Been There, Done That

Thank you everyone for your patience and support during this busy time. As I mentioned last month, I’m still organizing my Kickstarter that will allow me to display my work to many new audiences on the west coast.

With this new festival circuit on the horizon, I thought I’d share some insight with you regarding art fairs. Firstly, if you’re planning to have a vendor it’s important to contact the promoters of the fair and inquire about the types of resources, such as press releases or flyers, that you may use. Next, and I believe this piece of advice is useful for artists of any medium – know your audience. What demographic will you be reaching at a given event? How old are they? Are they locals or tourists? Research the area – is it urban or suburban? Personally, my work seems to reach a rather young and edgy crowd, but I am often surprised at the different places in which my work does well. Coastal locals seem to like colorful portraits whereas city fairs gravitate toward a more modern, minimalist style.  Once you have determined your market, tailor your work. That doesn’t mean alter your style, it simply means modify your pieces to suit the proper audience. For example, if you’re attending a fair at a beach, add color matte. If you find yourself in an upper-class area, spend some extra time on your framing.

When planning for a fair it is of course crucial for you to examine your finances and plan accordingly. What will it cost to get there? What is the application fee? What is the break-even cost or at what point will I be making a profit? And finally, budget your time wisely. If the festival circuit has taught me anything it is that they days slip away far too quickly. You may think you have plenty of time to prepare for another fair in four days, but realistically, it isn’t always enough. Preparing for an art festival means ordering more prints, buying more frames, packing up and shipping artwork, sometimes making new pieces entirely, and there are still orders to complete outside of the fair. Pace yourself.
 
It is far from easy, but I always find the most difficult days of preparation and organization yield the best experiences. Over the past few weeks I’ve visited Virginia and showed my work in Connecticut and New York. Even with prioritization, it’s difficult to stick by a set schedule. But that’s the life I chose for myself. As an artist, there’s no typical 9-5 work day. No weekends off or vacation days. No stability. I sometimes have to question whether I’d be better off following a more traditional route. But when I visit the fairs and see what other artists are sharing, I’m completely inspired and I remember how wonderful my job is.
Charcoal - 2013

“Monarch” – 2013 (Charcoal)

Once again, be on the lookout for my Kickstarter! Make sure to “Like” my Facebook page to keep up with the latest news and special promotions going on. Some of you may have already seen the $20 deal for a print of “Monarch” posted on my page last week.

Until next time!

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