It was a very busy summer for me because I focused on getting my art out there in a more physical way.
Putting up art/images online is very good but I always feel there is something different when art/paintings are seen physically. You get to see and feel the art better. Especially when the works are textured like some of mine.
Living in the South of England has its pecks and the rich art culture is one of them. There are so many art based activities that take place in the summer in and around Dorset. As a newbie I did not know which ones were worth trying; thus I decided it was best to start with one close by and work my way up.
I signed up for the Dorset Home Crafters Art and Craft fair which is held at the Allendale Centre in Wimborne. It is a small fair and was a perfect place to start as I knew I had/have a lot to learn. There I have met lots of lovely people who make wonderful things with their hands. It was nice meeting up with fellow creative people and exchange ideas. You can check out Dorset Home Crafters Facebook Page for more inspiring pictures. To see how I made the greeting card stand on my table click here.
While at Allendale I heard about the Sherborne Market ran by Danny of Arkadia Mags. For that I had to take along a gazebo and luckily I had bought one already from Rock Awnings. It is a heavy duty 3m x 3m gazebo which I bought specifically to keep my art and paintings on the ground on windy days. I had heard a lot about what happens to stuff in light gazebos when the weather turns. Thus I went prepared with all sorts of tent pegs and a few sand bags.
This was in June and it was going to be the very first time I was going to use a gazebo and the first time I was traveling so far away for my art. Having accumulated quite a bit since I went to Allendale and after doing a lot of research on things needed for craft fairs; I had a fair bit to carry.
Experience wise it was good because from setting up the tent and hanging my works up I was able to recognize what worked and what did not work. And I was also able to make a proper analysis with regards to what I really needed to take with me and what I did not need.
Trade wise it was not good. It rained the whole day and there was just no footfall through there. There were just a few people that came to the market and of course all the traders were extremely disappointed.
I for one had made the 1 hour journey with my family. The only consolation really was that my stand was opposite a hog roast stand and there was a Purbeck Ice cream lady beside me. And of course we made the best of the situation by enjoying some hog roast and Ice cream.
Putting the disappointment of Sherborne behind me, I went to the Christchurch Art Market which is organized by the Southern Market Traders. It was a nice atmosphere but yet again it was raining. Lots of people came through and I made it a point of duty to give out lots of business cards. This time I was a lot more organized and displayed my work out well and better.
My large Oil painting of a wave at Sandbanks continued to generate a lot of interest. I particularly loved the fact that people would change their direction when walking on the opposite side of the road and head straight towards the painting, staring at it as they walked.
I also signed up to trade at the Winchester Art and Antique Market and my experience there was by far the best. It was a beautiful, sunny day and there were lots and lots of tourists. Again my wave painting caused a lot of stir as lots of people kept debating amongst themselves if it was a photograph or a painting. Many were disappointed I did not have prints or greeting cards of the painting.
I particularly loved taking part in this year's Mudeford Arts Festival . It was family themed and was held at the Mudeford Quay in Christchurch. There was a wide variety of artists and works on display and the weather was brilliant. I shared my gazebo with Linda who makes the most amazing purses and handbags. While I manned my space my kids kept themselves busy crab fishing and taking part in one of the very numerous activities lined up for kids.
The experience so far has been very interesting. I can now confidently say I know what it feels like to try and sell ones art in Art and Craft Fairs or Art markets. I believe I can also confidently say I have experienced what it means to take part in fairs.
What I love about these outings is the fact that I got to meet lots of people who either have something to say about my art or don't. I have learned a lot about being an artist and how much hard work is required to sell art. I have enjoyed it and am looking forward to doing more in the near future. For now I want to focus more on having another Solo Art Exhibition.
Have you taken part in fairs or have you tried selling your craft in markets? Let me know what you took away from the experience.
All the best
DID YOU ENJOY THIS POST?
I spend a lot of time writing them so please consider giving it a share, or you can subscribe below to get updates sent to your inbox. It's totally free.