Things I’ve Learned: Preparing for an Art Show / Craft Fair

At my table

I had so much fun at the craft fair today.  It was a success from all angles.  Having done a few art shows and craft fairs now, I can say I know at least a few tricks of the trade.  My husband Andres and I learned on our own what works for us and what doesn’t.  I’m sure there is still a lot I could glean as I do more and more, but in the meantime I thought I’d share what has made art shows smoother for us.

1.  Have support

Spouse, partner, friend, family.  Have someone to bounce creative process ideas around.  I’ve been stuck many times about colour choices and composition and it’s wonderful to have someone to talk it out with.

2.  Value your work but don’t be greedy

Don’t sell yourself short – how long does it take to make your pieces?  Are you pricing accordingly?  Be proud of what you are selling.

3.  Scissors, tape and string

You never know when you’ll need them!

4.  Have snacks along

In the excitement it is easy to forget to eat.  Have things to munch on so when you do feel hungry you can have something immediately.

5.  Bag it

Have a way to take your pieces home safely.  A gallery curator told me that wrapping paintings in saran wrap saves the corners.  Affordable and effective!

6.  Dress appropriately

You don’t know if your venue will be cold or hot, so my suggestion is to dress in layers so you can feel comfortable.

7.  Have an appropriate float ready

8.  Be friendly and respectful of other vendors

This might seem like common sense, but I often see people being rude or careless.  Create a warm atmosphere and take care to befriend other people.  They will be much more apt to help you if you help them. (A good example is if you need a coffee break or bathroom break and you are the only one manning your table … having someone watch your things while you are away is important!)

9.  Have fun

Regardless of how much you sell or don’t sell, enjoy the connections you are making with other artists.  This can come in handy at times you don’t expect.  Also, remember that you are getting exposure which is valuable marketing.

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One thought on “Things I’ve Learned: Preparing for an Art Show / Craft Fair

  1. Good for you. This is a great post, and I agree with all of it, especially about being friendly to both your customers and your cohorts. I made so many friends when I was in the craft show trade. We’d all participate in the same shows, and would keep each other posted on which were the good shows and which weren’t. Believe it or not, crafts shows were how my husband paid for grad school.

    Your paintings are beautiful! Patsye

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