As an artist, in any form, working events and gaining exposure are crucial for your business. In February, I was contacted by a curator for RAW Artists asking if I would be interested in being a featured artist in their upcoming show in Charlotte. She gave me some details including that RAW is an indie arts organization that host events to give exposure to small artists. I was interested so I did a little research. This is straight from their website:
What We Do
RAW spotlights independent talent in visual art, film, fashion & accessories design, music, performance art, beauty, crafts, tech, and photography. RAW is a fun and alternative way for creatives to showcase both to their local community and the world at large. We are not your average art show. We are loud, colorful, creative, and all about our artists. We are RAW.
As a Makeup Artist being featured, I would be have the freedom to come up with my own looks on live models. I ended up having 4 models for the show and I decided to go with a ‘theme’ that could include all 4 of my models. Having never done a show like this before, I decided to play it safe. Some may call it cliche, but I went with the four seasons as my theme.
Let me add in a little side note here. I have received a few not-so-subtle comments from people wondering why I didn’t go all out with my looks. I have become known for my more artistic and creative looks as well as incorporating body painting into my looks. So some may say that the looks I went for in the show were kind of “basic”. But allow me to explain my thought process..
I was allowed to arrive at the venue (The Fillmore in Charlotte) at 2 PM to start getting my models ready and doing their makeup. The venue itself was pretty cool however the area for me to get my models ready was not great. The lighting was bad and my models were only able to sit on a couch to get their makeup done. In the future, if I decide to do another one of these shows, I will probably ask the models to get ready at my house and we can travel to the venue together.
Throughout the show, my models were able to stand on pedestals and be featured for 10 minutes at a time, every 30 minutes. During this time, guests attending the event could come take pictures of them, check out their makeup, and ask me questions. My models were able to rotate through being featured 4 times throughout the event. I was able to network with other local artists and photographers that were there. I definitely think I could have allowed myself to meet more people however that is something I can do at the next event!
All in all, the experience was a positive one. I was able to step out of my comfort zone and allow my art to be shown in a way I haven’t shown it before. My least favorite part of the entire experience was being required to sell 20 tickets to the show. Every artists being featured had this requirement. If you didn’t sell all 20, you had to pay for however many you didn’t sell before you could work in the show. So that was a little stressful. However I was able to make it work and all 20 tickets were sold so I didn’t have to pay to participate.
If you’re an artist out there, whatever your niche, I encourage you to find showcases like this to participate in. The experience is worth it, and you may meet people who could immensely help your career. I think it would be interesting to participate in another RAW Artists show in a different city. One perk they offer to RAW “alumni” is that you don’t have to sell 20 tickets to your second show after you participate in the first one. RAW showcases are hosted all over the country, what city do you think I should go for next?