Ceramics Monthly: How are pop-up shows in the Helsinki area organized, and what are the benefits of marketing your work in this way?
Sarita Koivukoski: I am a ceramic artist (MA degree) working in a collective artist studio in Helsinki, Finland. My main products are called “Ruutu” and “Trima,” two lines of unique but durable stoneware plates in a variety of colorful glazes, patterns, and sizes. I also make ceramic jewelry and sculpture. After 20 years working with ceramics, I still find it surprising and intriguing.
I live and work in the capital city region. There are only about five million Finns altogether and most live in this area. The small population means that almost all of the ceramic artists in the country know each other. We’ve worked together and figured out an easy way to market and sell our products: pop-up shows.
I find these events very useful for many reasons. The organizing group is small, and consists of the artists involved, and coordinating does not take too much extra time. A pop-up show is possible to set up almost anywhere: empty shops, business lobbies, galleries, showrooms, and artist studios are popular options. The overhead cost for the space, when it must be paid for by the artists, is usually not too expensive. These shows are a great and easy opportunity to invite and meet new audiences. The keyword for success in getting the word out about the event is marketing. After securing the venue, the artists contact and inform traditional media outlets, optimize the information on their own websites so that it comes up on most search engines, providing the information to events websites that target different audiences, and publicizing the event on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) is essential.
It is always a pleasure to meet the people who buy and use our products, and pop-up shows are one of the best chances we have here in Finland to meet them.