As a creator, no one can tell you what to create; that is between you and whatever you are creating. What happens in your studio or workshop or even on your kitchen table, is your business. But a ’business’ it certainly is… if you are serious about what you do.
Once upon a time they used their walls…
However, what happens with your work when it is finished can become a problem. Traditionally, artists are not inclined to be business people as the left and the right sides of the brain function on different levels: left is for business, right is for creativity.
Often you will see, when entering the work space of a creative person, stacks of canvasses and finished pieces against walls, on shelves, in cupboards, and just about everywhere you can imagine.
What you do in your studio will remain in your studio forever if you do not engage with the outside world. It is very easy to become totally engrossed in what you do, but that will not provide the means to live a decent life.
All over the world, artists engage with the public in many ways; traditionally through the gateway of galleries. There is nothing wrong with that. However, it can be limiting. Enlisting the services of an agent or PR person is another way to promote your work but these methods, despite being excellent, can be pricy.
Somewhere, someone came up with an idea to assist artistic people in a much simpler way: bringing the public to the source. Yes, opening your studio in order to allow the public to enjoy your space, your creations and above all else, yourself!
Perhaps you work better when you are alone, hermit-style… I know I do! But we need to become available, accessible, and welcoming for those who wish to know more about where the art came from, how it was produced and by whom. You cannot assume that people will hear about your art in some magical or mystical way. Joining a Facebook group or creating a page of your own with your art on, is not going to cut the mustard, as the saying goes. You need to take people by the hand and lead them, step by step, towards The Source: You – and your work.
And even more that just becoming available, giving the viewer a reason to be there. A good reason – or reasons – to desire what you create; to want something they will look at every day, either in their home or at their workplace. Give the viewers what they want!
Derek Henry really loved this one by Mary-Lynne Stadler!
And that is where Cyprus Open Studios comes is. Becoming a member provides you with a platform in the form of your own full page on the website, organisation of the event, promotion via all media, and a printed catalogue to keep. The event takes place during a specified period each October when we welcome the public into our spaces in order to communicate, share and even sell directly to our visitors. However, the main objective is to introduce you and your art in such a way that is memorable and thus encourage people to return for more.
But that is not all you get when your register with COS! Your entry goes live as soon as you register, and it remains on the website until the end of February after which it goes into the archives, where it remains accessible for as long as the website provider will allow.
Not only does Cyprus Open Studios (COS) offer you all of the above, but we also offer you a non-participating membership at a reduced fee for simply featuring your own page on the website but without opening your studio or work-space. This gives you access to all the news and activities.
And there is more…
- Next event is the exhibition, opening on 8 May 2018 with a “Meeting the Artists” evening, at the Hellenic Centre, 16-18 Paddington Street, Marylebone, London W1U 5AS on Wednesday, 16 May 2018 at 18:30 to 20:30. The exhibition will run until 30th May 2018.
- That is followed by the exhibition at Candid Arts Trust, 3-5 Torrens Street, Islingon, London EC1V 1NQ under the auspices of the Salon des Refuses from 7 to 10 June 2018.
Why do we mention it here? Well, OGA – Open Galleries Abroad, are responsible for assisting artists with the entire process of registration, transportation and storage (between exhibitions). OGA is the international division of Cyprus Open Studios.
A few images from the 2017 Salon des Refuses exhibition:
Please visit our website, where you will find the necessary information. You will also find additional questions answered under the FAQ tab as well as much more by reading the blog posts. And don’t forget to click on the FOLLOW button when you are there!
Last, but certainly not least – the Winner of the free Prize Draw of 2017, Meg Adamson, claimed her prize of €150,00 and decided to use it towards lessons in sculpting. Her chosen teacher was Karen Betts of Artemis Studios in Chlorakas and here you can see a few items Meg has created under Karen’s tutelage. She is set on refining the art of sculpting and we wish her everything of the best.
L to R: Maria Etheridge, Meg Adamson, Karen Betts
In 2018, visitors will be able to choose between two juicy prizes, i.e. 3 nights’ free accommodation on a Greek island or four free lessons from a professional COS member. More information on these will be available shortly – do keep an eye on the website and/or blog.
Whoever you are, and wherever you may find yourself now, we hope to see you in our studios in October!
(author-of-myself on Tumblr’s artwork – thank you!)
ED: Maria Etheridge