147 / Being an artist must be so easy…

It’s now just 3 days and counting until ‘A’ opens at Blackall Studios.

I thought I’d share some facts behind putting on an exhibition, as someone said to me today that my job must be so easy…

The fact of it is, it isn’t easy at all… To make a solid body of work, whilst still juggling childcare, school runs, other work and running a home and a family is actually quite a difficult task. Even when you do manage to steal a few hours to paint, it’s not always that easy to create anything of any substance… But we somehow manage and a lot of us artists actually manage to create a show’s worth of work in under a year, which is no easy task!

So once said artist has completed ‘his body of work’, he needs to find a gallery to put that show on… If like Steve More and myself you don’t have a nice swanky West End, white walled gallery repping you, the only other option is to hire a space… (Not cheap!) But once you’ve found that space and paid the deposit, you’re almost there!?

Nah… You still have to invite people… An empty gallery is a not even an option, so you facebook, twitter, email and promo until your hands bleed from typing… Then, you need to sort refreshments out for all those guests you’ve now got coming and since the guys who said ‘Yeah, no worries, we’ll sort that for you!’ blow you out like cheap, pound shop candles. You then have to start from scratch persuading some cool drinks brands to offer you a little help, whilst gently explaining that you’re not willing to parade around the private view of your major show wearing a sandwich board with their logo on it… Refreshments sorted and brands placated! Surely we’re done now?

Not even slightly… Press and promo still needs doing, so a very kindly pr company comes on board and makes life that little bit easier for you… Relax….

NO! Don’t relax!
Remember those ‘cool’ catalogues you spent endless nights designing!!?? Yes them… Well their not arriving apparently until the day before the exhibition ends. Cue many phone calls to printers in Germany via a sharply dressed print broker in the West End… And the realisation that somebody somewhere forgot that there’s 31 days in January, not 28! Major fuck up!!!

So as Sunday looms upon you and you know you have 24 hours to hang 30 pieces of work, fit a huge installation that spans the entire gallery space and find the money to pay for everything, sort the bar, security staff, sales staff, price lists, labels, guest list and… find an appropriately awesome outfit to wear for the opening night!

Please spare a thought for the poor, simple idiots who truly believe that being an artist is really f**king easy…