I recently went to an open studios and had a really great time catching up with a few contacts and finding some new artists to follow. It was a very enjoyable experience … but that isn’t always the case.
Too many times I have been to an open studios and felt embarrassed because I have felt like an invader. The artist was uncomfortable, didn’t know how to talk about their work, or ignored me. I do understand that this can sometimes be a question of confidence, with the artist not knowing whether to speak to people, give them space, or just hide in a corner.
Even if the artist has been forthcoming, again too many times I have talked with artists and left my contact details, not as a coach, but as someone interested in their work. Very rarely has an artist followed up with me directly or online.
I know only too well how much time and effort is involved in participating in an open studios, so not making the most of it seems to me a lost opportunity. And as the person sitting in the studio all day, it would probably make the event more enjoyable if you have a bigger goal in mind, rather than just trying to get through to 5pm on Sunday!
Can coaching help?
I have worked with artists, designers and makers across disciplines who open their doors to the public, to help them get clarity on why/how to make the best of open studios. This often looks at the long term. Where do you want to be? How do you want to be perceived? How does each event forward your long term vision for your creative career? From looking at the bigger picture, next steps become more obvious, such as identifying goals for the event, who you want to come, where you want to promote it. People have put together their action plans, brainstormed new possibilities, changed their mindsets: what you think visitors want before, during and after the event and if you are nervous, how you can be yourself and make the event work for you.
As with all coaching, there is no ‘one size fits all’ as each person has their own individual goals and motivations. If you are feeling challenged by an upcoming open studios, or want to work through how to make the most of it, check out how we could work together and get in touch.