Over the past few years I’ve visited many exhibitions, designed exhibition graphics and also taken part in art exhibitions with my artwork but never had a solo exhibition of my illustration/art work. “Bikes & Blooms” was my first solo exhibition which took place at a gallery in Melton Mowbray.
You can learn a lot from visiting and holding an exhibition of any type. Showing your work in a considered way will help you to really engage with where your product fits in the world. It is not all about sales, it is also about confidence and the learning you gain from the experience. Not to mention meeting your customers and audience and engaging with them in real terms.
I designed some panels for the exhibition in Four Walls using my writing and layered images from sketchbooks, surface design and the graphic motifs I’d used in the paintings.
It is also important to use negative space well. Each piece has to have enough space around it to be seen in isolation yet remain part of the group.
User experience and spatial awareness are important factors in exhibition layout. Eye height is your main visual area for display as this is where the user will first engage.
Retail display is an important skill which I have learned from selling a small product/gift range through retailers in Stamford and Rutland.
In Four Walls we placed eye catching pieces in the window in order to attract an audience and placed easels at different heights. It was useful to have pieces at different price points and in different materials in order to engage different audiences.
Customer flow around a room is fascinating. People quite often move towards the right on entering a space but any obstacles will play a part in the flow of traffic. Any obstacles will also effect flow – at my preview night it was the Prosecco and pork pies which drove everyone to the top end of the space!
As well as retailers I’ve work with museums and galleries designing exhibition brochures, posters and marketing material.
If your customers engage meaningfully with your product whilst having a good time you should be onto a winning combination!