We deal with a lot of first time showing artists and to save you all some anxiety and to save us some time and heart ache, I’ve compiled this guide to help everyone out. Honestly, even if you consider yourself a seasoned professional, you should check this guide out as a refresher or to make sure you’ve been doing it right all along (some of you haven’t!)
Do I even need a frame?
Great question! If your work is on paper or canvas board (or similar) you definitely need a frame to show with us! If you’re piece is on CANVAS, you can skip the frame so long as you’ve painted the edges of your canvas!
But frames are expensive aren’t they?
They definitely CAN be, but spending a lot on a frame isn’t necessary at all. Places like Goodwill and other thrift stores, garage sales, Texas Art Asylum, and even Michael’s is cheap when they’re on sale! Otherwise, plan ahead and grab em online!
My frame isn’t wired- should it be?
For our gallery, not necessarily. In fact, we often prefer if it isn’t! If your piece can be hung using ONE nail, then wiring is not necessary, If it has a sawtooth, hole in the back for a nail etc, we’re most likely good to go. If your frame has the two small triangles on the back, please wire those together for us! If your piece is on metal or another type of material in which you would prefer it not be framed- ask us first! Chances are we can use command strips (provided by you) to hang the piece!
DO make sure your frame is on correctly- meaning that your piece is fitting the correct way inside and it’s secure
DO leave us a note to tell us which way to hang the piece if it’s abstract or kind of ambiguous
DO make sure your artwork is centered within the frame. Use tape if necessary!
DO tape down the bookshelf stand if your frame comes with one. Otherwise it will hang on the wall all wonky or crooked
DO wire the piece 1/3 of the way down from the top. Any higher and the wire might show, any lower and it becomes unstable
DON’T submit work with a broken frame or broken glass. Check all the corners especially!
DON’T use hooks for your wire that stick out from the back. Use D-rings that lay flat instead
DON’T use oversized frames that show too much negative space. Unless that’s reeeeaaaalllly your style, find an appropriate sized frame for your work
DON’T turn your frame into a craft project. Spray painting or otherwise jazzing up your frame can be cool for sure, but don’t go overboard to the point where it detracts from your work
Note that 95% of all the questions we’re asked- seriously NINETY FIVE PERCENT, are already answered in the guidelines we sent you upon accepting you into the show. Please read over them carefully as they discuss everything from size restrictions, theme, drop off dates, pick up dates, how and when you’ll get paid and more! If what you want to know isn’t covered there or above, or in the below FAQ, shoot us an email (TheInsomniaGallery@gmail.com)
What is required of me on the day of the show? When do I come? What should I bring?
Fast answer is NOTHING and WHENEVER and NOTHING! Once we have your work, we do the rest! While we’d love for you to attend the show and have a great time, your presence at the show isn’t required. We do the hanging, the labeling and handle all sales!
Speaking of labels- do I need to provide labels for my art?
While it’s a great idea to label your pieces on the back, WE create the labels that actually go on the walls for the show. When you drop off your work, you will be asked to fill out a form and provide us with the titles and prices of your work and how you would like your name presented.
I don’t understand the consignment table deal. Can you explain it?
Sure! We typically set up two tables in the middle of our gallery space where we sell participating artists’ (yes you must be in the show unless we’ve made an exception for you) prints, stickers, zines, shirts, etc. This is a phenomenal way for you to make more money during shows! We handle these sales as well. We do ask that your merchandise is retail ready and priced for us! Remember, this is just a cool way to make more cash- it’s NOT your personal vending table. Be thoughtful and concise. Merchandise doesn’t have to fit the show’s theme, but it always sells best if it does!
What does retail ready mean?
It means that it should appear as it would in our store. Prints MUST be sleeved and ideally backed for protection. Items should all be priced, particularly if you have more than 10.
Something came up and I can no longer participate in the show? Do you hate me?
Not at all! Furthermore, it will in no way impact your ability to be in future shows either. We do ask that you please shoot us an email and let us know! That being said, If it becomes a trend, we will likely pass you by for future opportunities.
Your commission rate is 40% and that’s higher than my local coffee shop. WHY?!
Unlike many art galleries, we almost NEVER charge an up front hanging or participation fee. This means we ONLY make money on the back end IF your piece sells. This puts the burden and weight of promotion on OUR SHOULDERS, which is where we think it should be. Our gallery has a reputation for drawing large crowds and we get em primed with booze too! We also handle all hanging, paperwork, labeling, post-show processing etc. We have the largest, friendlies time windows for drop offs AND pick ups of any gallery we know. Furthermore- you control the price so you determine what you take home!
Speaking of price- how much should I price my work?
That’s an important question! While we’re happy to give our two cents based on sales history and our demographic, this is ultimately up to you. We usually won’t even say anything unless we think you’re way over or way under. A lot of our shows are fan art shows and we definitely encourage artists to price their work a bit cheaper for these kinds of themes. If you ask us when dropping off, we are happy to help with this decision as best we can. Note- once you’ve dropped off and filled out our paperwork, we will NOT change the prices up or down for you. It gets too confusing on our end.
Before bringing your work, please click the above button to download and print your drop off form. If you do not have easy access to a printer, we will have copies available for you. Please write neatly as this is the document we will use to create your show labels and reference for adding up your commission!!