Studio visits are the absolute best way to connect with future patrons and art enthusiasts. It's a chance to share information about your work and learn about the people who are interested in your work. There are a few things that you can do to make for a great studio visit. Here are a few tips to prepare the space and gather any info so you can ensure that you can offer a comfortable and interesting environment for your visitor.
1. What is the price? Make sure you have a good idea of all of the prices of the work that you have in the studio. I usually have a price list ready so that I'm not caught off guard.
2. Tell me about your art? An open ended question that some visitors may ask but others may not. You need to be ready to speak about this, this is what the studio visit is all about, a chance to share insight about your work. So prepare a few simple statements about what your work is about, be ready to tell some stories about what inspired you to create it. If you have different bodies of work that have different significance to you be ready to point out the difference.
3. Do you do commissions? Be prepared for this question. Sometimes people may have a very interesting proposal of work they would like you to create for them. Be ready with your terms of payment for commissions. Some artists take a non-refundable deposit before they will begin a commission and others work on spec. If you agree to work on spec it means that the client can decline the commission once you have finished it without paying at all.
4. Tidy up the space - but not too much! Your creative space is most interesting when visitors can get a glimpse of your process. For example, if you are a painter, it's ok to leave work in progress on the easel and your paint and palette out. On the other hand, make sure there are no tripping hazards and dirty dishes around. You want people to feel safe and comfortable!
The art studio is a place of curiosity for outsiders. It also might be a little out of their comfort zone. If you can keep these two things in mind when preparing for a studio visit you can make your studio visitors feel welcome and have an experience that satisfies their curiosity. In the image above Marc Chagall sits in his studio in 1955. His work is arranged around him, materials are visible and there is a bottle of something possible delicious or chemical and a vase of flowers. It looks like a "typical studio". Whether your studio looks like this or not - this is generally the type of scene that people may imagine when you first invite them to your space. It does look welcoming though doesn't it? That's a great tone to set if you want people to feel comfortable about asking questions about your work - getting to know you and how you create.