Art Fairs

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Art Fairs

A brief resume of my experience at a recent art fair

I have just recently returned from my first proper art fair. It was an eye opening experience, a three day event as part of Chester Food Festival. Set up was on Thursday afternoon with the event starting on Easter Saturday until 5pm Easter Monday. It was great that the set up was Thursday because then you could walk away and just turn up on the Saturday morning. I brought a couple of last minute pieces and it looked like others did too. Was the event successful? Well I sold an original and 2 cricket mugs on the first day which uplifted me so much. However, I sold nothing on day 2 or day 3. I did however, chat to lots of potential pet portrait commissioners and give out plenty of leaflets. My neighbours also had mixed success. A very talented oil painter next to me who painted the most wonderful life like tiger and big cat pieces sold nothing on day 1 or 3 but sold 4 paintings on Day 2, probably netting her over a thousand pounds. My other neighbour sold nothing on day 1 and day 2, felt very deflated but then sold a print and some cards on Day 3. The lack of success could be pointed to several factors, it was cold and despite being in a marquee with solid walls there was no heating. Customers continually pointed out how cold it was, so did not wish to linger. The event was well advertised for the Food Festival but the art was not well advertised, people who turned up wanted the food and the chefs demonstrations not the art. The weather was also a major factor, it rained heavily on Day 2 and Day 3, making it impossible on Day 3 for exhibitors or the public to park on the racecourse. I did however, network very nicely. I met some wonderful art people with a shared passion for their work. I discovered how to go about being an artist as a full time job and I now have a better idea of which art fairs to attend and which not to throughout the coming year. Would I do it again? Initially I thought not, but someone reassured me that they do take on board feedback and have improved it year after year - so maybe I will?
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