I had the good fortune to have brunch with the lovely Miss Knapp this morning. As is often the case after spending time with creative people, this has me on a bit of a high and feeling very creative / inspired / wanting to be productive.

So that’s the mood I was in when I hopped in my car and started heading back down to Maryland.

All of that is backstory to explain where I got the idea to create a Knappucino’s for Illustrators.

So here’s some thoughts I’m working through to see if this would be a worthwhile venture:

  1. Would it be worth it for me? What’s my objective here? I mean, the arts are generally not a side hack you want to start if you’re looking to get paid. You either go all in, or you go home. There just isn’t room for ‘half way’. But maybe money isn’t the point. It’s certainly not what triggered the idea. The idea was feedback from the audience to the artists. Much like the original Knappucino’s wasn’t so local unknowns could get paid, but rather that they could try things out with an attentive audience who cared about such things. It’s a different starting point than most gallery showings I’ve come across.
  2. Do artists want feedback? I know that I want feedback, but maybe I’m an oddball? Maybe it’s more of an illustrator thing. Since we tend to be more mercenary about our work than fine artists, the audience opinion matters more. Or at least, their feedback should. 
  3. Do I want to invest this kind of time and effort? I know that Jill put a lot into the original. Perhaps much of this was emotional effort (I don’t want to presume to speak for her) but I have a pretty simple live right now. Chop wood, carry water. Repeat. More possessions and more activities create more stress. This is something I have to pay attention to.
  4. Would I want to do this as a ‘pop up’ concept? A long time ago, I came up with an idea (I wasn’t the first) to do pop up galleries utilizing unused strip mall space. Getting folks to come through would potentially lead to business for the mall property owners, and it would provide me with free (too much to hope for?) space for the shows. This seems like an obvious extension to that idea. Would that just be making things overly complicated though?
  5. How would it work? Simple is obviously the name of the game. At least to start with. So here’s my rough idea:

5a. I would try to control the flow of the audience through the space. Nothing super rigid, but creating a ‘direction of travel’ will help with some of the other elements we’ll find below.

5b. No artist’s statement. Start with the art.

5c. At the end of each artist’s section, there are printed forms for the audience to fill out. The forms are crazy simple: 3 questions to direct the flow of the feedback (see also: the Start with This episode dealing with Feedback - https://beta.prx.org/stories/273387) AND a space for people to write in their email address if they want to join the artist’s email list.

5d. Rinse, repeat for each artist in the show. (Initial shows would be kept to something like 3 or 4 at most - because KISS.)

Anywho - that’s what my brain is chewing on right now. Oh, that and the charity illustration I’m doing. Speaking of which - I should really get back to that now.

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