Even though I have had this space before, I never put it together the same way twice. It takes awhile and many false starts before it starts to look and feel right. It’s like putting a puzzle together. Get a few key pieces in place and the rest sort of follows organically.
Besides the Sacramento Arts Festival, there were also a couple of craft fairs and other events happening this weekend. I received a few phone calls and emails from students asking for a little advice as they got ready to set up and sell their photographs for the first time. I also met a couple of artists at this show who were just starting their “art festival adventure” and spent some time answering their questions as well.That’s where I got the idea for this blog post. So what are the 5 things I recommend to every artist just starting out?#1 – Remember to have fun! It’s close to impossible to sell your art if you are sitting there looking bored or worse - angry that no one is coming into your booth. If you look like you are having a good time, people will feel better about stepping in to get a closer look. Trust me – this can be difficult at slow shows and takes some practice, but do this and you significantly increase your chances of having a financially successful show. I don't suggest having fun just so you can make money. Use this time to make new friends and enjoy yourself. You are not going anywhere, so you might as well make the best of it!#2 - Be sure to get as many email and snail mail addresses as you can from people showing interest in your work. Close to 75% of my sales this weekend were from people who had received my postcards and/or the email I sent out last week.#3 – Don’t try to put every piece you have ever created in your booth. Try not to overwhelm your audience and be sure to only show your best work.#4 – Be a good art festival neighbor. Don’t look at your neighbors as competition; instead be courteous and respectful of their art and their booth. We are all in this together and the community of artists is a huge part of why I do art festivals. I could write a whole blog post about this (and I probably will).#5 – Be patient. Success does not usually happen right away. It takes awhile to build up your lists and figure out the best booth layout for your type of work. Also, try not to spend money you don’t have buying brand new panels, tables etc. (I am guilty of this and most of you know where that got me.) Go slow, be creative and most important – go back to #1 – have fun!