Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Open Your Door & See What Walks In!

Open your doors

My door is open! I participate in Final Fridays in Cincinnati. It is when the Art world of Cincinnati holds open houses. I love to participate because I want to see where artists work & the behind the scenes of theatre, dance,  and the artist's process. I enjoy meeting the masters behind the talent. I visit to learn the stories and experience the process. I figure if I enjoy it, others do to. Every Final Friday of the month from 6pm to 10pm I put out some drinks & snacks & hang up art & open that door! I hope you come visit some time. http://www.pattiebyron.com/workshopsretreats/

Open your doors & see what walks in!

Here are 5 tips for an Open Studio
  1. An open studio allows you an opportunity to get great feedback on your work. At my last open studio, I debuted a new process & was very happy when my visitors responses were positive. I pointed out that this was my new direction then I closed my mouth & listened carefully to their response. Use open studio as a time to expose your process. Visitors will appreciate & value your work more when they understand what goes in to it. New people will walk through your door so you will have an opportunity to introduce work to new clients. Make sure you take advantage of the new exposure by being ready to capture their email & contact information. 
  2. Have a little something for everyone. Have several price points so those on a budget can have options to purchase from you too. Maybe it is less expensive prints or note cards of your work. I have a metal jewelry line that is priced lower than my collector pieces.  Give them options.  Offer payment plans or barter for services of equal value, I once received haircuts for a year!
  3. Make it easy for people to visit your space. Make that night about your art, display your work professionally, pay attention to unnecessary clutter and lighting. Be welcoming, there is a fine line between welcoming and over bearing - make it easy for them to come in. Sometimes if your working on something it invites conversation.  Have take aways. Have your cards, postcards etc. available and near the door so they can take a bit of you with them! Be ready for the sale, be ready to take cash (have change), credit cards (I use Square) and checks. If you would rather not deal with one of these have your policy posted. I post my “options for payment” sign so my visitors can see it 
  4. Promote, Promote, Promote. Don’t expect them to just come - use social media, press release, posters, email, website and what ever other avenues you can. Start 4-6 weeks before your open studio - write up a launch plan.
  5. Follow up - hopefully you captured emails of your visitors and made notes - now do not forget to thank them for coming and keep the discussions that were started in your studio going (that is why I make notes.) Send them a link to your website or shop page - send a list of available work - send them an invite to other showings! Track the # of people who came and take note of comments and pieces that attracted attention. This is great market research.

Ok, so that was really way more than 5 - but whatever!

Check out these cool open studio events coming up through out the USA!
Brooklyn, NY
Greenville, South Carolina
San Luis Obispo, Ca
The Center for the Arts , Grass Valley, CA 
Denver, CO

Tell me when your opening your door - share what you do at your open studio - Tell me about your local open studio event

Thanks for letting me into your world
visit me at pattiebyron.com

Monday, May 19, 2014



 This entire week has been moving into the new studio space at Pendleton Art Center, Studio 411 in Cincinnati, Oh. I have come home completely wiped out every night. I love a physical hard day of work. I feel most satisfied when I have spent all my physical and creative energy and I fall into bed begging for a good nights sleep. My studio practice has always been physical. Working with metal is heavy, dirty work - just like I like it. I cant wait to stop all this moving and get back to my heavy metal work! Rock on.  

Energy Check

To open the channels of flow you should align your creative work with your body/minds energy clock. Track your high energy times during the day. Mine are early in the day between 9am-2pm. I wake up between 6-7 and slowly welcome the day then I’m off. I always try and schedule my studio time during my high energy time when my mind is sharp and my body up to the challenge. I also know that I do my best creative work in 1 1/2 to 2 hour blocks -then I need a break - sometimes I go for a walk or just get outside for 15min. After the break I go back to creating for another 1 1/2 - 2 hour block. Spend a week really analyzing your high and low energy times and creative times. Use those high times to do your creative work and your low times to do those other tasks like marketing, social media, show entries, laundry etc. Match your  energy level with your desired work flow.


Spring is such a high energy time for Mother Nature. It is earths creative time.  Take a moment to explore those places you pass everyday. Today I took a walk in the woods behind my house and focused on the signs of spring and the changes that winter made on the landscape. It was fascinating when I allowed myself to treat my backyard like some great adventure. So I challenge you to travel a familiar path this week and rediscover the wonder of the everyday. This world is forever changing bring new adventure and discoveries to old places.


I want to hear about your travel on a familiar path - signs of spring - changes and discoveries. Also, when is your Energy Time - are you super charged in the morning, like me? Are you a night owl creating your best work under the moon? 

Thanks for letting me into your world
visit me at pattiebyron.com

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Back to our regular programming - I’m in Cincinnati moving my studio.

Back to our regular programming - I’m in Cincinnati moving my studio. 

I’m excited about the new space because it is much larger than my last studio at Pendleton Art Center. Here is a peek at the progress. The larger  space will allow me the opportunity to show my work, share my favorite artists with you and offer workshops, life drawing, mini retreats, open studios, and talks through out the year. If you are interested in getting on the list for these events sign up for my newsletter on my website. http://pattiebyron.com.
My daughter and fellow creative, Andie Luman and I are adding a fresh design to the floor, making the space uniquely mine.

Let’s talk space. It does not matter how big your “studio” is. Everything I suggest here will work just as well for a temporary or mobile “studio” as it will for a designated space. So it does not matter if you have a kitchen table/studio - laundry/studio - studio in a box -  studio in plein air or loft studio. To help you reach flow organize your space. 
Love your space aesthetically - make it uniquely yours, we are all wired different. Some of us love to be surrounded by our inspiration and love the piles and stacks of raw materials we create with to be in our eyes reach. Others like a “clean slate” that allows the imagination room to work. I fall some where in between. You can Pin up photos, and “treasures” that call your creative spirit. If your a mobile or temporary studio, tuck those special items in your box or easel so they are there when you go to find flow. 
Own your space - Let people know this is where you create/show/escape and make them respect it. Treat it like the sacred place it is - this is where creation happens. - own it and expect others to treat it with respect. Again if your mobile or temporary let them know once the easel is out or the table is covered the space is now yours and respect is expected. Give your self set hours, it really makes you accountable, and tell people “I will be in my studio or working in my studio from such and such time to such and such time.” 
plan your zones - Think about how you work and set up your space to be efficient and inspirational. I like to have a lot of natural light so all my working areas face toward the windows. This keeps me happy and working longer. I also set my space up so I am not taking extra steps for repeated actions and so I am not running across the space with dripping paint. Really take time and visualize a working space that works! It takes a little trial and error to find the most efficient set up so be open to moving things around for the task at hand. My space is very flexible so I can work in the space one day and then make it into a gallery space the next. Look for more organization tips in up coming posts.


On the Final Friday and the Saturday after the Final Friday all the artists in The Pendleton Art Center open up their studios to share their work. Meeting the artists and seeing their studios is such a fun night out. It is a great time to purchase art. Final Fridays are from 6-10pm. There is valet parking and most artists set out snacks and such to greet their guests. Most people start on the top floor but I would suggest starting in the middle (like on the 4th floor- where I am) because it will be less crowded. Making it through all 8 floors and the annex buildings is quite an undertaking so if your from the area come often and plan on hitting 3 or 4 floors of studios during each visit. If your from out of town I would make your way up from the 4th floor until your too tired then ride the elevator down. Art in Action happens on Second Look Saturdays (the Saturday after Final Friday) from 11am to 3 pm. Art in Action is a free monthly event at The Pendleton Art Center. Artists offer lectures, live demos and FREE interactive classes. Of course you can chat with the artists and purchase work too. 
Final Friday dates - 6/28, 7/26, 8/30
Art in Action Second Look Saturdays - 6/29, 7/27,8/31


ok let’s see your “studio” send me a photo and I will post it - I never tire of peeking into other creatives studios. I would love to hear your tips on keeping organized too. I want to invite everyone to my new studio and please let me know what types of workshops, retreats & talks you want to see me have in the space. 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

We interrupt this program to bring you Salida, Colorado

We interrupt this program to bring you... I know I said I would update you about my new inspirational creative space at Pendleton Art Center, Studio 411 in downtown Cincinnati, but  I also told you I wander. So first I have to travel to my other home and home state, Colorado. I’m headed there for The Colorado Creative Industries Summit! 

As an artist I spend a lot of time alone so I make it a point to attend summits, conferences, retreats and such in my field. Not only do I grow as an artist and creative business person I also get to meet up with my peers and laugh, learn, collaborate and celebrate creativity with them. The travel is not bad either. Any time I can expand my network and my mind I do it! Colorado Creative Industries is a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade. It is so great to have a state that recognizes the energy and potential of their creatives. They strive to identify and implement creative activities that will advance Colorado economically, enhance education and improve quality of life through the arts. Yea Colorado!!!!! 
The Colorado Creative Industries Summit is being held in Salida, Co this year. The Summit brings together over 300 creatives from Colorado to connect for development and networking. I personally will be rebuilding my presence as a Native Colorado Artist and thinking of how and who I can collaborate with during 2014. 

Be an artist that is active and involved - amazing things happen when creatives come together. There is room for everyone so if your afraid your competition will find out all your secrets you have not yet learned the benefits of being in the artist tribe. When we give we get. Be active in your local and national art communities. You can do it online if you can not travel. Here are some resources. 
Google “art councils” or “arts organizations” or “artist guilds” in your area. Look for creative MeetUps and Facebook Groups

Artists get involved in your local/national groups, Meetup groups online and creative Facebook Groups.

Salida, Colorado is a Rocky Mountain town in the Upper Arkansas River Valley. If you want a REAL Colorado Mountain town experience - come to Salida. This mountain  paradise is about 2hours and 45 minutes from Denver and the Arkansas River runs right through the town! Salida is located in the inspiring Rocky Mountains and is designated as a Colorado Creative District by Colorado Creative Industries making it a hip and creative destination for  Art lovers and Outdoor Enthusiasts.

 My Summit is being held in a converted steam power plant -the oldest part of the building dates to 1887 (old for Colorado buildings). Now it houses, a theatre, art galleries, sculpture garden and an event center. One my favorite things to do in Salida is to discover the shops, eateries and galleries and spend time talking to the friendly, locals. I spent a lovely lunch at Amicas, it is a bar/eatery with Italian tavern food like wood fired pizza and a really great turkey panini with a fresh side salad. I bellied up to the bar and spoke with a local glass  artist, Sarah, who told me to get to Walmart, buy a swimsuit and hit one of the many hot springs in the area. I found out about Amicas because the folks over at Spirit Mountain Antler & Log, a furniture and home, store suggested it . Spirit Mountain has a cool name and they make inlaid wood furniture -amazing works of art. The people here were open and we had a real and warm conversation that I appreciated - I’m sure they appreciated the $$$ I spent! (my husband did not) 

Salida is an idyllic mountain town. It's main street is lined with Colorado red brick victorian buildings that I love love love. If you come -  be inspired by all you see. You will want to take pictures of the architecture, nature and the authentic characters you run across in this true Rocky Mountain town. 

If you have come to Salida to PLAY, you will not be disappointed. You can zip-line at at Captain Zip-line Aerial Adventure Park. Climb a Colorado 14er - there are more than  a dozen 14,000 foot tall mountain peaks in the area. You can explore ghost towns and mining camps, Whitewater Raft or kayak on some of the most respected waters in the world. The Arkansas River is also great for fishing. Monarch Ski Area is 18 miles West of Salida and local Snowmobile and ATV Rentals make having fun easy! There really is so many outdoor things to do, it is endless. 

Share with us what organizations or events you attend and how you do or plan to connect with your fellow creatives. Share any conferences, retreats or talks you have attended online or in person. If you know of a special place in Salida, Colorado share with us!
Thanks for letting me into your world
visit me at pattiebyron.com

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Every now and again when it comes to my artist life I wander off course...

Every now and again when it comes to my artist life I wander off course (ok maybe “I wander off course often”) and need to look at a map to find myself again. I am at that point right now - looking over my metaphorical map of where I have been as an artist, where I want to go and where I actually am. Right now I seem to be in a swamp, but fear not, I am finding my way back to my path. You see I veered off my course when I put too much of myself in a project that was spending all my money and sucking my creative well dry. All my energy and resources were being used to keep the project alive. The big problem was - it was not my dream - I was settling for something I really didn’t want - I was good at it - just not passionate about it. Now that I have pointed my self back to my true north I am making sure I have all the supplies I need to continue my journey and keep my compass pointed North. The supplies I’m referring to are things like an inspiring creative space, a website, goals, an artistic direction I am passionate about, a way to keep in touch with people who care about what the hell I’m doing, etc. 

The first order of business is my inspirational creative space. I live in Colorado and Ohio - bouncing back and forth. In both states I live outside of major cities, Denver, Colorado and Cincinnati, Ohio. This is a little ironic because I love the city - big cities. For me, I know I thrive creatively when I am in a city so I have a studio space in Cincinnati, Ohio in a historic area called Over-the-Rihne. 

Historically, Over-the Rhine was the port-of-entry for immigrants, most of them German, in the 1830’s and 40’s. The Miami and Erie Canal separated the area from Cincinnati’s downtown area, in order to reach downtown people had to cross the canal bridges and they likened this to the bridges of the Rhine river in Germany, thus “Over-the Rhine”. 

Now OTR is in the midst of a creative, entrepreneurial revitalization. The historic neighborhood is full of preserved Italianate architecture that makes you sigh. Many of the store fronts are being opened up by creatives making it a hub for innovation. You can find Made in Ohio gifts, clothes and food.  Some of my favorite places in OTR are Coffee Emporium, a great place to hang out, get some pastries, joe and even lunch. I also shop at MiCA 12/V - they support local makers! If you ever get a chance Taste of Belgium Bistro is a must for their Waffle and Chicken.  My favorite Cincinnati art store, Suder’s Art Store is also in this eclectic neighborhood. It is small but somehow it has everything you need.   

What do you need to have your inspirational creative space? My city studio gives me an escape from my out of the city living arrangements. A vibrant city location is one thing I know I need for an easy path to flow. I currently have a smallish space but will moving in May to my new, larger, more creative space. It is a short move from the 5th floor to the 4th floor of The Pendleton Art Center. I will call studio 411 my new creative home.

 I hope you visit my blog over the next several weeks and see how I set up my dream inspirational creative space. I would love for you to share your inspiring creative spaces with me!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Flight or Fight

©2012 flight, pattie byron

My passion is creating Art that empowers communities and individuals. I use form, image, interactive elements and community outreach to inform and inspire with my Art. The new series is Flight or Fight.  Fight or Flight is the bodies neurological response to stress. My Artwork explores how the flight and fight response can be empowering and protective. Using animal and natural metaphors of flight (butterflies, birds, cocoons etc.) and fight (beetles, crustaceans, claws etc.), I create Art that reflects issues about self preservation, transformation, inspiration, life cycles and life choices. Along with the physical work, I infuse triggers and prompts in the work to invite viewers to engage and interact with the art works. For example, the Public Art piece, “Let your Dreams Fly”, will be reminiscent of a cocoon, a haven where one gather thoughts and be inspired. It will be constructed out of powder coated steel to withstand the elements. Hanging from the cocoon’s interior canopy will be several butterflies. The bars of metal creating the cocoon will be inscribed with “dreams” collected during before the construction. When inside the viewer will see flying butterflies that burst through the top of the cocoon sending an image of hope and inspiration. Prior to the fabrication of the piece, a public workshop will invite the community to share “dreams” that will be inscribed on the interior and help color the butterflies used in the piece.