I kid you not, I was sitting in a pizza place with my co-workers on our lunch break when I suddenly received an email from RAW Artists to be featured at an upcoming show. I had maybe 2-3 paintings finished at the time and was still trying to figure out if I was a “true” artist. But here I was responding to an inquiry for my first showcase.
I had never heard of RAW Artists before, and quite frankly, I totally thought I was being scammed. But after talking with that art curator (and after a deep dive search through google), I realized it was legit. Can’t blame me, I’m new to the scene.
If you are/were as clueless as me, let me tell you about RAW Artists.
It’s a giant art production of different local artists in your area. They reach out to fashion designers, make-up artists, illustrators, painters, potters–you name it. There is a daunting $500 fee for each artist, which I believe is it’s biggest turn off. RAW Artists encourage you to sell 20 tickets to your friends, family, and fans for $25/each to reach the amount.
How did you come up with $500?
I’m incredibly new to the art industry and didn’t have (and still don’t) have a large fan base, but I’m really fortunate to have friends and family that are ridiculously supportive. I made a list of people I thought would be willing to buy a ticket and offered a free print of my artwork in return. I didn’t make a great big announcement on my social media about it, but instead reached out to each person personally. I found that to be very important and I think my friends/family appreciated it too. With their help, I managed to raise the $500 without having to contribute from my own bank account.
What was the event like?
I think there were about 50+ other vendors there. We each had a 6ft x 6ft metal fence to hang our artwork and about 4ft out to put tables, chairs, or other display items. It’s not much, but the challenge of figuring that out is half the fun.
There were TONS of people there. My brother said there was a long ass line out the door just to get in. Just think about it, 50+ vendors who brought 10-20 ppl to the event–that’s nearly 500-1000 ppl coming through who are all really supportive of art. The energy was wild.
Did you gain anything from it?
I didn’t sell anything, but that’s ok. I enjoyed the experience in full connecting with other dope artists and introducing myself to people who thought my artwork was incredible. I felt validated as a “true artist” for the first time and it really inspired me to take my talent even more seriously.
Do you recommend participating in Raw ARTISTS events?
Definitely! I was mostly motivated by the opportunity to experience my first show. Learning how to talk to people as an artist and just not someone who paints. Taking my first step into the scene outside of social media. Legitmizing my career. This was really the beginning for me and I’m so thankful for it.
There’s pros and cons to it, but don’t like the feeling of not being “ready” stop you from trying it out. Take on the challenge of “ok, what do I need to do now to BE ready.” You got this.
If you have any questions about the event, please leave your comments below!