Big news: I’m taking my show on the road! Sort of. Really it’s just the next town over. But still – exciting! I’ve been accepted as a vendor at the Ashland Strawberry Faire on Saturday, June 3rd! This is my second time at this festival, and I’ll be making a few changes this time around.
This was me, last year. I made enough money that day to cover my booth fee and pay for a new canopy, plus about $200 more. Which, to be honest, was better than I expected. I have a list of things that ought to improve my experience this time:
- Streamline products. As you can see, my booth was a little crowded. This year, I’ll be much more focused on my paintings. I won’t be selling crafty knick-knacks, or gimmicky decorations, just my own artwork.
- Improve booth layout. The folding screens did the trick of holding up my paintings, but they blocked the view and made the booth look closed in. I’ll have to make or buy walls that are able to display my paintings without falling over.
- Location, location, location! Last year, I also neglected to request a particular booth number. As a result, I was put waaaaay at the far end of the street, so most of the people walking by were on their way to the parking lot, and didn’t give me a second glance. I made sure to request a booth near the middle of all the action this time. Although I didn’t get the booth that I requested, I am much closer to the center street this year.
My purpose for doing this show is twofold: First is for motivation. I find that I work much more diligently when I have a deadline. If I’ve decided that I need 20 great paintings to bring to a show, then I’ll bust my buns in the weeks leading up to the event. Seeing the date looming ahead on the calendar somehow makes painting for an extra hour a day seem more important than watching a TV show or whatever it is I would be doing otherwise. If you’re thinking of setting deadlines for yourself, make sure you don’t overdo it by setting them one right after another without giving yourself time to rest.
The second purpose is for affirmation. My family and friends have been so wonderful and supportive, but there’s nothing like total strangers stopping to tell you that they love your artwork so much that they absolutely must give you some of their hard-earned money so they can take it home with them. Shows and festivals are a great way to feel like a “real artist”.
Since I haven’t made it even close to a thousand paintings yet, I’m not relying on selling my work as a source of income, so long as I can make enough money to cover my expenses. I consider this faire as an opportunity to improve on my art by paying attention to what people are interested in, find out what works and what doesn’t, and hopefully give some of my paintings a new life in someone’s home. Putting yourself out there in a public way can really stretch your creativity and make you work harder than you ever have before.
If you’re in Central Virginia on June 3rd, from 10am to 5pm, come and find me at the Ashland Strawberry Faire! I’ll be at booth #60.