A few thoughts from a part timer

I just wanted to share a few thoughts (totally my own) on things I've observed over the past 15-20 years of art fairs and other venues where I've exhibited. If it helps anyone, that's icing on the gluten-free cake.

In no particular order.

  • I was born to create!
  • The art market can be (is) fickle because "art" is in the eye of the beholder.
  • I create for me. But, if I want to sell, getting customer feedback and researching trends are essential.
  • People really are nice out there! Especially other artists. Thanks everyone.
  • I'm an average guy/artist with average sales - probably. Although I've never not made a decent profit at any show.
  • Art fair promoters/directors over hype their event.
  • My wife and I have set up and tear down down to a science. About 45 minutes. Our record is 30! #kaizen
    • Keep simplifying your processes. It will pay off in the long run.
  • Weather happens! Plan for it.
  • What goes around comes around. We always donate artwork during art fairs. It could be an official donation to the fair, or we always look for someone(s) who just need to be blessed with a piece of art. It always comes back around in sales.
  • Attitude rubs off on those around you - including your customers.
  • I get giddy with every sale. Someone really wants to buy my artwork!
  • Take pleasure knowing that someone finds value in you and your work and are willing to pay for it. You are not a sack of groceries! 
  • Enjoy it! Think about worse things you could be doing. 
  • Above all be grateful, be graceful.

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  • This sounds like I could have wrote it! ^^

  • Really great insight and easy to understand steps.  Great advice

  • Cheers my friend! I wish more artists had your attitude. Seems most of my shows I'm surrounded by extremely negative, snarky and ungrateful artists. Mindset is everything. You attract the same energy you give/emit... and that energy could be anything in life.

    Thanks again my friend!

  • and you get more body aches and pains and health problems than you did 20 years ago

  • Wow, some really great tips and insights....



  • Larry, you are the slowest I've ever seen in terms of setting up and taking down. It takes you longer to close your tent up at night, than it takes most people to take their whole tent down at the end of a show.

    • You are right Barry. I take much longer. Protecting Fine Art work takes longer than pushing aside a bunch of Clay jars  :-)  :-) ;-P

      I agree, my system needs alot of work. It displays very nicely. I just need better efficiency in accomplishing it. Also my terrible back impedes my efforts / speed.

      A lot has to do with the vehicle I transport in. I neeed to go the Sprinter / Transit / Promaster route.

  • Thanks for the post, Hal. Good thoughts and great attitude. I was shocked to hear someone can put up their operation in 30-45 minutes. I'm a newbie and my first attempt took 5 hours and the second 2.5! I'll be pretty happy when I'm getting this done in around an hour or so. When I saw Larry Sohn's reply I felt more normal! Hey Larry. . . here's back at cha' from someone in the same boat. I think I like the "be graceful" even better than the "be grateful." Seems like we have a long way to go in this culture in terms of civility. 

    • I'm not too sure but it seems that the culture has lost civility lately. We had more of it once from my experience.  It's certainly apparent on the internet.

    • Rick, next time we are both at the same show, if we are close enough to each other, let's help each other. We can both do your setup, then both do my booth.  Maybe each will be done in half the time. Here is an idea, how about all the artists share the setups with all the other artists. Community effort. Hmmm, working together, what an interesting and different concept.

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