Post Art Festival #1

 

Well, I've survived my first art festival and I'm spending the morning reflecting on what I've learned. It was fun, but definitely more work than fun. I had a lot of people admiring my work,  collected a lot of emails for my mailing list, and handing out TONS of business cards and postcards I had printed up. But I found the people who liked my work the best, were most often painters themselves. And really just wanted to chat with me about my process. Don't get me wrong, connecting with other artists is high on my list of things that are important to me. But maybe discussing my marketing strategy or framing process in the middle of my booth might not be the best idea. I'll try not to get caught up in that as much. I am still hoping a few will connect with me again now that the show is over. Who knows. 

I found that swiping on my little Paypal Now device is hard. And doesn't always work. I'm going to try Square next time and see if I have better luck. 

I found that my Graphic Display System was pretty convenient to transport and set up, but almost impossible to keep your paintings hanging straight. And sometimes VERY difficult to get your paintings off the damn thing during a sale. Maybe I'll price some hanging systems. Not sure how expensive they are. It would also be better to have more wall space and get rid of a table. 

I need to actually sew something that works as table covers instead of using the draping methods I used. I also need to have a small shelf included in my display to put bags and bubble wrap so I'm not scrambling so much for those. I need another sign or two explaining what I am actually selling since so many people walked by mumbling "look at the photos". 

They put me under a tree which was great because I had shade all day, and I could keep one of my side panels open for more exposure. Unfortunately, the tree had a serious case of aphids. And everything, including me, was covered in them by the end. ugh!

I got some great photos of dogs and kids, and a few people that might be interested in dog paintings. So I'll start on that later this week. Today is just about clean up, recovery and reflecting. 



12 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing the good, the bad and the ugly about your experience. My husband keeps suggesting that I give art fairs a try, but I know I would not do well. I have no patience! I hope that you will get more sales from those that took your cards and the aphids didn't find their way to your house!

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    1. Hi Linda,
      Thanks for commenting.

      I kind of know I am not going to do well with these either. I just don't really know how else to learn what I need to learn, and see in person what people like. I met a lot of wonderful people. And then one really nasty one, who of course sticks in my brain. It's too soon to know what connections I've made. Hopefully I get at least one. It really makes me appreciate my online experiences so much more!

      I saw on FB that you met Susan Carlin! That's so great. I love her too!

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  2. Thanks for sharing Cathy. It would seem that outdoor venues have some of the same "hazards" as plein aire painters face. I am having my first fine art show this week-end. Hoping I will have the patience to endure what-ever comes my way.

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    1. Hi Karla,
      Good for you, your first art show also! I hope you have a great experience. It was a lot of fun talking to most of the people. So I'm sure you will enjoy that also. Where is your show going to be?

      Wishing you good weather, good sales, and no aphids!

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  3. Cathy, congratulations on surviving your first outdoor art fair! I hope it was successful, with lots of sales. I'm impressed with your thorough report. Thank you for taking the time to share all your thoughts. (I also prefer Square). It sounds like you had good weather also.

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    1. Thanks Linda! Yes, weather was very good. The crowds were big because it was the first nice weekend in ages. Lots of families came out.

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  4. I'm not so sure square will fix everything. I had troubles w/ square and was going to try paypal next! I guess we'll find that out (hopefully) in a couple weeks.

    I think you did great this weekend. You were very good at chatting w/ people. I was impressed.

    In my experiences I'm finding it fascinating to discover who is drawn to our work. Men seemed to be drawn to your paintings...but I wonder if it is the same on the internet. And it seems like there should be a way to use this information but I have no idea how.

    oh and at least the aphids were so small that it was only us that knew about them. Imagine if they were giant ants...then no one would have come in the booth!!

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    1. True!
      I had already forgotten that it was men that came in my booth first. Good point. I need to remember that.

      Thanks!

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  5. Thank you for this post, Cathy. We can benefit from your experience and recommendations. Aphids...ewwwww!

    Sorry to hear your PayPal Now device was unreliable, but I was also happy to hear you had occasion to try it out!

    As you said, you don't know where your connections will lead, but hopefully all your effort will lead to some enchanting surprises down the road....

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    1. yeah, the aphids were pretty gross. I'm still cleaning them off stuff.

      Thanks Meredith!

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    2. I do have a few leads trickling in from the show! So things are looking up there!

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  6. Cathy, thanks for an excellent report on y9ur first art show. Congrats on the show by the way. It can be really tough talking to people. This year I had a lot of my 30 in 30 paintings so I could talk about that and I had my paint my photo paintings so that made it easier also.

    My stones and slate roof shingles were a great conversation piece for me.

    I had a rather unflattering visitor the first 5 minutes of my first art show three years ago. I can still see her.

    I also use square and have had no problems with it.

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