Thursday, November 01, 2007

(look at all my pretty prints . . . they look like a real artist did them)

Hey gang – I’m going to be at the Richmond Christmas Craftsmen Classic for the next three days, so don’t expect me to be posting much. At least after that I go into winter break and I should have a bit more time off. (Ha)(Nay, double Ha!)

I have to say that I love this show. The promoter is awesome and does more for their booth fee than any show I’ve ever been to. I hear the show advertised non-stop on the radio, see billboards for it all through town as I drive to it (and this is Richmond - billboards ain’t no small thing), get donuts and coffee in the morning, have porters to help load and unload my booth, and have booth-sitters in case I have to run to the bathroom. There’s a reason Sunshine Artist voted them #6 – oh yeah, and the fact that 35,000 customers come through each year.

That said, here’s three random suggestions for art shows:

1) Sell yourself. Your art may be beautiful and your booth wonderfully set up, but when it comes down to it, your attitude will affect the majority of your sales – or your non-sales. I once read somewhere that you should wear make-up to shows. I scratched my head over it and thought “uh . . . “ But having been to shows, I get it. No one wants to buy something from a grumpy old hag with hair sticking up and a shoulder-slump that says “my spouse isn’t supportive and I don’t believe in myself.” You don’t have to be an A+ hottie to sell art (though I am)(kidding), but you should be neat, clean, and smiling. Your attitude should be positive - nay, effusive. You should inspire. Sell yourself.

2) Help your fellow artist/ artisan/ craftsman/ person inundated with too much imagination to be functional in a desk job. If a fellow vendor needs help moving something, offer. Don’t wait to be asked. Be known as the helpful artist and it will come back to you tenfold. Look for opportunities to make someone’s life easier – and remember those who do the same for you.

3) Put yourself in your buyer’s shoes. Which direction are they walking from? What will they see first? What will they love the most? Be objective. Be creative. What would you like to see in an artist’s booth? Where would you like the prices to be? When people come to look, treat them as you’d like to be treated, not like a sulky teen or a scary-clingy stalker.

Actually, just take out the art related comments in those suggestions and apply them to life in general.

Any more suggestions for selling and attitude? Put ‘em in the comments and I’ll pull the good ones out for a recap on the last day of the show when I come back. Bye, y’all! Love all of you! (well, except the scary-clingy stalkers).