Art fairs and art festivals are effective for displaying and selling art to people who do not normally visit art galleries. Artworks are displayed in a more casual setting under a canopy.
You will have an opportunity to interact with people, answer questions, and represent your art in a positive manner.
It is often easy to find local art fairs and festivals to participate in. Look for them in newspapers or community channels. If planning on showcasing at an art fair, apply right away and begin preparations. Read the requirements and rules for the art fair so you will know what to expect.
Preparing a Booth for Art Fairs and Festivals
Here are some things to consider when preparing for an art festival/ fair.
- Art to Display
Make sure there are plenty of artworks of varying sizes to display and sell at the art fair. Consider creating more than is needed, and bring the extras along with you. When an art sale is made, replace it with another.
Consider having a collection of similar styled artworks and frames, instead of an eclectic mix. People will be more inclined to see you as an artist with a distinct style.
- Indoor or Outdoor Art Sale?
Is the festival indoors or outdoors? This can make a major difference to how you prepare for the event. For outdoor art fairs, a tent or canopy is the standard - for protection from rain and wind, and shading from the sun.
- Hanging Paintings
There are many ways of displaying paintings at art festivals, but some work better than others. Think about presentation and accessibility when arranging the display booth.
Paintings look much better attached to a wall than lying on a table. Many artists use folding room dividers with hooks or lattices to attach artworks.
Have the paintings mostly hung at eye level, and keep the best ones out front where visitors may easily see them.
- A Table With Folding Legs
There should be plenty of space on the table for placing items. Keep the booth display organized and neat. Have a neutral coloured cloth covering the table. Leave a clear space in front of you for accepting art sales and wrapping. Also, allow plenty of room for visitors to go behind the table, to get a close-up view.
- Art Fair Guestbook
Include a guestbook for visitors, and have headings for name, place, and email address. Attach another heading at the end asking “Add to Mailing List?”
Those who grant permission may be added to your art fair mailing list, and be notified of future art fairs, festivals, and shows.
- Create a Sign
Either get one printed or make your own. Create a sign that is attention grabbing and attractive. Show off your artistic expertise here.
- Art Business Cards
Have lots of art business cards on hand. Some people may be interested in purchasing, but may not have cash on hand. Give them a business card including all your contact information, and an art website where they can see some of your art. Consider having flyers printed as well.
- Small Artworks
Consider creating some small low priced artworks. Create quite a few of these as they tend to sell quickly. Include a sticker on the back with your contact info plus artist website. Also, think about producing small sized prints. These may entice the art collector to purchase a larger print or original at a later time.
- Art Demonstration
Think about doing a demonstrational artwork while at your art festival booth. People love to watch others paint or draw, especially children. Also, consider having raffle tickets, or some way visitors can win one of your artworks near the end of the day. This may encourage most to return to see if they won the prize.
- Other Items
There are a lot of items to consider for an art fair. What you bring depends on the particular art festival. Create a list of things you will need and organize them in boxes.
Here are a few things to consider bringing:
Notebook, pens, calculator, price tags, price list, receipt book, bubble wrap, garbage bags, scissors, tape, utility knife, wrapping paper, paper towels, Ibuprofen (for head aches), Windex, water, snacks, spare cash, change of clothes, small first aid kit, etc.
Please refer to these articles for further advice:
How to Plan an Art Show
How to Sell Art
Art Pricing Tips
Have you taken part in art fairs or festivals? How was your experience? Do you have any further advice to add to this list?
I have been doing Art Fairs for 8 years.. This was very good articles for new comers..I ever thought about the guest book idea .. I have just been asking for there e mail addressand put them in a note book ...the Guest book give it a more polished look.ReplyDelete
thank you I alway take away a new pices of knowledge for your post.
We have another upcoming article in the works with more detailed art fair advice. This one will be particularly helpful!ReplyDelete
We wish you lots of success with your future art fairs.
I have been participating in art fairs for about fifteen years. The thing that I did not see you mention is that you could include a box for the paintings sold. Some people would not like to buy something that they might drop.ReplyDelete
Very good point!
Hi Graham ;) I used to display and sell my artwork and my semi-precious stone and metals jewelry at a local FARMERS Market!! The name can be deceiving as the majority of sellers were arts and crafts merchants. Your points about display, signage, demonstrations and guest book are right on the money. I kept a book with all contact information on all of my customers and usually highlighted repeat customers..some who continued to contact me long after I stopped selling at the market. The most beneficial aspect of selling at the market, for me anyway, was the opportunity to meet and get to know each and every shopper passing through...this was a memorable experience for me.ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing that!
Tent weights. Don't forget the tent weights!ReplyDelete
Promoting art at fairs is an excellent way to get exposure and attain interest. You get to interact with people and they become more familiar with your work. It is an opportunity to get your name out there and sell some of your work. Once it gets displayed, more people start asking about your art and it sets off a chain reaction.ReplyDelete
I am having my first arts & crafts fair tomorrow and I found the article very useful. I wouldn't have thought about a guest book so I better go and get one. Thank you :).ReplyDelete
I am doing my first outdoor show in Az this Feb. Does anyone know anyone living down there where I can rent their booth or walls to hang oil paintings on under the tent? I am traveling from MN. my email is firstname.lastname@example.orgReplyDelete
I am doing my first outdoor show in AZ in Feb. I am looking for a booth to rent down there or walls to rent under a tent to hang oil paintings on. I am traveling from MN. Please contact me at email@example.comReplyDelete
These are actually good tips for beginners who want to join art fairs especially the guest book. It is a good way to build up a mailing list.