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!

Our Next Art Fair

We’ve been silent for a little bit, but it’s because we’ve been gearing up for our next art fair . . . and it’s nearly here!

The last weekend in July (30 & 31) is the 32nd year for the Downtown Alameda Art and Wine Faire, and we’re excited to be a part of it again this year!

2016 Park St Art & Wine Faire

When we began planning to join art fairs, we learned that brand recognition is key for making sales.  That it takes anywhere from 3-7 times for someone to hear or see your brand before they really feel like they know you.  That’s part of why we were happy to be allowed back this year.

The other part is that it’s great to walk the event and see what the other artists have to offer.  Last year there were a few photographers, but there were lots and lots of other handmade crafts and hang-able art.  Craig and I would each take turns leaving our booth to check out what else was available, and we can tell you there’s LOTS of cool stuff to come see, not just our art.

For those of you who have visited our booth in the past, stop on by this year, because–in addition to our fan favorites–we’ve got some new pieces available.  We’ve also got a few surprises up our sleeves this time around.

So, if you’re going to be anywhere near the San Francisco Bay area next weekend, head on over to the Park Street Art and Wine Faire in Alameda, and be sure to look for our booth.  We’ll be giving away another free print from this event, and we’d love to see some friendly faces.

See you there!

Alameda Park Street Art & Wine Festival

It’s almost here!  It’s almost here!  Our first art show!

As I mentioned back in May, we were thrilled to be accepted into an art fair.  This was my dream from the day we started M.A.S. Artwork nearly two years ago.  We read some books and articles on how to go about it, and got lots of tips on what to do and what to avoid doing.

So we’ve been spending the last couple months getting things ready: Trying to figure out which images to make available at the fair (much of the advice said to NOT bring every piece we have); What sizes to make those prints; And various other decisions that come when preparing for an art fair.  The fact that this will be our first probably means that those decisions get easier as we go along, but we’ve put a lot of time and effort into it this time.

However, we tried not to stress too much, because one of the reference materials we read said that we need to accept that we’ll make mistakes this first time out.  It’s part of learning . . . you make mistakes.  So, we’ve done as much planning as possible, and will hope that the mistakes we’ll make won’t be huge ones.

Since we’re in the final days of preparing, I’m going to leave this blog short and simply invite you to come see our booth (if you’re in the SF area).  You can see which pieces we chose to print out and can meet us, too.

Just click on the image below for more information about the festival.

ParkStreetWe hope to see you there!

Taking the Next Step

There are many ways for an artist to make a living with his/her art.  When Craig and I were mulling over how we’d achieve the goal of being our own boss with our art, the first idea that seemed plausible to me was working art fairs.  I always thought it would be a fun way to travel and see new towns, meet new people and get our art seen by the most people.

Two years later and we’re finally going to see if that idea will be a successful one for us!

I have a tendency to jump right into the fray and see where it leads, and I believe that you need to keep moving forward, making new and scary choices, if you want to grow as a person.  Thankfully, those ideas are also true if you want to grow as an artist.  So earlier this year I submitted our artwork for a local art fair.  I’d only sold one of my pieces last year during a local exhibit, and Craig finally sold one at this year’s exhibit, but other than that, our stuff has gone mostly un-purchased, so there was no way to know if we’d get accepted to the art fair.  During the month between applying and receiving the answer I must have checked our business account two to three times a week, trying to see if the check I’d written for the booth fee had been cashed.  When we finally received the letter telling us we’d gotten in to the art fair, I literally jumped for joy!

I once read that it takes most people anywhere from three to seven times before a company’s name sticks with them.  That’s what’s known as brand recognition.  This means most artists need to put their stuff out there anywhere from three to seven times, with no success, in order for someone to just remember said artist.  A lot of cost is involved in doing that, so it can seem daunting to think that you’ll have to essentially “fail” up to seven times before someone recognizes your name or art and decides that they just HAVE to have one of your pieces.  However, without being conscious of that fact, that’s what Craig and I have been working on for the last couple of years.  Submitting our photos to other gallery exhibits (with dis-heartening results), donating our work to local silent auctions, and even the two-month solo exhibit we were fortunate to book at the Alameda Library.  All of these were helping to get our company name out there.  Now we just have to hope that translates into lots of sales.

The art fair will take place at the end of July, and we’ll be sure to post updates with more information as we get it from the fair’s promoter.  What I can share with you right now is that it’s the Park Street Art and Wine Faire here on the island of Alameda on July 25th and 26th.  In addition to lots of local vendors selling all sorts of wares, there will also be food and wine, music, and some fun activities for kids and families to do.  I’ve been to the fair before and it’s always a good time.

So be sure to mark your calendars for July 25th and 26th.  Come on over to our booth and say you heard about it on our blog.  We’d love to meet you.