The prep work for one of these sessions is fairly easy, just making sure I have all of the pieces I need. For hardware, it’s my laptop, Cintiq, spare Intuos4 tablet, iPad, secondary display monitor, connection cords, power cords, and extension cords. For software, it’s having the working files for the paintings, the reference photos to paint from, the Photoshop brush set for live painting and making sure that it’s all working well. Finally, I need to bring any surplus canvas and paper prints to have on hand if the event generates any extra sales.
I’ve done 6 or 7 of these now, and each one gets easier. What’s the difference between the first one and the one I’m doing today? Well first of all, I was incredibly nervous the first time, and today, no nerves at all. As in all things, the hardest part is usually taking the first step. At this point, it honestly just feels like going to a part-time job.
In the beginning, I was disappointed if these live sessions didn’t result in sales, but that’s no longer the case. The paintings are selling well now without the demos, so the goal from these appearances is just to generate interest and provide a little education. While somebody may not buy a painting today, they may see one a month from now and remember that they saw me working on something similar. Sometimes having a connection to a painting, having a story to tell about it, makes the image more desirable.
There’s a lot more I need to learn about the publicity and sales aspects of these paintings, and I imagine that will always be the case. So I’ve chosen to keep doing these painting demos on a regular basis, and just consider it ‘on-the-job’ training.