Art Fair Insiders

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

I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this....

After my last three shows, I had a thought and wondered if anyone else has noticed a trend and how you feel about it.

I have a mix of pieces: the ones that take a long time and have a higher level of technique and mixed media, and other pieces that go together faster (keeping the same quality of workmanship) and I know will sell faster than the higher end pieces.  At shows I usually have a good mix of both, knowing I will need to make more of the fast sellers and the higher end pieces will take just the right person to come along to purchase them.    
This made me wonder if anyone else does the same at shows.  With the economy being what it is, it seems to makes sense to continue making the pieces that sell while the interest is there, along with working on a few higher end pieces at the same time.   
Another reason for asking, this was the comment from another artist who is involved with judging, "I really like this one (a higher end piece) you need to keep pushing yourself in that direction."  I do love working on the more involved ones, but I know I also need to make the pieces that sell to the average fair goer. 

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Well, you need to sell, don't you? Did that artist/judge buy the piece? I'm a painter, I have to make the same decisions. Something I try to do is take the things I learn from doing the bigger pieces and incorporate those in the small stuff. I try to make it all work together. But, the pieces that pay the bills come first, always. Occasionally the big, more conceptual stuff sells, usually in streaks; and I get to make more.

I have one big, expensive piece in my booth.  I put it one the back wall where it can be seen from the aisle but customers have to come in to see it closely.  Since I hung that piece my sales have increased but not for that piece.  I have gotten a lot of advice over the years but I always have to apply my own experience to that advice.  I also apply more weight to advice I have asked for (ie. something is not working) than I do to unsolicited advice.   If it is working for you keep doing it.

What age demographic is buying your work?  Are younger people buying the less expensive for the most part and older buying the more expensive?  It might be a matter of them liking your work and buying what they can afford.  They may move up to better pieces as their incomes go up.

Keep working on what feeds your soul and also work on what feeds your stomach!  Win Win.

I agree the money pieces come first, but we always try and have a "special" piece to go gaga over,

The short answer is to replace what sells allowing time to create a few better "show" pieces that show growth within your medium.

Larry Berman


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