The first thing to do is put all your inventory away. That is always a large chore. As I live in a small condo space is always a concern. Watercolor being my prime medium storage is also a major undertaking. I will be doing another show in December so now is the time to reflect on what to do next.
Always remember NO show is unsuccessful! Even if you don't sell anything, you are getting out in the public, Seeing what people are buying, noticing what they look at in you tent. Taking your card, asking about your classes. Think positively. I always want to cover my expense of the show (the entry fee), if I do that I'm not in the red. If I'm not in the red I HAVE to consider my show a success... which it was.
Standards of success vary from artist to artist. But you must take all the elements into consideration of that success. Without profit, many artists, including myself consider it unsuccessful...... the "what did I do wrong syndrome"......After every show I think of all the things I didn't do or should have done to prepare....mostly thoughts like........No profits? WHY????? Is it my Art? Is it the Marketing of the show? Am I in the wrong space for exposure? Is my tent next to another artist selling wonderful work art a low, low price? Is it my presentation? my Art? my prices? Do I have bad breath? Did I dress incorrectly? Don't laugh, I think of all thee issues. It could be any or all of these things. So lets think about all of that and try to see where we can improve our shows, we need to think about our own art decisions.
First of all, research the show, has it been successful? For the sponsor? or the artists? A hint could be the entry fee. If the fee is small, you may want to decide in your mind why? Maybe they (being the hosting society) don't have a budget for advertising, maybe this is their first ever show? Maybe it is geared more for the crafty artist? Or the jewlry maker.....Fine art is a hard sell. Sometimes where the show is can give you a hint. Is it a affuent area? Are their new homes being built that will need art? Is ther adequate parking? The weather, too hot? too windy?? Think outside your own box. If you enter a show there are no guarantees the masses of buyers will attend. Always do some of your own advertising. This kind of information can help you decide how much art to bring and what kind.. Maybe this is a very casual show, you may only want to bring Matted original art and matted prints. And only one or two framed, matted original pieces.
Then there is your art.......Do you have one style? and one theme? ....or are you all over the planet with mediums, style and subject matter? I must admit I am all over the planet,
and because of that I have always brought a variety of my art.. Could that be the small sales? I am thinking that maybe so. Does the client get sensory overload?
I am re-thinking my strategy. Recently I have been showing my Lobster Trap Frames, with my fun fish art and fine fish art, but to make a profit these prices are way too high for any art fair. Therefore I am not going to bring them to any more shows. ONE decision made! When making this decision I have to make others. I decided that in my baskets of art I will put deviders in with an explination of what is behind them. For instance, I have one for Giclee prints, one for photographic prints, etc...and I will include the prices on the dividers. Each art has its own price on the back, because I think the tag on the front is tacky and takes away from the art. I want my art to at least be browsed through, so I want it easy for clients to feel they can look without buying....I really am thinking they may just find somethink they can't live without.
Another decision is that I will only take few Framed pieces, and use satnding easels. The downside of bringing many framed pieces, is that they get knocked about in transporting, and become unsellable, unless your slash the price, or change the frame at another expense. The sizing maybe important to make your presemtation more professional. Even if you have professional art if it is not matted and framed correctly it will look tacky. Not saying I, or anyone must have everything matted and framed, but more consistant in sizes, and presentation. Say all your small sizes are 5 x7 & 8x10 and the larger sizes are 11 x 14 & 16 x 20 and a large size of 18 x 24. Then you can showcase your frames art and then coordinate other art by size.
What I am saying is after every show review your set up, your art and take out what is not working and always be opened to new ideas. I think I need to get a small rug, to place in center of booth to make it look friendlier.
With all these reflections I must thank Gary for all his help. I have some new ideas for the next show, December 2 & 3 rd. Stay tuned as I will post my new presentation set up as I complete each segment
This medium of alcohol inls is my newest medium. I maybe a little obsessed.
OKAAAAYYYYYYY. very obsessed!