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When No One Comes to Your Art Party

Updated: Feb 3, 2023

My intentional word for 2022 was 'connection.' As an artist and natural introvert, my default setting has usually been to move, create and 'be' in solo mode. However, like anything that is unbalanced; I knew this was not the best way to be in this world. And as a person who values growth; seeking solitude has not always served me well.

I had made some intentional moves in late 2021 to change this narrative. The first was to actually make my Art business a legal entity in September. The second move was to reach out to Facebook friends and connections via messenger, asking them for their email address. I then sent out an email outlining the why behind this new business venture. Based on information I received from some Artist marketing courses in which I had invested, I started a Facebook Group called Quietgirlartful Connect. I had just started to gain momentum and had experienced some wins in 2022. I had grown the FB group's membership to just over 90 members and had some interactions there at the beginning but not enough.

I knew that I had to put myself out there. I couldn't grow my business in the dark shadows of the Internet world. I couldn't serve others and my purpose on an optimal level in anonymity.

I decided to host a Fall Paint Party for grown-ups. I thought that it would be a great first effort to connect in person and share the joy of the art-making experience with others. I knew that Paint & Sips were popular among adults, and I also remembered the great turnout and fun had by the parents and students when I hosted a paint party at the school where I had taught.

After researching and reserving a space, I made up a flyer-complete with a QR code that connected to the registration page. I did my best to spread the word through word of mouth, text messaging, social media, email marketing and Messenger.

About a week before the event, I received some messages sending regrets that they would not be able to make it due to prior commitments. A couple of days out I had only gotten one reservation. I knew that this event was not going to happen. I ended up thanking and refunding the person their registration cost and cancelling the event space. Maybe I could write it off?

Months later, I decided to try a real-world connection again. This time, I decided to host an Artist Meet-Up at the bakery where I had some small paintings displayed. ThaI wanted to tell people my story and hear theirs. I wanted them to experience the joy and fun experiencing #artinperson

Again, no one came. Sure there were customers in the bakery, eating, conversing, working solo on their laptops. But none were obviously there for the Artist Meetup. The owner had helped me out by advertising on their FB page and email marketing. I had also spread the word through my platforms. I ended up having a quite profound conversation with a person there for most of the two-hours.

Upon reflection, I may not have achieved my connection goals in these two events or truthfully, my sales goals, but with each effort I had gained new information. First, I was amazed at the urgency with which at least 6 solo, duo or groups of three came into the bakery 5 minutes before closing. They were determined to get what they wanted. They had connected with the products and experience and wanted to repeat it. Second, I HAD connected. I had connected with an individual and had gotten to know about their personal journey and hopefully encouraged them. I had gotten out of my bubble and connected with the world around me. I had connected with my intention and made moves to put it into practice.

I will continue to pursue connection this year. Opportunities have and will continue to open up for me to fulfill this intention. I have shown up for myself at this Art party and I am confident that others who are like-minded will join me.

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