Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
I'm a newish artist/photographer (this is my second season showing.) I had some success last summer, and am diving in this season with a full calendar of shows.
My display is improving. I have a grid system with a black backdrop, and I've just been able to invest in one print bin. Last year I had some tables as well, but based on what I see in the more professional-looking displays, I should have most of my work hanging up or in bins only. However, until I can afford another bin, I am thinking I need to use table top bins of some sort. I'd love suggestions on how to do that best.
I'm also trying to narrow down my offerings and decide what to print. I've narrowed down to my best-selling (so far) subjects (bridges, beaches, and some floral and butterflies) and I've printed what I consider my top 25 or so. I've got 5x7's, 8x10's and 11x14's matted and bagged, and I have two sizes of larger canvases (20x30 and 24x36) and one small size that I do in groupings of four (they're 8x8). (I hand-mount prints to the canvas and seal them. It's a bit different and seems to be unusual enough to attract some positive attention.) In most professional displays, it seems just a few large pieces are displayed, with accompanying prints. How do I know when I'm overdoing it?
So... how many prints, of how many images? Is 25 too many? I don't want to overwhelm but I want to offer options. I'm getting decision-making fatigue. And I don't want my potential customers to experience that!
Any advice is very much appreciated!
One small size and one large size so they don't compete.
I was hoping you'd reply, Larry. :)
I have seen you say that elsewhere. I understand that I shouldn't have too many sizes of the same image. What I'm asking is about the number of different images.
I just read your very helpful comments about inventory. I have already made the mistake of printing cards. LOL! So often I hear that it's necessary to offer less expensive items. But what I'm hearing is I need to value my work and price it accordingly. Good advice!
If I'm offering the larger canvases, should I simply offer 8x10 prints? Or perhaps 5x7 and 11x14?
I can't tell you how many images because they all should be proven good sellers. It's better to keep a book of 8x10 prints behind the booth to show people then to waste printing images that won't sell.
Thanks, Larry. Since I'm so new, I'm not sure what those will be yet, so I've printed a variety of those that I consider possibilities. I've definitely printed duplicates of those that were good sellers last season. I guess that for some of this process, there is no substitute for experience.
Again, would 5x7 and 11x14 be a good choice?
I would move up one size. 8x10 matted 11x14 and 16x20 matted (I did) 22x28. You'll find that the same people that buy 5x7's will buy 8x10's and you'll make more $$.
Do you offer quantity pricing? (Like, 5x7's for $15 each or three for $40?)
You mean quantity pricing on 8x10's matted 11x14. Before I stopped doing shows I was selling them for 45, 2 for 75, 3 for 100.
If they like the image and don't want to spend a lot, there's a good chance they'll go for the smallest (cheapest) size the image is available.
Thanks again, Larry. You've been super helpful!
Print a bunch, see what sells, print more of those, ditch the ones that aren't selling.
I've never had a problem with having "too many" different prints and I've had a lot more than 25. People will sit there and thumb through them all.
I find with too many in the print bins, they tend to start going through them one at a time. Then they grab a couple at a time. then a bunch at a flip. Therefore not seeing a lot of the work.
Deciding what sells is most problematic. Subject matter that does not sell at certain venues, does well at others.
I've done shows at the beach where my Midwest mountain type works sold.
Finding what pieces sell is very different for each show. Dependent upon, demographics, geographics, time of year, socioeconomics, your abilities and presentation.