Monday, August 12, 2013

Trying Out the Art Festival Scene

Years ago I set up tables at several local arts and crafts shows. The first couple of shows I did very well. But the more often I paid for a space and set up a table the less interest people had in my work. I think the biggest drawback was that my artwork was all custom made--house portraits and personalized signs and plaques. I honestly don't believe the disinterest came from lack of talent or that it wasn't good enough. My impression is that when people go to craft shows they tend to buy on impulse and they also tend to buy things that are less expensive. Believe me, I know my artwork isn't cheap but I refuse to compromise that area of my business. I work too hard to short sell myself. I feel that the issue for me was a result of trying to sell my high priced art work in a small town where the economy has been depressed for years. It's hard to get people to spend their hard earned money. So my participation in art shows went on the back burner and I concentrated all my energy on selling my products online. Thankfully that focus paid off well for my little home business.

Lately, though, I've been getting the bug to sell at art festivals. We had a beautiful event in the neighboring town last weekend and I decided to take a shot at setting up a table with my artwork. The financial results were 'fair' when you talk about the revenue generated from that day. However, I had a sample house portrait displayed along with my custom made note cards and the people were overwhelmingly interested in that product. I only took a handful of house portrait brochures with me because I didn't think that item would generate much interest. But boy was I wrong! All but two of my brochures were taken along with many, many of my business cards. I'm looking forward with hope that more money will be generated from that festival down the road.

Meanwhile, here are a few photos of my booth display along with a photos of some of my favorite items that were sold or at least generated the most interest that day...

This as the only original painting that sold that day...I love this painting and I plan to paint another one very soon!

My 'Orange Rose painting' generated loads of interest but, as I said, I don't think people go to these shows planning to spend a lot of money and, of course, my original paintings cost much more.

Here's another painting that people went crazy over. I love it, too, and a tiny part of me is glad I still have ownership of it! Sometimes my paintings feel like a child to me and I don't want to let them go! I know! Crazy, right??

My sweet little paper flowers were much adored, but I didn't sell any. I had only just made them a few days before the event and I didn't get a chance to price them. My plan was to only use them as part of my display. But people really took to them. So I'm in the process of making more for the next show. (My husband would say I'm a bit neurotic over these flowers, but I just can't help myself! They are so fun to make!)

Here's a photo of a seaside themed step stool top that I wood burned and painted and had for sale. The step stool was my highest priced item and while it generated load and loads of interest I again believe the price was too high for an art festival in our area of the country.

And last, but certainly not least, my sweet watermelons! We had cut down a tree in our yard that I blogged about it recently. My husband unintentionally cut a few pieces of wood into a wedge shape. As soon as I picked them up to move to the huge wood pile I saw a piece of watermelon! So I went out one day after we got done cutting down the tree, grabbed these two wedges and went to my little imaginary world of Jane Loedding Art and...voila! They are so doggone cute! These two little wedges got more attention and love than almost any other item on display. I love them and ended up selling one of them. Yahoo!

So all in all, I'm glad I decided to take this leap. I will be going to another local art festival in a few weeks and I plan to take a large variety of art prints to that show since they can be sold for much less that my original paintings. I'll be sure to let you know how that one goes.'s time for me to get moving to today's work schedule! I'll be sharing more fun soon! Until then,

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