KATHERINE HISAKO KODAMA
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Open Studios - Tips and Suggestions

Beginning October 13 and the next 4 consecutive weekends, artists will be opening up their homes, studios, garages to the public. You can see where the artists work, talk to them about their process, eat and drink free stuff, and hopefully, walk away with a gorgeous piece of art.
I thought I would mention a few things to think about before you begin your art journey:

1. Study the ArtSpan Guide, available free in locations around SF. Or visit the OS Guide website for the virtual guide. You get an idea of what's out there and can perhaps make other plans. For example, think about checking out the artists of the Outer Sunset and visiting Outerlands or Thanh Long for lunch or dinner. Add Trouble Coffee to that list.
2. Ask questions of the artist - they are happy to engage with you.
3. If you like something but aren't sure, walk away and think about it. If you can't get the piece out of your mind, then buy it. The risk if you wait is that someone else might buy it before you. But then again, see #5 below.
4. Do not hesitate to contact the artist after their official open studios is over. Many will still have the work up afterwards and/or will be very happy to arrange a time for you to revisit.
5. Most artists love commissions! If there is a size that will work better for you for example, see if the artist is willing to do the work. Prices are often dictated by size.
6. Do not be surprised if the artist pays sales tax. We are running a business after all.
7. Going to some of the larger art venues may seem like an efficient way of seeing a lot of art, it can be overwhelming to the point of becoming visually numb. Study the ArtSpan Guide and pick out the ones that interest you first and then go visit those studios. If you have energy after you have completed seeing your list of artists, then have a wander.
8. It is fun to visit the artists in your neighborhood. It also builds community by knowing your neighbors.
9. Most larger art buildings allow dogs. Francisco Studios (that's my location) does!
10. If you are visiting your artist friend, be sensitive that they have to talk to prospective buyers. Do not monopolize their time if there are people visiting. Better yet, try engaging the visitors by talking up your friend's work!
11. If you've never bought art before, take your time. Look at a lot of art before deciding on that one special first piece. You will develop your sense of taste the more you look at art. You may want to focus on a particular medium like photography or a theme like portraits. I always appreciate a thoughtfully curated grouping of art pieces in a home but know that it takes time to hone that sense. If you need art now, hire a professional curator!

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