Advice & Guidance

Planning for an event with Alison C. Board

13th May 2021 Estimated reading time: 4 mins

Welcome to the very first in a whole series of blogs, vlogs and live broadcasts that I will be sharing with you over the next twenty five days as part of a huge event that I am going to be taking part in – Dorset Art Weeks (DAW).
I thought you might like to peep behind the curtain of what goes on in the background of putting on an event like this from my personal perspective as an artist, educator and completely obsessive organiser?
Ordinarily, Dorset Art Weeks is an open studio event when we welcome the public into our spaces to share our latest collections of work or simply for them to see how we do what we do. I absolutely love it and I’ve taken part in DAW for the last twenty years but inevitably, last year was cancelled due to the pandemic. It seems trivial to talk about my disappointment when there were, and still are, greater concerns in the world so nothing made my year better when it seemed likely that it was going to go ahead in 2021.
So here we are, ten days away from opening and my studio is chaotic, full of paintings, prints, greetings cards and hastily scribbled notes strewn everywhere when I remember something that I haven’t addressed yet.

Even sharing this image makes me twitch as this is not the way I like to work, I prefer tidy surfaces and everything in order but an event of this size doesn’t work like that, it’s everything all at once, random thoughts, waking in the middle of the night to sleepily write something in eyeliner on the back of a tissue so you don’t forget it type of thing.
I can already hear you asking ‘Well why do it then?’ and the answer is simple and more important than any other aspect. I do it because it’s an amazing opportunity to meet the public, chat about my work and have a professional platform that has national significance to sell my latest pieces. Most of the time, artists have to go and seek out their opportunities to meet potential customers and what DAW does is deliver them straight to you PLUS they want to chat, want to find out more and, let’s face it, want to see what the studio and garden look like.
This year I made the decision to put the entire event online too as over the last year I’ve had people from across the world supporting me through virtual platforms and why should they miss out on being involved? That wasn’t a decision I took lightly as it has doubled my workload but I’m excited to connect with anyone that might be interested in what I do and now geography is no obstacle for taking part. So, during the next three weeks, I will share lots of insights into the various aspects of getting a show like this up and displayed including how to price your work, how to display it, how to increase your income streams and also I will share a few key pieces and the techniques or inspiration behind them.
If you would like to take a look at what’s in store, you can access the entire events listing here: and from 5pm on the 21st May you will be able to access the whole collection here:
I’m looking forward to chatting with you all more and I hope that there will be elements of my experience that will prove useful to you in the future, Ali


I already have several ‘Thank Yous’ to make as an event like this isn’t possible to achieve alone, a veritable army of helpers is always required. Thanks to Beez, Mum and Dad who have been at the studio for the last month helping with the garden, logistics and Beez has been picture framing into the wee small hours. I hope you all know how much I appreciate what you do for me.
I’m very fortunate to have two supporting partners for DAW. The first is Love from the Artist who produce all my greetings cards, digital prints and paper products (more on that on the 15th) so to Ian, Anne and Linda – a huge thank you to you all. I am also, as ever, so proud to be working with The SAA who have supported my career right from the start of me deciding that this was the thing I wanted to do. I cannot recommend them enough and if you would like to join, they have also kindly offered new members a wonderful joining gift that you can find out more about HERE and in the graphic below. A big shout out to the team who didn’t think I was crazy when I floated the idea of daily blogging…

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