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Kate Duncan

Welcome to this month’s Artist to Artist post! In these posts you will hear firsthand hints and tips on a range of topics from our professional member artists. Today we will be hearing from Vancouver furniture designer & maker Kate Duncan on the topic of press for artists.

Kate crafts robust furniture, her meticulous craftsmanship and striking design set her work apart. She also curates and produces Address the home and design show that’s part gallery, part-pop-up shop and part showroom. Some of the places Kate has received press in have included Breakfast Television, Western Living, BC Living and more. Today Kate answered some of our questions on why press is important for her, why it is worth putting her time and energy into and also some handy tips for people just starting out!

Why do you think press is important for an artist?

That’s a tough question… I don’t know if press is important for all artists. I think it’s a really personal thing and for some artists it will be important and for others, not so much. I’ve found that publicity is a great way to let people know who you are and what you’re doing. I find it hard to communicate with the public about what I’m working on but publicity really gets the word out there. For me, in that way, press is really important. It’s a great way for an artist to connect with the public in a really meaningful way.

With such a busy schedule how do you best use your time and energy when seeking press?

A lot of the publicity I get isn’t something I’ve gone seeking. Often I don’t even know a story is being run… I’ll get a phone call from my mom telling me she saw something somewhere! But when I’ve got something big coming up I’ll write a press release and send it out via email. I try not to be too pushy. Everyone is so busy these days that it’s important to be respectful of that. If someone is interested in the story they might contact me for more information or sometimes they’ll just run the story. There’s really no method to it.

What is the best thing to have come from the press you have received?

Clients with a clear understanding about who I am and what I do. It’s really amazing when someone calls or emails me out of the blue and it’s like they already know me! They already respect and understand what I do and how I do it.

How do you build and maintain relationships with the press?  

Many many thank yous! Press and public attention really is such an honor and I’m always so thankful for it.

Any thoughts or advice you’d like to offer someone who is just starting out?

Don’t focus on press. Be an artist and a maker and focus on creating amazing, lasting, beautiful things… Also, always be prepared for press with professional high-resolution photography. Set it up in a Dropbox folder so you can share it quickly with just a few clicks. Often journalists work on a really tight timelines so efficiency always helps and is appreciated.