3 Lessons Learned from Selling at an Art Fair with Over 600 Other Artists

3 lessons learned from selling at an art fair with over 600 other artists title image

So this past weekend I participated in my first outdoor art fair. FEELIN' FANCY!

It was Art Goggle in Fort Worth, TX, and I did it with my great friend Amy Fillipp of SYG. It was really great experience and I learned a lot more about art fairs and myself than I expected (but more on that in a bit). 

First off...

I’m pumped because I got so much shit done in preparation!

I've been getting ready for a couple weeks to make sure I had enough prints and what not. This event kicked me into gear to get all of the things that I've been avoiding out of the way, like buying tables, a tent and other display items as well as random housekeeping and organizational tasks (you know, the boring stuff).

The great thing is that now all the heavy lifting is done so I'm all set for future events! 

The people attending the event and other artists were super cool! There were so many great conversations throughout the day. I also received a lot of fabulous feedback on my work and had many people interested in what I am doing and how it's done.

I'm typically faced with blank stares and several questions when I start to explain how my work is made, and Saturday was no exception... 

...I have found it very beneficial to have pictures available so I can visually walk people through the process of lithographyThe woodcuts are a little easier to explain, especially with a carved block handy as an example!

bubble blocks in basket

It was really wonderful being surrounded by hundreds of artists and thousands of fellow art lovers...

The evening was especially magical following the sunset. The air was cool and crisp and the bands could be heard from a distance, muffled by the voices of people conversing and bonding over their crafts. (The string lights in our tent definitely added an extra cozy feel to our space too.)

What a fabulous day it was!

I learned a few things while preparing for my first art fair...


1. How to get and stay organized throughout the packing and transporting process.

I cut cardboard for DAYS (you should have seen my apartment) to make sure all my prints could be transported to their new homes safely.

We had a bunch of stuff to tote from Denton to Fort Worth; Amy and I quickly realized that our combined cargos wouldn’t fit in one car so we had to split up.

We were very fortunate to be able to pull up to our booth spot and unload right there, but in the future I’m sure I will be using my Tetris skills to stack and roll all of my things on a dolly.

2. How I want to present myself and my work in a live setting.

I decided to continue my personal aesthetic through the displays and table presentation.

For right now this includes a clean, simplistic, minimalist vibe with a lot of black and a hint of color.

I up-cycled old cassette tape holders from my parents' house for small prints and I borrowed baskets from my grandmother (she took them right off her walls) to hold my tiny bubble blocks.

I’ll definitely be fine-tuning for future events, but I was very pleased with the outcome this week.

art goggle 2016 booth day full

3. The most important thing I took from this experience was the realization of a mental pattern I have been stuck in recently, one that I think most of us repeat unconsciously and often.

The night before Art Goggle when I was laying down for bed, I realized that I am doing the thing that I’ve always wanted to do. I am making art and going to fairs and sharing and selling on my own self-built website.

No, I’m not making a complete living off of it yet (that will come with time) but I AM DOING THE THING I’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO DO!

It has been really interesting watching myself wanting to change various things, always in an attempt to find peace and happiness.

This amazing experience has allowed me to see that all of the things I feel like I should be changing are in my head and not in reality.

I’m just making it all up: “this thing over here isn’t good enough”, and “this other thing needs to be fixed”. 

It is a mental pattern instead of a real truth because I have everything I've been wanting up to this point...

...I’m literally only making art and working on Hozro Printshop.

I've always considered myself an artistic person but I’m really noticing that the artist aspect of me is not my entire being, it's simply something I like to do, something I feel called to do, but it is not my identity; and neither are most other things that I attach myself too.

Today I feel free from an obsessive need to work on things because I'm realizing that it’s not going to make me happy.

I will always be waiting for peace, waiting for happiness if I do not already have it now, because those things are not on the other side of a print or an art fair or a sale.

Only I am going to make me happy, and I can only do that now, not after I complete the next thing.

This is a great realization for me, and I’m ready to pursue some great things for myself, maybe some things that I’ve been ignoring, but it all needs to come up together, not piece by piece.

I’m thinking of some future prints and daily challenges I may try out.

It should be awesome so stay tuned! 

SHOUTOUTS:

  • Amy Fillipp for being my booth buddy (also check out her website because her work is legit).
  • My fiancé Nicole for helping me with all the pre-weekend craziness.
  • My parents for the display case and somehow finding me amongst 600 artists to drop by and say hi.
  • Grammy for the baskets.
  • And EVERYONE who stopped by and chatted!

 Twas a fabulous time.

 


 

ATTENTION to those of you who have previously read and commented on this post! Thank you so much for communicating your ideas and thoughts with me! Unfortunately I had some issues with my comment section that I have since been able to fix, but all previous comments were lost. Going forward all is well and there should be no problems so comment away!