1. Something WILL Fall Off The Wall
It’s inevitable. You just have to be emotionally, and if within close proximity, physically ready to catch and handle whatever has happened to your precious creation. While hanging original copies of your work may enhance your show’s display (for example, they include textures or some kind of 3-D elements), consider hanging mostly prints or copies. At least this way when a small child or a drunk human bumps into the wall, your one and only original doesn’t come crashing down.
2. You Might Have To Speak In Front Of Actual People
I absolutely love human interaction and am so honored to get to showcase my work to the community. But artists are strange creatures. We work quietly, in our studios, lost in our own creative world, and only sometimes emerge to display our work in the outside world. Naturally, we don’t have the best public speaking skills. This branch of art (as opposed to dancing, performing, singing etc.) does not prepare us to stare into the eyes of a crowd expecting something profound and inspiring. I just want to save the animals, okay?!
3. People Will Feel Obligated To Give Their Opinion
I am a huge fan of constructive criticism, don’t get me wrong. It may be the wine and beer, or maybe your art is super inspiring...just not in the way you hoped. Some gallery goers will NOT hesitate to share with you how they would’ve gone about the "hanging-and-marketing-your-own-show-alone" thing better. Let me assure you, I know it’s not perfect- but hey! At least nothing has fallen off the wall yet!
4. You’ll Accidentally Ignore Your Friends
During the weeks leading up to a gallery opening, you have a giddy-nervous buzz about you. You tell all of your friends, family, neighbors, and maybe even an acquaintance’s dog to come out to the show. You can’t wait to spend an evening surrounded by those who have been perhaps the most integral part of supporting you to this point. And then, in a tornado of networking and schmoozing for new freelance work, the night is over, everyone has left, and you realize you didn’t say two words to your own mother.
5. Your Cheeks Will Hurt From Smiling Too Much
In all seriousness, I have made some of the best, most magical connections with people at these gallery openings, and I am SO grateful for all of the opportunities that have come from putting my work out there. It is so humbling to see your work actually light a smile on someone’s face and get to hear their own personal reasons that they connect with this piece or the other. It’s really why I do what I do.