7 tips for a First Time Art Show Vendor

Hello and welcome to another blog post! I know it’s been a long time since my last post… But I am here now!

As you know on October 22, 2016 I took part in my first ever art show where for the first time I displayed and showed my art to the public. Even over a month later I still can’t believe that had the opportunity to be apart of it and is currently working on doodles for the next show in January!

First before I go into this blog post I do want to take this time to thank some people since I wasn’t able to write a whole blog about the show.

First of all I wanted to once again thank my classmate Kate (she has a blog as well, you can follow her here: https://adventurekateblog.wordpress.com/) who got me into the show and answered any questions I had requiring the show or questions on any art pieces.

I want to thank Hailey (you can look at her amazing photography here: http://hgsphotography.weebly.com/) for being an awesome host. Not only did you answer any questions I had requiring the show (let alone taking the time out your busy day) but we have created a new friendship. You are a wonderful person and I admire your work so much and especially your friendship. I can’t wait to see where we go in the future, artistically and friendship wise.

I want to thank is my Mom, mostly for her support in all of this but for just simply letting me use her printer. Without her printer especially so close to the show, I don’t know how I would be able to print out my art prints.

I want to thank my roommate Courtney for helping me setup my little “corner” and being my photographer for the day. Being a vendor I wanted to stay put in my corner so when people came up I could talk to them about my work so I didn’t really have time to get up and look around at other artist’s work or take pictures so I really appreciate Courtney for taking the photos. So the photos you will be seen in this post is taken by her!

I want to thank is my other roommate and my boyfriend David. As well as Courtney he helped me set up, but I really want to thank him just for his support in this whole thing. During the stress of this past week getting prepared for the show he was there to get me back on track with getting art prepared for the show.

I want to thank everyone who came to the show, even if you didn’t buy anything. Even though at the end everything seemed rushed, I felt proud of every piece I had to show and was happy to have my work been seen by the public. I could feel the love and support from them all and I appreciate them all.

Now that I have been able to say that we can move forward with the post!

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a vendor in an art show? It may sound exciting, I know I was, but it is a lot more than that. From the stresses of having enough art to sell to getting the setup ready, it can be a lot to handle for a first time vendor. But never fear! Now that I have been through the stresses and emotions of the first show I know what to expect and can easily prepare myself for future shows. And now I am here to share some tips!

So without further ado, I present you “7 tips for a First Time Art Show Vendor”!

Tip #1: Don’t be Afraid to Ask Questions

Questions are always a good thing! Unless you have been to an art show (which believe it or not, I haven’t until I was in one) you are going into something completely blind. Now that I think about it, even if you have been to a show you are still kind of blind because you are there as a customer not a vendor.

But that’s what your host is there for! I was lucky enough to have not only have a nice host who was happy to answer questions, but a good friend and the founder of “Not Your Average Art Show” was also there to help with questions. Hailey and Kate, I thank you again for answering all my many questions.

If you are scared or nervous to ask questions always remember that once long ago those people you are asking questions to have had to have a first art show themselves. Also by you asking questions, it could be a compliment to them as an artist to be able to answer questions. Remember, we are all artists there to do the same thing… to make art!

Tip #2: Stay Organized

This tip is very important because by staying organized, it will save you from a lot of stress on the day of the show. I became apart of the show three weeks prior to the show date, so I from the very beginning was in a time crunch so one of my top main priorities (other than producing art worthy enough to sell) was to stay organized. Even if you signed up a month and a half like I am with this current show it is always smart to stay organized. Keep a separate folder for finished art and currently working art, keep a journal of what you are selling your art, give yourself reachable goals, it doesn’t matter what method you use, just use one that will help you more than stress you in the long run.

Tip #3: Accept Help

This tip was very hard for me because I see myself as a very independent person who likes to get things done on her own without asking for help. Mix that emotion with a three week deadline and it gives me a lot of stress just thinking about it.

Now when I say help, I am referring to any other aspect than the actual art. The art part can yes be completely yours, it’s your art show, you are selling your art it should be done by you, but how can you concentrate on working on making your art the best it can be when you are too busy concentrating on other things. I know if I didn’t accept the help from my room mates, the day of the show would have turned out way differently than it did.

Tip #4: Stick with what You Know

We as artists like to think we can branch out to different aspects of art. Some can draw and turn around and take beautiful photos. You want to show your customers and the other vendors what you can do. That is all ok, but don’t overdo yourself, stick with what you know. If you do more than what you are comfortable with, than it can become more stressful than fun. Once you have been in a show or two, than start branching out.

Tip #5: Find a Way for Your Name/Brand to Stick Out

You want your name or brand to stick out to customers. If you become memorable during your first show you can create potential loyal customers and they could refer to you to friends and family.

At my first show since it was in the best month of the year (aka Halloween month) instead of just having my business card, I attached mine with all my information to Halloween candy bags to give out. A fellow vendor when walked up to my booth said “Oh you’re the one who gave my daughter that candy bag.” and I knew instantly my idea worked out. Whatever your idea is stick with it and it may be instant or a few shows but you will notice customers or vendors remembering your name/brand.

Tip #6: Practice Your Setup

It is always good to practice your setup before the day of the show for two main reasons.

The first reason is you only have a limited amount of space given. Make sure that you don’t go over that space given and don’t go into other vendor’s space, it’s rude. By practicing it also shows if you have enough room for all of your art. In my setup I had two tables, one for the art and the other for the candy bags. Since my art has grown since then I know for the next show that I may need to get another table.

The second reason is because the day of the show you only have a limited time to get your setup up and ready to go before the show. Life always has a tendency of happening at the worst time so you want to be prepared. What if you stayed up late the night before working on some last minute art and end up waking up late? If you practiced setting up and tearing down your setup when you would get on location it will be faster and less stressful because you have done it before.

Tip #7: Have Fun!

If anything you remember, first and foremost, always remember to have fun! Yes it would be nice if you make profit, but don’t put making a profit in front of everything. This is all an experience. And if you don’t make a profit (I didn’t make much my first show) you gained experience, a new project, and maybe met some fellow artists!

Well that’s all the tips! I hope these were useful to you. Even at times I felt stressed, in the end I still had a blast doing what I loved and I can’t wait for the next show!

Hope you have a wonderful rest of your day and I will see you in the next post!!

XOXO

Kat

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