As I’m sure you know, if you read this blog, (I have been drumming it into your heads for what seems like forever) I did my first trade Fair – The Country Life Fair at Fulham Palace last month.
I think if I’d posed myself this question on the Sunday night after closing; exhausted, grubby, and coming down with what turned out to be a severe lung infection, the answer would have been short, and possibly rude.
I’ve now had a while to reflect, and my experience was, on the whole, very positive.
|All packed up – with a stowaway…|
It was the first time, really ever, I’ve had to sell my own work. I’m not sure why this has never occured to me before, but generally, I leave it with a gallery or post it off to an agent, gad about at the private view, then pick up any unsold works at a later date. At Fulham Palace, I got to see how every potential client approached my work, which pieces they were drawn to, and on engaging as many as possible in conversation, learnt as much in two days than over the past five years!
This is a two pronged postive. I signed up loads of people to my mailing list – though it did take me a while to work out an approach that was more subtle than ‘Sign my mailing list why don’t you?!’ which had people backing off at speed. I got to meet everyone that bought the work, and actually see the pleasure it gave them. So much more satisfying than anonomous or internet sales!
I met loads of other artists, gallery owners and agents, some old friends, but many new. Forging these sort of connections is invaluable in the very close knit art world. As a general rule artists tend to be very supportive of each other (there are exceptions!) which can only be of benefit to all.
|I fell in love with these bees by Claire Moynihan.|
I hold my hands up. I hadn’t thought of everything, or half of what I needed. A large thank you to Frannie (www.francescasanders.com) who was immensely helpful, both in keeping a lid on my rising panic beforehand and lending bits and bobs throughout. In fairness, being an inaugural fair, there were a few last minute, unscheduled changes so next year will be easier!
|It did look stunning!|