Updated: Mar 17
Ever taken up an unexpected opportunity to exhibit your mixed-media abstract art or promote any event, then had to think about your budget later on ?.
Leytonstone Arts Trail 2019
In trying to motivate myself and continue with my creative mixed-media abstract art journey, I decided to take part in the local London Arts Trail - Leytonstone Arts Trail 2019. Volunteers were needed to help out, so I initially applied and viewed it as an opportunity to build up on networking skills, gain some arts marketing experience and catch up on what is happening with the arts in the local community.
What in fact happened was that I ended up making the decision to exhibit my mixed-media abstract art collection as a solo artist instead. I tried to organise an art group to exhibit with me but it was too soon for others, so I decided to take the plunge, go for a solo exhibition, put my work out there and see what I could achieve promoting the exhibition on a zero budget.
Creating colourful mixed-media art work takes time but I had just enough to create five extra art pieces for the summer solo show based on the theme of ‘Carnival and Colour’ - The working title was 'Colourful Motility’ but I eventually renamed it ‘
Polychromatic Linear Motility ’ for the final exhibition.
Finding the Venue
I initially approached various cafes and shops to exhibit my work and finally settled on a newly opened Local cafe - Gray , based on the borders of Leytonstone. The cafe had not been open for long, it had beautiful clean blank walls, brilliant food, homemade cakes and coffee. I remember walking in nervously and showing a small selection of my artwork. To the owner who took an immediate liking to the abstract nature of my work and was very much up for art on the walls. The cafe also doubled up as an interiors boutique selling a range of interior products curated by the owner.
Initially the work was going to be on show for about 10 days but I was pleasantly surprised when I was asked for the exhibition to be extended till the end of September.
Take the plunge and present your work to Cafe owners or other types of local businesses who have an appreciation for art, you may find that they are quite open to having Art on their walls and appreciate the benefits such as
Increase footfall to those attractive to Abstract Art
Improve interior aesthetics with colourful art pieces
Cafe owner does not have to pay for the Art
Both parties gain extra marketing via promotion on each others Social Media and Websites.
You will personally bring my interested buyers to view the art into their space.
Your artwork is getting increased exposure to new people everyday
Consider the business side of placing your art in these non-gallery venues - sales, commissions and insurance.
Zero Budget Promotion
My original goal was just to volunteer and help with some minor administration if required, but I now found myself with a Solo exhibition on the Leytonstone Arts Trail 2019 to promote it was initially for 10 days and but later extended to 3 months.
Below are some of the methods I used to promote the Art exhibition on a zero budget.
Make use of your own Website for promotions
I immediately created a banner announcing the preview night, exhibition dates and also set up an events page offering free tickets on my own website
I also placed a link to my events website page on my Instagram Bio.
Join and post on Social Media - @artandpatterns
I made use of my Facebook Page, Profile and Groups, Instagram post and stories as well as my Twitter account. I created relevant hashtags and used these across all media.
All posts on my Instagram account feed through to my Facebook page and Twitter account, as they are all linked up on my Instagram account and because I would not have a lot of spare time, I found posting from Instagram an easier process for marketing and raising awareness.
I started with images of my abstract mixed-media artworks in progress, as well as announcements of exhibition and Private view dates. Began with 1 post per day and increased posting to 3 per day as we got closer to the exhibition dates. It was hard being consistent and started looking into Instagram schedulers to see if these would make scheduling easier.
Using social media schedulers did help, some offered free accounts that restricted you to posting to a maximum of 3 social media accounts.
Make use of and constantly update your Mailing List
I started to clean up my email list and created different groups, just so I had a clearer picture of who I had on my list.
Group 1 - Family and Friends,
Group 2 - Listing of Art lover contacts I had built up over time from networking.
Group 3 - Gallery owners/retailers
A clear message and image was drafted, indicating the Preview and Exhibition dates and times, letting all know that it was free to visit a small bio about myself and ended with a call to action - I utilized the email marketing service within my website and posted the email campaigns to the Art lovers, family and friends who appreciate colourful Mixed-Media Abstract Art and the groups I had set up using my contact list.
Make use of your phone Contact List
I created various groups via whatsapp, sent them information about the event and also asked them to forward it onto their contacts as well. This I found useful as I got feedback directly from all who promised to come on the Preview night or visit in the future.
Submit to General Art and Event Listing sites
On talking to a friend about the opportunity of my first Solo exhibition- the suggestion was made of using free listings via sites like Eventbrite, Jus-tickets, Billetto, Art Rabbit and local listings. I used quite a few just to see what sort of response I would get and had quite a few bookings from the various listings.
As the art exhibition was free and in a coffee shop, some folk popped in without making a booking. They had two reasons for visiting one - to taste delicious homemade cakes and coffee the other to see the Abstract art on display.
Make Videos and promote on Social Media
I used the free video maker provided on my website platform to produce short snappy videos from images of my artwork with information about the event and posted these onto my Website as well as relevant social media sites. Interestingly there was a positive response to videos and the share rate was quite high.
I will definitely use this promotional tool for future events. I had a lot of success with the video on Facebook through sharing.
By Word of Mouth
At every opportunity I had, I mentioned the Solo Art exhibition and found that I got a positive response, I used it as a moment to inform everybody about my abstract art and the benefits of coming on down to see my work on Preview night or during the duration of the exhibition.
These were the promotional the methods I used to market my mixed media art
exhibition. I laid down an initial goal of not spending any money and found that I was able to stick to it. Use all the freely available media services your have to hand.
Let me know of other methods you have used.
I create Colourful Mixed-media Abstract Art on Canvas, inspired by my life experiences. My work allows the viewer to develop their own interpretation and connections with my work.
Let Art be a conversation starter.