Pop Art – Painting Live Do’s and Don’ts


Do you want to paint at an event or venue in front of an audience? There are several things to take into consideration and prepare for before you pack up your paintbrush and canvas and step onto your stage, especially if you want to be successful.

For the past 8 years I have been painting full-time. Pop  Art , Modern Wall  Art , Abstract, Figurative, Surrealism, Stencil  Art , Murals, and Bonsai Geisha  Art  are the styles I specialize in. I began my career in San Francisco and moved to Arizona. When I first got to Arizona I hit the live  art  scene full force, painting live 5 nights a week at a variety of venues: concerts, night clubs, charity events, private parties, galleries, and festivals. During that time I learned what to do and not to do in order to get the most out my live painting experiences. Branding and marketing my  art , selling my  art , and enjoying my over-all experience are my three main objectives when I perform live paintings.

As a performing artist, branding and marketing my  art  is really about branding and marketing myself, because my  art  is an extension of me. The  art  speaks for itself, but I quickly learned that I had to express professional conduct in order to be taken seriously and realize success. The following information reveals some of the many ways to show professionalism as a performing artist.

One way is to work with professional promoters who will properly represent you and promote your  art . Professional Promoters are willing to put your name and website links their promotional material. When working with other professionals you must be aware that they have expectations of you as well. So be prepared and have your business cards on hand at all times. Also make sure your all of your promotional materials, such as your press kit, websites, Blogs, brochures, or flyers, are in order and up to date, ready for them to review and utilize for promotions.

Another rule of thumb is to check out the venue before you perform there. It’s best to visit during the time you will be performing so you can see what the atmosphere will be like. Is there adequate lighting? If you have to bring your own lighting make sure not to use too much or too little. During your pre-visit, confirm with management where your performance area will be located. If the venue is dark during the time you will be painting, make sure there is an electrical outlet nearby. Pick a spot in a location where you can be in front of viewers but not in a heavy traffic zone. Setting up anywhere near the dance floor is not suggested, especially in venues where alcohol is served because people will bump into you all night long. Try to pick a spot where people lounge, like a V.I.P. area or patio. Lastly, in regards to location, be mindful of how much space you will have available and think about things like what size canvas to bring, how big your aisle is, and where you will place your supplies.

When I do my pre-visits I take into account who the patrons will be at my show, then I begin thinking about what I will paint. You must always pre – plan the execution of your piece so that your performance looks effortless. If you are a novice, you might need to practice the painting at home before hand in order to gauge what supplies you will need, how much time it will take you, and/or any other unforeseen obstacles in your creation process.

I learned the hard way that who I am performing with can affect my success. Simply put, if you are working in a space with other performing artists make sure they are quality artists. If you work with unskilled or unprofessional artist people might associate you with them and devalue your service. Once I worked with an artist who left paint and messes all over the venue, although I didn’t leave the mess – because that would be unprofessional – I was penalized along with them, none of us were allowed to paint at the venue again.

Professionalism is not only established prior to an event but also during your performance. Be aware that from the moment you step into the venue; you are not just painting, you are performing. So show up early and greet the management. Confirm that your work area is still available; things can change from one day to the next in some cases. When you set up, do so in an orderly fashion, and keep your area uncluttered. While your painting it’s not uncommon to have people will approach you. Some will be potential customers and others will be drunks with nothing better to do. Refrain from drinking alcohol if it is available, so you can stay sober-minded and focused on painting and detecting and potential clients.

If someone wants a painting and they have cash, let them buy it; remember you are there to sell paintings. If they have only a portion of the cash – take the cash as a down payment, get their contact info and plan a time to collect remaining amount. Unfortunately, when people say they will come back at the end of the night or that they don’t have their ATM cards you can assume they won’t be back. But the bright side is, if you are painting 3-5 times a week at legit venues there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to make a profit selling your  art .

Finally, at the end of the night you want to make sure to clean up your area and leave it the way you found it and remember to thank the management before you leave.

Painting live is a great way to make money, brand your self, meet new and interesting people and enjoy life. Generally, I only work in environments that I enjoy, and it works out that the places I like to hang out tend to cater to people who like my  art . You will find that after you establish a good name for yourself through professional live  art  performances, people will start treating you like a local celebrity, your sales will increase, and you will produce an impressive body of work while having fun!

Source by Sandra D Simmons

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