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5. Art Fair Follow Up

Updated: Dec 20, 2022


PAST:


In June 2022, I challenged myself to find ways to “get my art out in public” beyond online photos. In July, I had one piece in The Octagon’s Member Show and, in August, I was selected as one of The Octagon’s “emerging artists” for their tent at their art festival in late September. My last blog post captured some of the preparation for the festival. An estimated 10,000 walk through each year so I knew that I’d want my work to “show well.” The prep paid off.


MY CURRENT QUESTION: Can I convert art fair invitations into actual dates that continue to “get my art out in public”?




Early in the morning of festival day, I turned up sick. Al offered to haul my stuff to Ames, set it up, and do his best to “represent” me. (Wowsa, buddy! Waaaay beyond spouse duties! Thank you & OK!) I took a big dose of Tylenol, waved him on his way, and slept. Al not only got things set up, he even made the first sale! By noon, I felt well enough to join him.


It was a beautiful day out and, fortunately, our booth was busy enough with a steady stream of visitors that I didn’t have a lot of time to feel awkward, looking at strangers as they looked at my stuff (which is what I was dreading). We had some friends/family turn up too as welcome support and fun distraction.


Since it was my first art fair, I wasn’t sure HOW MANY pieces might sell but I thought I had an idea of WHICH pieces might sell. I was wrong & wrong again. I ended up selling 8 pieces and none of them would have been my guesses. Lesson learned! Perhaps as important, I made connections with people who not only liked my art but had ideas for where it might go next. An upcoming new art show, a library, a gallery… umm, yes please. And possibly a gal who would build me a website that would showcase my art? Wowsa! How cool would that be?


So, like in tennis, the ball is in my court and I have to make the return. They shouldn’t be hard shots, but I need to keep them in-bounds. For me, the tricky thing with tennis was always the footwork & getting tangled in my own feet, sometimes ending up flat on my behind! OK, wait. Not a good flashback, so let’s drop that analogy. Simply put: post art fair, I have to make the right formal steps to turn invitations into actual dates on the calendar. Whew. That sounds better. (And no band-aids or ice packs needed.)


FUTURE


So what’s next? I’m looking forward to returning my focus to creating, but… running parallel to that…


My art was invited to hang locally in The Frame Shop for the month of October. I would never have guessed how gratifying it would be to see so many pieces together, against white walls and in nice lighting. I’m such a newbie, learning as I go. In fact, while at the shop, I learned a bit more about properly prepping my work to hang. As Maya Angelou would say, “When you know better, you do better.” Yes, Maya, yes I will. (And no fancy footwork needed.)




Thank you to Megan Shipley and her small business, The Frame Shop, for showcasing my art!


October 4, 2022

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