Posts Tagged ‘the artful life’

All Good Things Come From Art Fairs – Part I

October 28, 2008

Enjoy reading these musings courtesy of artist, Mona Majorowicz. Her blog is entitled: “Fur in the Paint, Art, Animals and the Creative Experience.” Be sure to read the entire post, as it is full of good analysis and information.

Okay, so after an entire summer of me talking about being rained out, stormed on and losing big $$$ at Omaha Summer Arts Festival, as well as saying repeatedly that the older I get the less I like all the hauling and toting, some of you may be thinking how can I say “all good things come from art fairs.” Well because in regards to my business, it’s true.

I want to be clear that I am not promoting doing art fairs as the best way to grow your art business, (though it is certainly a viable one.) In fact, in my recent post “In this Economy” I described why making a living doing the circuit is getting harder all the time.

“art fairs for me was a way to make some money without really having to know what I was doing.”

On the other hand, when I started out I knew nothing of promoting my art. I had worked in the art business at a museum and gallery. But running a major frame shop is completely different than becoming a successful artist. In fact my lack of knowledge is exactly why I chose the art fair path. My degree is in Veterinary Technology, and I have no training in the arts. Back then I had no solo gallery exhibits to my credit, no awards, no portfolio of quality work and no idea of how to talk with galleries.

Art fairs for me was a way to make some money without really having to know what I was doing. I mean if someone liked my work, they bought it. It can’t get much easier than that right? Of course the truth is you still need knowledge on how to sell your work, especially in these times of uncertainty. But doing art fairs allowed me to gain the knowledge I needed through experience.

” . . . doing art fairs allowed me to gain the knowledge I needed through experience.”

I started out in small events, made some sales, gained some confidence and moved to bigger events. That is still my path. I continue to keep challenging myself with bigger venues. The truth is, in large part it was participating in art fairs that gave me the confidence to deal with galleries and clients. Art fairs provided me with the opportunity to earn an income while in my spare time I learned the art business and more importantly continued to create better art.

So here is a brief overview of the ways in which my business has progressed because of my participation in art fairs over the years. I will go into more detail on these in tomorrows post.

  • Exhibition Opportunities
  • Awards
  • Columnist for Apples ‘N Oats magazine
  • Patrons, Collectors and Mailing Lists
  • New Markets and Wholesale Accounts
  • Thanks,  Mona, for sharing your point of view.

    Readers, I’d love to hear from you also about your art fair experiences.