What Next

As Craig wrote in his blog post this month, we had a nice response to our first art fair.  The question now is . . . what to do next?

As you probably know, there are thousands of art fairs and festivals that happen throughout the calendar year, but we’ve already ruled out several of them because we still don’t want to venture too far away from home just yet.  It’s costly enough to work an art fair without adding in travel or shipping costs.

But still, even after deciding to focus on fairs no more than 50 miles from home, there are quite a bit to choose from.  So we have to do some more research, figure out which ones would fit into our schedule, and then send out applications and cross our fingers that we’ll get accepted.

Another thing we’re going to start looking into is the wholesale market.  It seems to me that we both have several images (some not even on our site yet) that would be perfect for products you could find in stores (whether it’s prints at IKEA, jigsaw puzzles, or even pillowcases).  We just need to figure out how to break into that market.

We’ve been studying some articles on this very subject, and will be looking for seminars or conferences that we can attend that would give us some insights as well.  If you know of any, please feel free to mention them in the comments!

But first and foremost, the thing we need to get back into is editing the pictures we’ve already got.  There are a couple of trips from this year (and even last year) whose photos we’ve barely looked through, let alone edit and add to the website.  So that has to be priority number one.  Because–regardless of how many art fairs we work, or how many wholesalers we sign on with–none of it will last very long if we don’t continue to add images/products to our line and cull what might not work anymore.

So . . . sorry to cut this short, but I’ve got to go edit some images.  ;o)

 

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First Art Faire Wrap-Up

Well, we just had our first Art Fair experience at the Alameda Art and Wine Faire.

So, I’m sure you’re asking… “How’d you do?”
We were very pleased with our experience overall. The fair was down a main street in Alameda, CA, which is 5-6 blocks from where we live (the proximity was not a coincidence). There was still more work than we thought. And we were being very realistic in our expectations. We rented a van to take all our setup: tent, tables, bins; inventory of framed work; inventory of the prints; office and transaction supplies etc. The hard work came when we had to carry all that equipment and artwork from our office on the 2nd floor (no elevators) down to the van, go to the location, and then unpack the van and carry all that stuff into the tent location. After the show we did it all again in reverse after standing and working the show all weekend. We were POOPED!

Here is how our tent setup looked.
Alyx and Craig in Booth-small

Booth Shot-small

We had a lot of visitors, and almost everyone commented on how much they liked the images (and they weren’t even our relatives). So, our egos got a good healthy boost.
Thank you, to all who signed the guestbook and otherwise joined our newsletters. We really appreciate it. We can’t wait to send out more information and images for you to enjoy.

There was also a really strange and mysterious happening in regards to our location. Apparently, there was something really interesting about the restaurant across the street. There were so many people that walked by staring at that building instead of all the booths and art, that we couldn’t help but to laugh. It became a “thing”. The only thing that would make sense is that it was a fairly new restaurant at that location, but the novelty didn’t seem to match the amount of attention it received. Weird. Here’s what it looked like directly across from our booth. Maybe it’ll make sense to you.
New Restaurant-small

Craig Working on Stipple-small

During the days, I tried to get some extra work done, as well as letting the passers-by see how I do the work I do and get a taste for it. I think it went really well, and I garnered a lot of interest, and many of our business cards left with them, both mine and Alyx’s. Here’s a picture of me doing my stippling on the street.

All in all, we were pleased with how we handled the whole process. Our financial results were less that we had hoped for, but we got a lot of exposure, positive reinforcement, and experience. We signed up some good people to our newsletter, gave out lots of business cards and promotional postcards, and made some sales.
Our goal is to expand to sign up for at least 3 street fairs next year.

In the mean time, don’t forget that you can see our images and purchase prints EVEN NOW on our website (www.masartwork.com). We can’t wait to see you all at the next event. Stay tuned to see what it will be.

 

Craig Smith