Monday, August 19, 2013

Post Art Fair Thoughts

I consider my first art fair a success even though from every perspective, I was in a weak location.
Technically I shouldn't say 'first' fair because I have done one before - back in the mid-nineties.  Does that even count?  It was eons ago.  Back then I painted furniture, but this time I signed on as a full-fledged fine artist.

Between the weeks of preparation and the actual event, I was bleary-eyed by the time it was over.  We arrived on Saturday morning at 9:15 AM driving separate cars bursting with props and artwork.  It took 2.5 hours to set up, and by the time we were done people were already starting to arrive even though the fair itself wasn’t scheduled to begin for another hour or so.  At 9:15 PM, exactly twelve hours later we were heading back home.

My main concern going into this fair was the question of how my booth would look.  I wanted it to be welcoming and bright.  I think I pulled that off pretty well and was ultimately happy with the way my tent looked.  It does take a lot of time to put up the grid walls but they are incredibly versatile and it’s so easy to hang nearly anything I want from them.   I used cute thrift store baskets to hold business cards as well as my note cards, and bought grid hooks to hold the different varieties of art magnets I had for sale.  Here’s the final set-up, complete with a pair of heavy-weight grommited window curtains that I found from Target for $1.86 EACH.  I couldn’t believe it, either.

I learned a lot from this first experience, and I have plenty to say about it.  And I did with the survey I received in my inbox this morning.  First and foremost I feel it is important to both the consumer and the vendor to be grouped together accordingly instead of at random.  I had several people tell me that they looked for me and couldn't find me among the endless booths.  The streets were filled vendors that sold everything from bonsai trees to fine jewelry to makers of clothing out of alpaca fiber.  I was sandwiched between a non-profit booth and a woman who makes wind chimes from wine bottles.

There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to where vendors were located which made it difficult for, say, a customer searching for a handmade crochet item, to locate a corresponding vendor.  The same holds true for those searching for fine art. I hope next year this problem is solved.  I suggested that since this event is becoming so large it might be a good idea to have vendors grouped in villages which would make things much more organized.  If only I were running the

I intend on doing more fairs in the future.  There is one coming up this weekend but my husband is on -call for work and at this stage of the game there is no way I could pull it off by myself.  Not yet, anyway. However, now that I know what to expect and how things work, the pressure is off and I won't be so concerned about the next one, which is a very good thing. 

1 comment:

Munchberry said...

Wait. Wine bottle chimes are not awesome?