think like Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago
party think like house party you know even if you have it at a like really
beautiful place like we’re gonna have a Dolce I’m thinking about it as a house
party I am inviting my friends to come out to a house party and people are
gonna show up that I don’t know as long as we’re having a good time and usually
a good time just involves good music good food good wine good you know good
good atmosphere something fun for people to take selfies in front of like that’s
that’s essentially what I think of when I’m thinking about the event I’m I’m not
going to be building any animatronic sculptures or anything for this
particular event it’s gonna be very laid-back and very fun and my artworks
gonna be everywhere your jewelry is gonna be everywhere there’s gonna be
good music we’re gonna be drinking wine we’re gonna be laughing having a good
time that’s all I’m thinking about now for this particular event
I’m gonna build a Valkyrie out of like an old mannequin so that people could
take selfies in front of it yes so that’s gonna be my unveiling and that’s
gonna be fun but I am I’m not gonna go overboard on it if anything the wood is
most important to me right now is getting the marketing right and when it
comes to marketing that’s that’s a big word for a lot of people because it’s
like they they’re thinking about paid ads and they’re thinking about all that
stuff I’m throwing a party so I just want to make as many people aware of how
awesome this party is going to be so I’m designing like posters and like flyers
and things like that so that I could so that I could hand out to people and post
them up in different places and share on social media and it’s just staying
consistent with the posting on social media the event is two weeks away so
this this now is where I’m gonna want to post something at least every other day
leading up to the event little exciting tidbits about what we’re doing yeah
exactly and what we’re doing and giving them a little bit of a preview here and
there and like basically setting it up where they’re gonna want to come out to
the event not only to support us but because it looks like it’s gonna be a
fun time that’s where my marketing goes that’sthat’s that’s what I think about
when I’m doing marketing yeah which is great it’s authentic it’s real-time it’s
basically just sharing this is what’s going on with us and this is what we’re
really excited about so the thing that I’m doing that’s different than what
I’ve done before is I’m actually building something in which to show my
jewelry that I think is gonna be really cool and really neat to look at yeah
that’s right so we’re gonna be you’re gonna be taking like a steamer trunk I
think we could tell them because nobody will see what it is but you’re gonna be
taking a steamer trunk and almost like creating one of those old-timey yeah
it’s a literal interpretation of jewelry trunk show yeah I’m taking a trunk and
converting it into a really cool jewelry display yeah a jewelry display a mobile
jewelry display area station which i think is freaking amazing that’s going
to be awesome and so part of this is like well we don’t really know exactly
how that’s gonna come together and we’re gonna be building not the trunk the
trunk is built but we’re gonna be modifying it ourselves so we’ll be
sharing little previews of how that comes together yeah so for the for the
birthday bash event your jewelry trunk with your jewelry in it is one of the
things that will be unveiled that people will be able to see when it’s there
they’re gonna get tidbits and information leading up to it but then
once they’re there they’ll be able to see it and then the Valkyrie that I’m
making out of that old messed up dirty gross mannequin that was at dolce and
gelato I’m gonna create this this really cool Valkyrie thing that you could take
life-size that you could take selfies in front of and that’s the other unveiling
that we’ll be doing yes and she’s gonna be amazing I just
know it yeah so like those two things those two things are things that were
both excited about so when it comes to doing
our marketing or our sharing of things that’s those are the things that we’re
gonna be talking about sharing at the event and then on top of that we’ll be
talking about like you know we might be talking to the pizza place to have food
there obviously dolce and gelato has the wine they’ve got the gelato and then we
already talked to like the band that’s going to be there and all the things all
the elements that will come together and then whatever comes to mind as we’re
getting closer to the event basically whatever is happening we’re definitely
gonna share a little bit about how cool dolce in gelato is oh yeah we’re gonna
go there we’re gonna go there and probably film a film around there
because it’s a very eclectic place that is just full of personality so I’m
definitely gonna want to share that with everybody so that they could just see
the place so like the venue is really cool the artwork and the jewelry is
gonna be cool the music is gonna be cool there’s wine there’s food so it’s it’s a
great party it’s gonna be a fun party and on and on top of that there’s like
these these surprises that we’re gonna be unveiling while we’re there and and
that’s what it’s about for me it’s about throwing a really good party yeah you
know just throwing a really good party for my friends and some of them are
friends and collectors that I already know and some of them are friends and
collectors that I’ll be meeting for the first time I think really I wanted to
put this podcast together because I wanted to really discuss like the moral
of the story and the moral of the story is that when you are putting an art
event together the way that other people have put art events together
it’s very standard it is very cookie cutter it is you’ve got artwork on the
wall you’ve got cheese cubes you got some cheap wine and then you are just
inviting people there people get to walk around and look at the art and then they
either buy something or they don’t and it’s not really something it’s almost
like art events have become this thing that you go to before you go to an
actual thing yeah they’re like the pass-through event yeah somebody will be
like hey you want to go out and see a movie and we could stop at this art
gallery because they’ve got any event before we go like that that’s almost
like it becomes it doesn’t become the and venue and even when I did my solo
art show at the gallery I designed it in a way where this was a
party yes there were over a hundred pieces of my art there but I wanted to
make sure we had good music good food and plenty of alcohol and plenty of
people to just hang out and have a good time yeah the the idea is like you come
and you stay because it’s a really good time yeah exactly it is about building a
community of people that appreciate not only your art but they appreciate you I
know that there’s going to be like people in the art community that
disagree with that because they’re very used to like a standard like this is the
professional way that we do it and you have to have your artwork up and if you
have a party nobody’s gonna notice the art and blah blah blah blah blah and I
could tell you from personal experience that that’s bullshit yeah that’s
complete bullshit of course people are gonna walk around they know why they’re
there they’re there to appreciate the art but they’re also there to stay and
hang around and that’s the beauty of it you get these people to come out and
hang out and talk to you and they can’t help but look at the art that’s up there
and walk around and have conversations with other people that collect your work
or potential people that may collect your work or get to talk to you and have
a good time and that building of community is really what is long-lasting
your artwork hanging up in a place and somebody coming into this dry stale
place and looking at it think of the Association that they have now to your
artwork you know it to me that’s not professional that’s just boring yeah and
if you need historical evidence of that some of the modern masters and the New
York art scene in the 70s it was all about the party no war that’s what
people talked about we’re going to Andy Warhol’s party you never know who you’re
gonna see there it’s gonna be crazy exactly people have come up with this
idea that like well a professional artist should display their work in a
certain way and blah blah blah with certain lighting and blah blah and like
and that’s great yes if you are displaying your work in a museum that
that is their stick that’s the way that they display their work than
fine then you concern yourself with lighting and all that that stuff that
that staleness that happens in a museum but if you are doing an event where you
are showing your art it’s the same thing you control the lighting you control the
music you control the mood and you control the
fun and so you either have a choice of either making it a fun event that is
going to be memorable for people or it’s just a boring place to go and see some
art and on your way to somewhere else I would rather make my place the
destination then the the interlude into finding finding the fun like alright
well I told them that we go and check out some of the artwork but after the
artwork we’re gonna go and and have fun at the bar across the street like I
don’t want that I want them to hang out and stay there I think that that’s
something that you have to keep in mind when you’re doing all the stuff in
preparation for a show just remember that with your marketing material with
with the location with the music that you decide to have what kind of food you
know those are all questions that artists have approached us with like how
much what food should I get what kind of drinks should I have drinks should I do
this should I do that and like those are those are all things I throw a party
throw a party you don’t necessarily have to have alcohol there but I mean it
would help and now as far as that’s concerned I don’t know what the
legalities are in your area so that’s something that you’re gonna want to look
into yeah definitely yeah you definitely cannot sell alcohol at an event I know
that for sure but I don’t know what the laws are in your local area so yeah look
for that now another thing I’d like to point out is that I saw you taking some
preliminary pictures and things for your posters and social media posts and they
were a very funny and fun yeah and they be did not showcase any art whatsoever
yeah exactly no it’s just a picture of me sexually laying across my art table
looking completely and utterly ridiculous you look as though you’re
saying oh hello yeah I didn’t see you coming
yeah and I mean and that’s my marketing that’s my marketing stuff it’s not about
showing off my art in the flyer or the poster like if maybe
there’s one piece that I wash you off or something like that and there may be
some that I that I do like that but for the most part it’s just to get people
there to have a good time these are people that admire my work already and
own my work and those are the people that I’m sending out the invites to I
want to make it such an awesome event that they want to invite other people to
the event mm-hmm you know what I mean that way and you get more and more
people if it’s boring and they don’t want to invite anybody else because
they’re like well you know it’s kind of boring
you know like I don’t want I don’t want that to be what people associate with me
I want it to be yeah he’s fun he’s fun this is gonna be a lot of fun yeah and
we hope you do this again Rafi yeah exactly you want to prep yourself so
that and the next event people already know that your last event was so much
fun that there there’s no way that they’re gonna miss it so that’s that’s
the way that I think about setting up events and and what I think about when
putting together an event now if you’re into the traditional you want to do like
the professional art event by all means do it I’m not saying that there’s
anything wrong with that but I would have fun I would make it fun have fun
not only for you but for everybody that goes there just that fun yeah in your
own style it doesn’t have to be super traditional it doesn’t have to be
bananas cray-cray you can have a hybrid situation that suits whatever your mood
is it’s either you were following the standard of the cookie cutter gallery
the way that they do art shows or you’re doing something that is you and and
that’s really what it comes down to what having a party with my artwork there
that’s me yeah doing a dry gallery show that I
don’t I don’t like that that’s not fun for me like I enjoy and I love art but I
have gone to a lot of those shows where I go I spend maybe about ten minutes
there and then I’m I move on I go somewhere else because it’s pretty
boring like okay I talked to the artist I talked to two of the people that were
here I looked at the are what do I do now yeah so like my recent
group show that I had I would say that that was like a hybrid of traditional
gallery setting but also pretty fun and the thing that made it so fun was that
we threw a roaring 2020s party right celebrate the Millennium the new era of
the 20s and so there was a lot of ambience a lot of food a lot of drink
good music and a lot of photo ops with ladies and flapper attire yeah I know
you guys are dressed all awesome I mean and that’s that was fun that was a fun
event like I was walking around looking at the yard talking to people having a
few drinks and I I had a good time and I think that that’s really ultimately what
matters when you’re doing a show is that the people that go there are having a
good time that’s really all I’m saying I that I guess that’s that’s that this
entire podcast is about that like make the event your event make it who you are
don’t follow some cookie cutter thing just make it fun for you because I
guarantee you that your people will have fun at the event as well yeah and if
you’re not having any fun planning it then try to change that yeah exactly
exactly it should be fun and that’s it for today’s podcast I’d be interested in
hearing from you guys what it is that you think about when
you’re putting together an art event thank you so much for listening you guys
you guys are absolutely freaking amazing I totally adore you and if you liked
this and you want to listen to more like this just click around here somewhere to
subscribe and that’s it say goodbye Klee good day adios

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