SUCCESS AT "THE BEACHES ART FEST"
Hopefully you read my blog where I suggested that you consider showing your art at art fairs. If you did, then you know that I spent the weekend of October 13th & 14th in Jacksonville Beach, FL showing my art at one such fair. Called "THE BEACHES ART FEST", the fair was very well organized and advertised, thus it was well attended! The weather was perfect on Saturday, sunny and breezy, Sunday was also sunny, but hotter. We all had our fans blowing to stay cool, but thankfully, visitors didn't let the heat deter them. This is unusual weather for mid October, usually it's cooler and often raining!
The show started at 10am, but people were already strolling through at 9:30. I particularly enjoyed the traffic as my previous show had been a little slow. Not this time! There were people constantly stopping to visit, so I spent a lot of time explaining how I created my work, and enjoyed showing people where to go to learn the basic pour technique.
I like to coordinate the colors in my tent. My main focus is on my Acrylic Poured paintings which are the colors of the ocean, an overall theme of turquoise and teal. I have a long table covered to the floor in teal satin topped in black to set off the blues of the paint. On the table sets a folding screen covered in black on which I hang some of my 8 x 8 paintings, and the 5 x 7 and smaller paintings sit on the table below the screen. Black stools sit at each end of the table and I always wear a teal or turquoise shirt to match the the theme. The larger paintings hang all around the wall. I also have a blue metal "Eiffel" tower out front on which I hang small paintings to catch the eye. I have a blue carpet as well, but I didn't use it this time since the show was on a paved street.
What makes for a great conversation starter is that as I sit on a stool people always say, "Hey, your shirt matches the paintings"! So I tell them I'm just trying to hide, and they always laugh. This relaxes them and they will start talking and enjoying themselves immediately! The end result is that by Sunday evening I had sold 22 original paintings!
So, if you decide to sell at an art fair, try to come up with something to "break the ice" and get a conversation going with your visitors. They appreciate it and you make sales! And don't forget, a BIG smile and happy "Hello!" are also in order!
Below are a few pictures of the show. It got too busy to take one with all the visitors, but I managed some before they arrived. Enjoy, and I appreciate your interest!
As you can see here, the "Eiffel" tower has not yet been set up. I turn it to a 45* angle at the corner on the left to hide the backs of the four paintings, yet people from either direction can see paintings at a glance as they walk along. On it I hang small paintings that are lower in price, but very striking in their frames. Small touches such as this can draw the customer's eye nicely!
The white sides of my tent serve to set off the blues of the paintings, so I try not to raise the sides unless absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, the heat was just too much late Sunday afternoon. I quickly noticed after that how the traffic stepping in slowed down. The paintings needed that white to set them off. So I will be getting more powerful battery operated fans, as most shows provide no electricity!
I picked up another idea from some of the vendors, I noticed their signs were smaller and hung out over the street on nice wrought iron supports like large plant holders. They were very tasteful, and very professional! I will definitely look into doing that too!
UPDATE: Since the Art Fest, I have sold six more paintings; people who purchased my art at the show contacted me asking for more! They are able to do this because I always place my card with contact information in the bags when they purchase. I also give them a postcard of one of my paintings and a larger card with my "artist statement" and photos on it. That way they have some information to share with friends and acquaintances. I have seen an increase in the number of people looking at my website since the Art Fest as well, so I know this method works! (yes, the website has tracking information about how many views I get including what country they are coming from, but not specific names of course)