A.K.A.Your’e doing it wrong link: (Here's My BIO VIDEO)
Plunging face first into RAW event. June 19th. This was my first foray into taking these 'bots into the public eye. I'm not counting the kickstarter project, as that was an internet promotion - plus it didn't take off like I expected it to. Neither did this, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
It was fun. No seriously. Was lotsa fun. Here...see.
Stubborn reluctance to go the traditional gallery show route was the primary impetous for this event. Why this route? Dunno, feels right...right-ish?
I did my research before going into this and got a lot of background info on these RAW: Natural Born Artists guys (...yeah, i know...the name is goofy, right? Sounds like some hippy commune). Whatevea.
A couple of warning flags came up where quite a few posts on a number of artists blogs and websites mentioned this showcase as a scam directed towards just filling a venue. They mentioned that the artist's themselves would have to sell tickets and promote their work using their own social media network and that overall it is not a theatre for serious artists. ( The last bit holds no relevance for me since there is nothing about me I'd consider SERIOUS, lol.)
RAW does promote artists for the venue, but this is mostly a quick banner or blog post in social media circles that really do little to promote the work. If you have a strong social media following, this would help you more. Honestly if you DID have a sizable fanbase - what the hell would you be doing here?
Another warning flag was the fact that I have never heard of these guys before( not a deal breaker since I just recently learned who Katy Perry was and have a lot of gaps in my knowledgebase). They do have shows all over the country however, there is an unmistakable allure that you could do an event in Tulsa, OK - if it tickles your fancy. A wry smile draws itself across my face when I think of subjecting hapless Oklahomans to my Robotic madness.
So, armed with all that reasearched info, my critical analysis was pretty much standard.
"Warning flags, Schmorning Flags...I'm the GILOSAN....engage."
Anyway, I paid for all my tickets and gave them away. I didn't feel the need to hawk friends and family into going to a show for me to sell stuff. Like asking them to pay to see me operate a lemonade stand...nah, save your cash buy me a beer.
Not to say that is is a scam or you shouldn't do it. For building a network and getting your work out in the world, its a pretty good resource. Aside from the anemic social media promotion given, you do get a photographer to snap some head shots. I'm gonna put them here 'cuz their very cheesy and make me laugh:
You WILL not be taking home gobs of cash, however.
This is not that kind of event. Truthfully, I don't think it will ever be that kind of event. The mix of artistic genres, like painting, photography, jewelry, make-up, and fashion. They kind of all don't really jive that well together - I mean people looking to buy photographic prints aren't really interested in purchasing make up or jewelry. Of course that is a generalization but its backed up by my sales receipts or lack thereof.
For the most part, the attendees don't buy much of anything. If they are not in the artists click, then I didn't see their reason for PAYING $20 and going to the show...on a Thursday...in a Hoboken Lounge...to buy art type-things in a multitude of genres.
The highlights were the fellow artists all struggling to bring their craft to light and meeting them in a very comfortable and friendly environment. I found this to be very enjoyable and rather eye-opening. I learned a lot, met a lot of cool people, people I'd wanna work with in the future and people I'd wanna work ON...Oksana I'm talking to you momma!
Ok, off brand here...what? Oh yeah:
The downsides were the serious lack of foot traffic. I mean that's what we were there for, the foot traffic - to sell our stuff, right? Well Im not gonna say I walked away with nothing, these things sell themselves. But as for ROI, barely - I mean, I hit it proper (you saw my booth in the photo up there- fabricating that was not free.) As for walking away with 'Fat Stacks', uh...nope.
Your bound for disappointment if "mad lootcake" is your modus operandi. Instead, I feel it is a great starter for beginners to see and experience what an event can do for your exposure. At the very least...this is a fantastic start into the foray of self-promotion.
And that is, I feel, the KEY to any worthy talent-based endeavor.