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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fantastic Journeys

These last eight weeks I have been taking a bit of a break, and exchanged my funky web designer's hat for a more exuberant artist's head gear. "Fantastic Journeys - Paintings and Music inspired by Ursula Le Guin" at Thistle Hall in Wellington was my first solo exhibition, and an opportunity to dig out the old harp and showcase my musical talents as well. The good news that the space at Thistle Hall was available came at very short notice, leaving me all of seven weeks to put together the show, do all the publicity and advertising, as well as finish a few more paintings! Which explains the recent gap in my blogging.

Being an online promotion expert comes in handy when planning such a show on a shoestring budget. One of the first and most obvious things to do was to set up a dedicated page with information about the show, and downloadable press material, on my website - I even created an appropriate CSS layout for the purpose!

Once I have had time to catch a breath, I will expand this page into a little self contained section of the site, with photos and feedback, and perhaps even a bit of video. That way all my overseas friends who have posted on my Facebook event page that they would love to come, if only they could get the teleporter to work, can at least share some of the experience!

I have also made good use of my monthly newsletter, and dedicated the last two issues mainly to the show.

New Zealand in general, and Wellington in particular, are quite well endowed with sites which provide free events listings, and I have availed myself of that that opportunity very systematically. The Eventfinder website is a relatively new site which offers the great advantage that a whole host of other sites pull their content from there - so with one listing, one can get a plethora of adverts all over the net.

The Big Idea is considerably less streamlined - I had to upload my information in three different places and fill in a lengthy upload form each time to do it - but offers the advantage of a large and dedicated readership of people involved in, or interested in the arts sector in New Zealand. I also managed to find a couple of wonderful volunteers to help me with the preparations for the show, and with making things go smoothly at the opening!

Wotzon, Feeling Great and are sites which are dedicated to events in and around Wellington - I found the last site to be particularly well presented, and they even showcased my show, which was very kind of them!

Apparently my media release did the trick this time - apart from scoring two radio interviews, on RadioActive and VBC (both also streamed on the net), and having one of my images printed with the events listiing in the Dominion Post's Thursday Arts Supplement, I was particularly pleased that the staff at Wellington City Library took the opportunity to write a blog post recommending Ursula Le Guin's books, with a mention of my show and a big picture of the bright yellow dragon which also graced my posters and flyers for the show.

Last but not least, the show offered an opportunity and and excuse to send out nicely designed html email invitations featuring some of my work, to all the publishers and gallery owners in Wellington, along with a great bunch of friends, business contacts and fellow artists. Over the six days, I had a total of 246 visitors come through my show, which, for a little self promoted first show at Thistle Hall, strikes me as a fairly solid number. :)

Fun was had, and valuable lessons learned. But now, back to web design!

Asni: Multimedia Art & Design:: ::