Showing art is the way I make money. It is a way to show off my skills to potential new client. Every opportunity I have taken has led to one or the other.
Take time to consider how I show my work and where is a task almost as important as doing the work. I have found that there are more opportunities than I have time or the budget to entertain. So I wrote a list of what I need to consider.
Showing art at outdoor shows do’s
Choose venues that show cases your art. I started out doing local smaller shows 100,000 or more visitors that last one or two day.
Contact the venue at least six to nine months ahead to get all information, deadlines, contest, fee’s and booth regulations.
Have a list of supplies *
Get there early check in and set up well before the start time because if there is judging they come through before the event opens.
I set up as if I’m hanging in a gallery showing off my most recent work. Having a professional looking booth is a must with your best pieces displayed to draw people in.
Set up a table where I can draw and welcome any interaction from my visitors.
Engage in conversations with the public, so I can hand out my cards and ask for your contact information for my mailing list.
Showing art at outdoor shows don’t
Do research on the shows you’re interested in doing and have the potential for sales. You want to make sure your work is being seen buy people who are looking for what you’re selling.
No chairs for family and friends you are there to work.
Eating at your booth is never a good idea use a booth sitter.
Never store your food and packing where it is in view of the public.
Don’t respond in a negative tone or manner to anyone.
Be prepared to show your work
I am prepared for all types of weather here is some supplies you may need.
*A canopy with side so you can close it off in the case of bad weather. Weights and stakes to keep your canopy secure in windy weather. I use stands to display my work and hooks for hanging my pictures. I also bring a chair that I can comfortably sit and draw. A cooler with napkins, snacks and drinks because I want to stay hydrated. I’m usually on my own for long periods of time so sign up for a booth sitter. I also bring a contact book for phone and addresses. Business cards are a must.
Showing your art at outside venues that are run by parks and the city have regulations. Keeping a current photo of your booth is always a good idea because most shows want a photo of how you intend to display your work. I have found that they also want current work done within the last two years. I try to keep a table with my cards and a catalog with all my work that is for sale. Every show outside is an opportunity to meet wonderful people and other artist that can make or break your experience.
Here is a photo of my booth display.
My booth is set up so that the public can move freely in and out. I stand nearby or sit and draw where I can be seen and approached by anyone that want to talk about my work.
I have found that most of the public will not buy, but everyone appreciates my work. There are things that line up for a sale one thing is I have to show it in its best light. The person need to fill a space in their home with space to display it and they have to be able to afford it. Some artist sell prints and do well with them. I show and sell original works of art and offer services for commissioned pieces of art.