FAQ for Tour Artists

How can I help make the Arlington Visual Arts Studio Tour successful?
  • Add arlstudiotour@gmail.com to your contact list and check junk mail regularly to make sure you receive information.
  • Recruit Arlington artists you know to participate.
  • Send furnished Save-the-Date digital postcard (coming in August) to your contacts and patrons.
  • Share the event on Facebook (coming in September) and post pictures on our Facebook page.
  • Tag pictures of your work and studio, #arlstudiotour, and follow arlingtonartstudiotour on Instagram.
  • Practice your presentation to ensure smoothness in content and technology.
  • Visit each others’ studios via videos and Facebook Live events.

Eligibility and Registration

When is the deadline for registration?
Registration forms must be completed online by 7/1. Participation is capped at 60 artists, so register early to ensure inclusion.  You will be notified between 7/2 and 7/8 if you are on the wait list.

I live in Arlington, but my studio is elsewhere. Can I participate?
No, studios outside Arlington cannot be included, but you may present from your Arlington home if it contains a space where you typically make art. 

I live elsewhere but my studio is in Arlington. Can I participate?
Absolutely!

My studio in Arlington is closed due to the pandemic. Can I participate?
Yes, even if you live in a different city, you may still participate.  Please do your best to create a studio-like atmosphere.

May I use a business as my “studio” location?
Not unless your studio is normally located within that business. Email us if you aren’t sure.

I work in a team with another artist. Do we have to register separately?
You must register separately unless the majority of works you are presenting are made collaboratively and can be discussed effectively in a single video.

Is there a registration fee?
Registration is free this year! Donations and volunteers are welcome.

I don’t have my own website.  Can I still register?
All artists are required to have some type of web presence, but it need not be a typical artist’s website.  An Instagram or Facebook page featuring your work, a page on a gallery or artist organization site, an Etsy shop, etc, all qualify.  The page or site should feature enough images to provide visitors a sense of your body of work (not just one image). 

What if I need to cancel?
We ask that you cancel as soon as you are aware of a conflict.  Cancellations after 8/15 are discouraged. Cancellations of Facebook Live participation after 9/1 may result in gaps in the schedule and are highly discouraged. Email arlstudiotour@gmail.com immediately if you need to withdraw.

Video

How can I create a compelling video?
Read the Content and Approach section in the Creating an Effective Video Visit guide.

Do I need a Facebook account to select a Facebook Live event?
You will need a Facebook account in order to be provided the role of “Facebook Live Contributor” on the AVAST Facebook page.  You will be streaming from the AVAST account, so the content of your own Facebook account will not be visible.

Can I demonstrate my process as part of the video?
You will be constrained by time, so if you would like to perform a demonstration, make sure it is extremely brief.

Will kids be allowed to view?
Assume that there are minors in the audience and avoid cursing.  If your work might be considered inappropriate for young audiences, we may include a warning.

Why is the Facebook Live option 15 minutes and the pre-recorded video option only 5-7 minutes?
Pre-recorded videos should be rehearsed and concise.  A typical viewer might have trouble staying engaged for more than 7 minutes, especially if we want them to watch several videos. Facebook Live is meant to be more extemporaneous and interactive, and therefore takes more time to convey roughly the same content.  Furthermore, file size is not an issue for Facebook Live.  

My video is just a little over 7 minutes long.  Is that okay?
Videos over 7 minutes long will not be accepted.  Plan a presentation that takes 5 – 6 minutes, so if you go over it will not be a problem.

Can I go over 15 minutes for my Facebook Live event?
Plan to stream for only 15 minutes.  You may stream for up to 20 minutes if you (1) have technical difficulties at the start and need the extra time to present 15 minutes of content or (2) need additional time to answer audience questions.  You may not go over 20 minutes from your official start time, as you might infringe on the next artist’s time slot.

What are the specifications for my pre-recorded video?

  1. Mp4 format
  2. Horizontal orientation
  3. 1280 x 720 (720p) recommended resolution, 854 x 480 (480p) minimum, 1920 x 1080 (1080p) maximum
  4. 1 gigabyte maximum file size
  5. Finished video uploaded to emailed Dropbox location by August 15

Can/must I edit my pre-recorded video?
If you are skilled at video editing and have the time, you are welcome to use those skills. If not, a single shot is fine.

How do I create a professional look and sound?
Read the Production Suggestions section in the Creating an Effective Video Visit guide.

What do I need to do for my Facebook Live test run?

  1. Watch out for an email from an AVAST team member about scheduling your test run.  This email will include an explanation of how to livestream.
  2. Accept the “Facebook Live Contributor Role” (or similar role) when it is sent to you.
  3. Read and follow the tips in the Creating an Effective Video Visit guide.
  4. Set up your studio and recording equipment exactly as you plan to have it for the tour.
  5. The test will take 10 – 30 minutes, based on whether there are technical issues to resolve.

Promotion

How can I let people know about the tour?
We expect all Tour artists to help us get out the word; here are some ways you can do it:

  • Send our digital postcard (coming later) to your mailing list.
  • Include a link to www.arlingtonartstudiotour.org on your website.
  • Invite your friends to the Facebook event and post it on your own page.
  • Follow AVAST on Facebook and Instagram.
  • Create an event posting on Nextdoor.com.

How will the public find my video?

  • The AVAST website will include a page listing all YouTube links, as well as a schedule for the Facebook Live event.
  • The AVAST website will include an artist page for each participant.  That page will either link to your video on YouTube or include your time-slot for Facebook Live and a link to the AVAST Facebook page.
  • The Tour will be promoted through online calendars, paid advertising (if funds are available), traditional media, and social media.

How can I optimize my viewership?

  • Submit an eye-catching image of your work with your registration.
  • Proofread your information on the website by 9/15.
  • Follow the tips in our Creating an Effective Video Visit guide.
  • Invite your contacts to watch.

Sales

Am I required to have work for sale? 
No, whether and how you sell your work is up to you.

Does ARLINGTON VISUAL ART STUDIO TOUR take a commission on sales? 
No, artists keep all sales revenue.

How can I promote sales?

  • Give viewers a way to follow up. Send them to your website or invite them to your studio when safe to do so.
  • If you are selling your art online, include a wide range of price points (e.g. under $50, under $200, and under $1000).
  • Donate a portion of sales to your favorite charity, and advertise the donation at the event and through the recipient organization.
  • Make it convenient for people to buy by accepting multiple forms of payment and providing prices up front.
  • Consider providing free shipping or local delivery if you can.
  • Consider accepting commissions.
  • Request that viewers follow you on social media and/or sign up for your mailing list.

Must I price my work?
Most artists find it helpful to have prices listed. Some prefer to leave prices negotiable.

Am I required to take credit cards?
No, you can choose to accept any payment you like, but we recommend offering visitors as many options as possible.

Am I required to collect sales tax?
Virginia law requires collection and payment of sales tax on any retail sale in the state. Collection and payment of sales tax is the responsibility of the artist.

How do I collect and pay sales tax?
If you have not done so already, register your business in Virginia: https://www.tax.virginia.gov/register-business-virginia
Add 6% tax to all sales and keep good records. The following month, complete your sales tax return: https://www.tax.virginia.gov/sales-and-use-tax

Will ARLINGTON VISUAL ART STUDIO TOUR collect sales tax for me?
No, but we may ask you about your sales to help us with future events.