My experience of Swindon Open Studios (SOS) in recent years has been great, in large part because I've made some special friends and contacts with other local artists. I'm sure I'm not the only one to feel this way, so with this in mind I've set out to organise a few social events to meet and exchange ideas.
On Saturday 28 April I kicked off with a coffee morning at my own home. I baked a load of cakes and put the kettle on and was amazed at how many people turned up! Several newcomers to SOS said how helpful it was to come along and find out how other people approached opening their studio, and that they were very much encouraged. It can feel a bit daunting the first time.
We discussed a number of related topics: the best printers for business and greetings cards; how we promote and sell our work online; how to organise the studio to show to the public and what we want to achieve from doing all of this.
In the past some people have used SOS as a shop front, so we talked about how non-creative people like to see how artists work; the whole muck and mess of the process. It is really interesting to see the artist in the studio ready for work. For many this is a bit like magic!
I would welcome any feedback. The event was a great success, so there will be more coffee mornings and social events soon!