From professional watercolorists, hobbyists, urban sketchers and students of all ages, watercolor is a fun, inspiring medium that pushes people to relinquish control and embrace spontaneity. Though we are a bit biased, we can’t think of anything more satisfying than watching a vibrant color spread across a formerly pristine piece of watercolor paper. World Watercolor Month is an opportunity to promote all things watercolor, provide educational information, explore techniques and inspire your customers to create every day.
This month-long celebration of watercolor was founded by Charlie O’Shields in 2016, the creator of Doodlewash, a blog that features artists worldwide who sketch and paint with watercolor. Similarly to Inktober, the “rules” of World Watercolor Month are simple: create 31 paintings with watercolors in 31 days using provided prompts for inspiration and post the images online with the hashtag #WorldWatercolorMonth. While an inclusive invitation for people new to the medium, this month-long challenge is also a great opportunity for working artists, creatives and hobbyists to push themselves and strengthen their practice!
Start Preparing For July Now
- Signage – Let people know how to participate and print out (or, better yet, hand letter with watercolor brush pens!) the prompts for 2019, which are posted on Doodlewash. Make sure to display a few watercolor paintings in your watercolor section!
- Inspirational Examples – Have a staff member take an hour (watercolor is quick!) to create examples of how watercolor interacts with various mediums, resist and household staples like salt, cling film and alcohol.
- Social – See if any staff members are interested in participating; if so, choose which products you’d like to promote so they can start playing. Plan to post their creations to social media regularly throughout the month with the hashtag #WorldWatercolorMonth. Print out a Post of the Week, or Pin of the week in store for shoppers to see inspiration in real time
- Charitable Cause – World Watercolor Month is also a benefit for The Dreaming Zebra Foundation, an organization that donates watercolor supplies to support underprivileged young artists worldwide. Consider tying the charity aspect into a promotion, get signage going and send out an email to your customers in mid-June.
- Cute Kits – Put together an enticing bundle at the cash register with a travel watercolor kit, a small pad of watercolor paper and a few of your staff’s favorite travel brushes.
- Events – Host a make-and-take in-store – even if you don’t have space for it, hack a roomy aisle like Ben Franklin did for Tie Dye Day.
- Education – If you offer classes make sure to incorporate watercolor in July! While some people might want to perfect their watercolor techniques or express specific ideas, others will be lured in by play and experimentation.
- Collaborate – Connect with watercolorists in your community and consider a pop-up sale of their artwork throughout the month. Look into how you might collaborate with an Urban Sketching group if your community has one, or offer discounts or even an exclusive after-hours shopping sale for educators who are starting to prepare for fall BTS.
Art Dog publishes relevant, timely content related to the Customer Engagement Calendar: be on the lookout this month for posts related to social media for Social Media Day (June 30th) as well as content relevant to World Watercolor Month, including an upcoming Artist Spotlight and Ruff Draft Demo.