Dec 2023: It’s been a great year!

great year

2023 has been a great year for my art practice and professional growth. When the year began I made a list of intentions of how I would roughly like the year to unfold (this is my version of a business plan!) and a lot of what I imagined materialised.

 

I was feeling a little lost last January as I wasn’t long back to work after my maternity break. Focusing on what I wanted to happen rather than on what wasn’t happening and taking a few risks have taught me a lot. Sometimes it is best to go blindly into potential opportunities before self-doubt or concerns arise. So that’s what I did and this is what happened.

Art fairs

In January I applied for The Other Art Fair’s March edition at the Truman Brewery. The outlay costs were high and I was nervous about making the money back. I was also unsure about selling my work on a stand. I’m not a salesperson and didn’t know how to approach this. However, I figured there was no one better than me to chat with about my work plus I knew from open studio events at my studio how much people enjoy meeting the artists and hearing them speaking directly about their work.  

great year
On my stand at The Other Art Fair

Before the art fair, I tried not to put too much pressure on covering my costs. Instead, I focused on really enjoying the experience. I sold most of the paintings and prints I had brought with me to the fair and had to restock from my studio on the final day!

I learned so much from that first art fair everything from setting up my stand to building good face-to-face relationships which was wonderful as I meet so many people online these days.

I also learned it can be a good practice (if the contexts are right) to spend money to make money. It’s a bit of a gamble to spend money on a stand when you’re not sure of the outcome. In hindsight even if I hadn’t done well financially what I gained in terms of the connections I made and the post-fair sales were very valuable.

I later applied for their June edition at Kings Cross in north London and again for their October edition at the Truman Brewery. I was accepted for both and each fair has helped me take substantial professional strides.

I hope to apply to other art fairs possibly outside of London. I would very much like to do an art fair in New York City or Los Angeles but as a mom it’s just not feasible- for now!

Exhibitions

This year my painting ‘Rock Roulette’ was selected for the Royal Cambrian Academy of Arts annual exhibition in Wales. This painting is one of my favourites from my Rock Landscapes series of paintings and was sold during the year to a lovely art collector I met at The Other Art Fair.

I was very pleased to have it hang at such a prestigious exhibition and to add the Royal Cambrian Academy of Arts to my CV along with the Royal Ulster Academy of Arts which I have previously exhibited with. Now I have to try and add The Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition to my CV!  

great year
Rock Roulette, 80x80cm

I was also selected for exhibitions in Dublin at Trinity College and Gormley’s Gallery. I’m originally from Ireland and it’s important to me to show work there regularly. My work was also added to private international collections adding my work to parts of the world where it hasn’t yet been exhibited which was quite exciting.

 

 

 

 

Aisling Drennan is an award-winning abstract artist with a London, UK-based art studio.

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