Thank you Brooklyn Art Space for sharing this Checklist, developed over years of participating in Gowanus Open Studios.
CHECKLIST: Preparing for Open Studios (from Brooklyn Art Space)
- If you have a website, make sure it’s up to date
- Have a guestbook to gather emails
- Print a checklist/price list for visitor’s reference, include the: title, date, medium, dimensions and price (if for sale), thumbnail images are good if you have time.
- Print Updated CV/Resume
- Print artist statement/blurb about your work (I think it’s helpful to work with a friend on this to make sure ideas are clear – it will probably save you time too)
- Print any recent press/news
- Print any materials about upcoming shows and projects
- Put all these materials in a binder if you don’t want to print a million things OR, if it’s all on your website, have a laptop or something available for visitors to use
- Think about what is helpful for you when in a gallery or museum
- Business cards or postcards are good takeaways
- If you would like to sell your work, make sure you have cardboard, bubblewrap, glassine, tape, etc. so that collectors can safely take the art home.
- Make sure you are paid in full before letting anyone leave your studio with art. You can use Pay Pal if visitors want to pay with a credit card, cash is okay too.
- Remember to charge sales tax! In New York it is 8.875% – everyone pays tax on all sorts of things, art is no different.
- Have some kind of receipt/record of the sale
- Pricing is always hard, but don’t price things low just because you think it will make it easier for collectors to make a decision. You can always offer a discount. Decide what you think your retail price should be, what the lowest you’re willing to sell your work for, and leave the difference for discounts/negotiating. It’s standard for galleries to give a 10% discount and collectors aren’t afraid to ask for it, keep it in mind when determining price.
- Try to be consistent. If you have two 8 x 10 watercolors make in 2013 they should be the same price. How much you like one or the other shouldn’t matter. But, if you have two 8 x 10 watercolors, one made in 2013 and one made in 1980, a large discount on the older piece would be fine.
- Frame costs should be added on top of the price. If a collector doesn’t want to pay the $200 it cost to frame the work, let them buy it unframed.
- If someone buys your work, be sure to get their email address and add them to your mailing list.