What Not To Do At An Art Fair

I originally posted this over on my personal Facebook page (I try to stick to my “business” page but due to Facebook algorithms hardly anyone sees it) and thought “huh, this would actually make an excellent blog post!” So here we are. The following is what I wrote:

“I’m pleased with myself. I found an article detailing eight common mistakes people with art booths make (Note: this is an excellent article, very much worth reading) (the kind you see at craft shows, which is one of the things I’d like to do) and I had already pinpointed most of them on a recent “research” trip to a local arts & crafts show:

For goodness sake smile!
Have payment methods clearly displayed
Prices clearly displayed to the point of obnoxiousness
Have a sign, a pretty pretty sign
Display your wares to the best effect
Don’t hang around in the back looking morosely out at the world.
Have a statement piece (I was thinking glitz but we’ll go with this)

It surprised me that the vendors at the Arts Market we visited in Santa Fe (again, research) were so NOT adept at smiling or being friendly. One even asked for their mail-an-order sheet back (it wasn’t one of a kind, it was one of those flyer-looking things). We stopped by the two booths that had smiling, friendly people and bought something from each of them.

In contrast, a local show in Los Alamos had dozens of vendors, all happy, smiling and eagerly waiting to show off their wares for the shoppers. I started and finished my Christmas shopping there because every single seller seemed to want to show me exactly how they made their beautiful wares (not in a pushy way, only when I expressed interest) and they all had accepted payments and priced clearly defined.

So. I feel like I have a good starting platform.”

Now all I need is 1) more designs (I don’t really have enough yet to fully fill up a booth) and 2) a booth setup. I’m hoping this upcoming year I can work towards both goals, but we’re still waiting on the house to sell, I’ve got a coloring book I need to get published, and I kinda want to do more watercolor/drawing paintings that I can then submit to art shows.

So basically I want lots of things and will somehow have to make a prioritized list. I have to remind myself that this is Year 1. I didn’t know how to draw at all at the beginning of this year (that just blows my mind, in a figurative way). I’ve got time, and my primary investor (Himself!) doesn’t expect me to even “break even” until I’ve hit Year 5.

And if I’ve improved enough this year so that I feel the need to submit my designs to juried art shows (although I’m bracing myself for rejection, because I really had no idea what I was doing and there are better artists who submit to these shows), how much better will they be next year? and the next??

Anyway. I don’t know how to end this post, which proves I write like I talk, because I never know when to stop when I’m monologue-ing at people (sorry, everyone who knows me). So I’ll end like I usually do.

Art on!

One thought on “What Not To Do At An Art Fair

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