Over the years, I have attented a few salons, and found them to be helpful. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, let’s get that out of the way, first. A salon is a place where people can go on a regular (or semi-regular) basis to discuss the creative process of, or simply discuss and display, the work they do. One writer’s salon I attended in Washington state met on a monthly basis, and in the summer we spent a weekend at a cabin in the woods, honing our respective writing pursuits. It was a loosely-formed group, but when we got together we were very focused on working with each other to pinpoint areas for improvement.
“A salon is a social gathering of artists and intellectuals hosted at regular intervals by a patron in his or her home. Such convivial settings for the art of conversation emerged in Paris at the beginning of the seventeenth century.” Robert Atkins in ArtSpoke
Is there a salon in your area where you can go to further your craft? Do you already meet with several of your peers to discuss your work? If not, I may have a solution you can use to create a salon in your area.
As you may already know, one of my affiliates is ArtBiz Connection, created by Alyson B. Stanfield. This is really a great site to bookmark for a wide range of arts-related marketing and business materials, be it photographic, oils, drawing, or whatever. Most of the material on this site can be easily adapted to fit just about any creative pursuit. I am borrowing the following information from this site, and just listing a few of the items:
Start your own photography salon:
1. Recruit a group of artists committed to selling their work, focusing on attaining goals, and helping each other. There should be a minimum of three in each salon (group)–each person committed to the nine sessions and the success of the other members.
2. Hold your organizational meeting. Make sure everyone understands their commitment to the salon and to each other. Select a group leader (usually the organizer).
3. Set up all nine meetings on your calendars. Meet every other week for the first eight sessions, and then a month later for the ninth session. This is important to do at the very beginning so that people can plan far in advance.
4. Register your salon (group). All members must register, with the leader registering through a separate link.
5. Download materials. All materials are provided as both PDF and Microsoft Word files. Please note that we cannot provide technical support for these free materials. If you have difficulties, please contact your group leader.
6. Attend meetings as promised, support each other, and prosper.
7. Let Alyson help you get free publicity!
All the material you will need to start your salon is available through the link below. I know that more than a few of you will be saying that you don’t want to have to follow a bunch of rules just to start your own group. I hear you! You can still go to the site and read the materials. They are all free! Alyson is very well known as a sharing kind of person. She and I both believe that in order to market your work, you shouldn’t have to take out a second mortgage on your home. So, go the site and take a look at the materials, and go from there. We also want to give back to the community that support us in our own individual creative pursuits.
You have nothing to lose and so much to gain by going to Art Biz Connection. If you don’t begin the New Year by doing something positive about marketing your work, then you will have no one to blame but yourself! Remember, all the material you will need is free. I plan on starting a group in my area. Yes. You can quote me on that!
In case you are really wondering why Alyson would be offering this program for free when she could be getting megabucks, the answer is offered in the following quote:
“I want to do everything in my power to encourage my clients and site visitors to rub elbows with other artists as often as possible. I am certain the personal rewards will far outweigh the costs of giving you this information.”