Early morning saw me filling the car with last bits and bobs - gazebos, trolleys, easels, chair, clips, cords, tools, change etc. etc. and heading off to Tunbridge Wells.
Arrived to find other artists setting up similar gazebos and stands so didn't feel too out of place. Everyone mucked in helping each other set up gazebos and stalls and I had to improvise ways of displaying my pictures using cords, clips a borrowed cloth and the easels. Not the best but under the circumstances not too bad.
Picked up several ideas and tips for the future in particular Anna Marie Buss' use of chains and s-hooks to hang pictures from the gazebo frame. Great idea.
There was a gusty wind all day which repeatedly threatened to fly the gazebos away, I eventually lashed jerry cans of water and trolleys to the legs to keep it down. With the lunchtime rain shower due back by 4, we all packed up early which again was a group effort which made it a painless and fairly quick process.
With all the activity I still didn't get to meet all the artists but had good chats to the ones near by and look forward to getting involved with some art groups in the future.
It was interesting to see and overhear peoples reactions to the stalls. It's evident that most people either don't know the difference or aren't bothered whether a picture is an original or a print, whether it's been 'eyeballed' from life or copied from reference and are more bothered about the subject matter than the quality of the art. Cute animals seemed to be favourite - as long as they were cheap. But that's all part of the learning. I guess an art fair at a park is not attracting people out to buy serious art so much as inquisitive passers by who might stop by to have a look - and that's fine. It's a chance to have a chat, get your name across and hopefully gain some recognition for the future.
As a first stall holder experience it raised some basic questions for me. Do I want to create art to make sales - in which case a more decorative approach might work better, selling giclee prints at reasonable cost, nicely mounted or framed - or treat it more as a promotional exercise, a pop-up gallery with a few well presented originals possibly with giveaway/cheap cards with some details.
There's so many different ideas I still want to try I'm not sure if I've got the time and energy to do both. It would be nice to stay true to my creative urges but would also be nice make a regular additional income!
I enjoyed the whole Art Fair experience and must do more exhibiting.
Even static visual art is a form of performance, to be enjoyed by an audience, but unlike a live performance it can be bought, displayed and enjoyed at any time...
Now there's a thought.