Life As An Itinerant Artist

Stories and anecdotes from fifteen years on the art show circuit. 

Why is it?

I love it when shows give you free postcards to mail out to all of your customers. A lot of shows do this, and the art is almost universally terrific, either showcasing a single image, or a montage of all the different styles and media that you might expect to see at the show on the face of the card.

So why is it that on the back side, most shows fill up the entire card with sponsor logos, copy (granted you do want to know when, where, what, how and all that) and other grimble? They usually remember to leave room for the address and the stamp, too. But what they forget is that most artists will want to indicate where THEY are located in the show. After all, it’s MY postage on the card, I want my name on it too!

A word to the wise promoter: don’t forget to leave room for the artist’s sticker, and to leave the bottom 3/8″ clear for the USPS sticker. Give us a throwaway area that we can cover, or some extra white space. Otherwise, your postcards may just end up in the trash!

August 27, 2008

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  1. Maybe that’s why they’re free. Why don’t you design cards for your associates and charge them for their use. How’s that for entrepreneurism? How the hell have you been? And, how iare your folks?

  2. A distributed mailing will reach far more interested, targeted buyers with a single branded element, than if artists each mail their own postcards. By distributed, I mean that the cost of mailing is spread out over many equally interested parties. Or so the theory goes. In practice, the show organization usually hires a PR organization to do all the dirty work, and the postcard job is relegated to a junior, who isn’t given a proper set of requirements, or the requirements aren’t understood in the first place.

    Typically what happens is that the artists don’t mail the cards at all, or use their own cards. I have generic cards that I use in place of show freebies, as they promote MY work. But these wouldn’t work for everybody.

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