Art Fair Insiders

Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

My family has finally gotten me to try art fairs. I haven't attempted a fair yet, but I'm working up the nerve. They think I have the talent and now they have me convinced, too. Is 55 too old to start?

 

I have always loved the process of doing watercolors. I enjoy how I feel on the inside when I do a good piece, but I fear the comments of strangers-you know the what ifs...  I like creating art, but the business of selling art is a very scary thing.

 

I don't mean to rattle on and on... I just wanted to introduce myself to the Art Fair Insiders community.

 

Hi everyone! I'm Sue.

Views: 265

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

You sound like me a few years ago. Friends and family kept telling me I should be selling my photography, but I didn't think I was that good. Finally a friend called me up and said her neighbor was getting a few artist friends together for a small show and needed another person. I printed up a few more pictures and note cards, and they sold. I didn't do another show until the same one a year later, but I've been showing regularly since then.

I doubt you'll find anyone at a show saying anything bad about your work. Most people are really nice. Even if I don't sell a lot, I enjoy just getting out with the other artists and sharing my work with everyone. I don't look at it as selling my work to earn money. I look at it as sharing my work. Just go out and enjoy the show and you'll do fine. ---and 55 is not too old to start.
I started at 48 and I thought I would be the minority among a lot of young artists. I discovered that I'm among the majority instead. It seems that most of us are, ahem, mature. This may not happen to you. I'm a little shy and my first few art shows were terrifying. I stood stiff as a board and had no idea what to say and everything that came out of my mouth seemed stupid to me. The best advice I got was be yourself. If you haven't already, DON'T read any of the how to sell stuff out there. There is a lot of good stuff out there but wait until you are comfortable and then you can make MINOR modifications to your selling technique.

As for bad comments, I do get them occasionally but they are far outweighed by the compliments. And sometimes the bad comments are a good thing because they prompt me to change something for the better.

The most important thing is HAVE FUN.
I'm 61 and started three years ago..........DO IT.......you will either end up loving it or hating it........lol

I have met some of the most wonderful people and artists doing shows in my area and always look forward to the next one.
Thanks for the encouragement. I'll keep you updated on my progress. It looks like I need to get a few things like, canopy, tables, signage, etc. I'm feeling excited!

Dave Hinde said:
You sound like me a few years ago. Friends and family kept telling me I should be selling my photography, but I didn't think I was that good. Finally a friend called me up and said her neighbor was getting a few artist friends together for a small show and needed another person. I printed up a few more pictures and note cards, and they sold. I didn't do another show until the same one a year later, but I've been showing regularly since then.

I doubt you'll find anyone at a show saying anything bad about your work. Most people are really nice. Even if I don't sell a lot, I enjoy just getting out with the other artists and sharing my work with everyone. I don't look at it as selling my work to earn money. I look at it as sharing my work. Just go out and enjoy the show and you'll do fine. ---and 55 is not too old to start.
Alison, Thanks for filling me in on the art world. I went to a show today just to see it through clearer eyes. I'm sorry to say that I didn't see many people walking around with pieces they bought. Or maybe they bought small things. But, boy, was I surprised to see a Chinese woman selling ceramic tables from where else - China. I'm still going to give art a whirl.

Alison Thomas said:
I started at 48 and I thought I would be the minority among a lot of young artists. I discovered that I'm among the majority instead. It seems that most of us are, ahem, mature. This may not happen to you. I'm a little shy and my first few art shows were terrifying. I stood stiff as a board and had no idea what to say and everything that came out of my mouth seemed stupid to me. The best advice I got was be yourself. If you haven't already, DON'T read any of the how to sell stuff out there. There is a lot of good stuff out there but wait until you are comfortable and then you can make MINOR modifications to your selling technique.

As for bad comments, I do get them occasionally but they are far outweighed by the compliments. And sometimes the bad comments are a good thing because they prompt me to change something for the better.

The most important thing is HAVE FUN.
You make me feel so good about giving it a try. I went to a show today and could tell who was into it and who wasn't. It was the first year for this show the turn out was very good. I had a problem finding a parking spot. I didn't see to many people with things in their hands...

Lindsay Pless said:
I'm 61 and started three years ago..........DO IT.......you will either end up loving it or hating it........lol

I have met some of the most wonderful people and artists doing shows in my area and always look forward to the next one.
Amy, I'm not a working artist though I'd like to be. I'm going to give it a shot. Now I have to get all the things that an artist needs. Hope it isn't too expensive. Sue

Amy Flynn said:
Hi Sue. I, too, came late to the art fair world, though I 've been a working artist almost all my life. And yes, I was petrified doing my first show last year at the age of 49. But everyone was so nice, even though I'm sure it was obvious that I was a rank beginner who had only once before set up the tent! But the other replies are right--almost all of the art show patrons I've encountered have been very gracious and complimentary. And the ones that weren't? Just remember that the people incapable of creating anything are usually the ones who will try to tear you down. Feel sorry for them.
Hi Sue! I am just getting into art shows as well. You can always message me and we can share thoughts and ideas about beginning this wonderful journey! --Marissa
Hi Sue!
Welcome!
I think we were all in your shoes at one time! My name is Karole, I do handcrafted jewelry, and I live in Maine. I am in my second year now, and loving it! I still am learning, but that's the process of life! I still get a little nervous before a show, but you know what- as soon as the first person comes into the booth, and I greet them, it fades away. This site is filled with wonderful, helpful, insightful individuals. They are all very knowledgeable, and are happy to share their tips, experience and even the occasional joke. If you have any questions, ask them! ( I am still asking questions, and probably will for a long time!) Do you have any photos of your art? I would love to see some!
At my first show I sat in the back of my booth. :-) 6 years later, I have so much fun. I really had to push myself out of any shyness that I had. I can say that is certainly gone now. Most people at these events are there to have a good time. Have fun with them. Part of making sales is from the customer liking you. Great art can sell itself, but those extra sales come from a connection between you and the buyer. Watch other artist interactions to see how they do it and find a method that suits you.

It was great that you went to check out a show before hand. Booth display is so critical and one of the tougher things to figure out. It should not be too difficult if you only have 2-D art, though. You can get used fixtures locally by doing a search on something like dexonline. I also recommend having a tool kit to bring to shows. You need scissors, tape, safety pins, sunscreen, lip balm, insect repellant, hammer (if staking down), hand sanitizer or wet naps, and other things specific to how you display. Check out these forums for more. It might seem overwhelming, but good organization will be your best friend.

I wish you the best of luck.

Amy Schulz
Happy Magpie LLC
custom engraved art & gifts
Don't forget to bring a cooler with water and food! Sometimes the food sold at these events can be pretty pricey.
Awww Sue you will do just fine! We all remember having the jitters for the first show. Its never to late to start. Just make sure you are well prepared. Maybe have a helper the first time with setting up canopy and helping you with hanging art. It can be stressful, but you can do it. Make a list of what you will need for the art & sales and for the set up. That kind of helps having it in front of you to review. You can check off as you get ready. I still make lists years later. lol

Good Luck !

RSS

Fiber artists -- use this resource to find new buyers:  Advertise with Sweaterbabe.com. Reach over 60,000 fiber arts lovers.

Our 50 Best Art Fairs


Look Inside the our latest Art Fair Survey:
Who Won and Why

Join the MasterMinds Group for personalized coaching on your Internet Lifestyle Business! 


Video Website Reviews

60 Page Report - Best US Art Fairs

Click Here to
Learn More

Photos

  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2021   Created by Connie Mettler.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service