Art Fair Wrap-Up 2017

Hey there everyone.  Apologies for being incommunicado for a month or so, but we were busy getting things set up for our back-to-back art fairs this month.  These were two new festivals for us, in new cities, so there was a lot of planning to be done.

We had decided not to do the fairs we’d done in the past, for a few reasons:

  1.  We wanted to test out new areas, to see if there was more interest in our stuff
  2.  We wanted to spread knowledge of our art to other areas . . . gain new followers
  3.  Test out new art fair promoters

And the results were great!

We did, in fact, receive a lot of new interest in our artwork.  And that interest even resulted in quite a few sales!  The promoters were really nice, and there was a lot more traffic than at our previous art fairs.  We even had a couple previous purchasers show up in our booth and sing our praises to their friend(s) who’d tagged along.  So, all in all, they were great experiences on their own.

The only trouble came with the fact that they were so close together, and–since we both still have day-jobs–we didn’t have any down time between art fairs.  We’re still deciding whether or not we’ll do both of them again next year, but we’ll definitely do at least one of them, so good was the response.

And, an even better part was that we got lots of new people signed up for our newsletter!

As you may remember, we’ve held contests at our last few art fairs, for people who sign up for our newsletter at the fair to get a chance to win one of our prints.  Many people did at both locations, and we have our winners:

From the Mountain View Art and Wine Festival, the winner is Terry F!

From the Lafayette Art and Wine Festival, the winner is Gary C!

Congratulations to both our winners!  And thanks to everyone else who signed up.  We’ve got lots of new stuff coming to the site soon.  And we think a revamp of the site is in the works as well.  So stay tuned . . .

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Alameda Art & Wine Faire Wrap Up

Well, last month was our second art fair of the year . . . The Alameda Art & Wine Faire on Park Street.

With temperatures in the low 70s all weekend, we couldn’t have asked for more perfect weather.  And that wonderful, sunny weather encouraged thousands of visitors to walk the festival.  We had tons of new people in our booth, admiring this photo or that image, and Craig was even approached by a couple of people about possible commissions (which he does . . . check out his portraits site here).

We also got to meet some other nearby vendors to get their take on things, and pick up any tips we could about how to improve our festival experience (remember, we ARE still relatively new to this).  One fellow vendor even offered suggestions of some other venues we might check out for next year.

We even had a great lesson in not assuming who will or won’t buy our art.

A younger gentleman walked into our booth toward the end of the day on Sunday.  He was admiring some of the stipple art that Craig had up, and mentioned that he, too, was an artist.  His specialty wasn’t stippling, but he admired Craig’s patience, and they got to talking more about art styles.

As I said, this gentleman looked to be young–maybe even college age–and so we assumed he didn’t have a ton of money to spend on art.  So we just sat and enjoyed our conversation with him, and answered his questions about certain pieces as he rooted through our print bins.

But he actually found one that he couldn’t part with and wound up purchasing it!  YAY!

We also did another contest giveaway for a free print.  People who came into our booth were encouraged to sign up for our newsletter, and doing so would enter them into the contest to win one of our images (valued at $65).  Many of them did, and our latest winner is Simon Boyd!

Santorini SunriseThe print he chose was Santorini Sunrise . . . the same one chosen by our previous winner.  Hmmm . . . maybe we need to bring that one to the art fairs next year.  :o)

 

 

 

 

But Craig and I got to thinking that we’d like to expand the contest next year.  So what we’re going to do is include all of you, our blog and newsletter readers, in future contests.  Some action will be needed on your part, but it’s simple.  Just comment on our blog to let us know which image(s) you’d like to own and your name will be included in our next drawing (don’t worry, we’ll remind you of the “rules” when we let you know about the next art fair).

Anyway, we had a great time at the Downtown Alameda Art & Wine Faire this year, and we can’t wait to see what art fairs we’ll be doing next year.

Thanks for reading!

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)