I've mentioned before in my posts about art and craft shows, basically that it's pretty much either feast or famine. Well, right now it's feasting time. My next show is in September, which is the start of the Fall season. The outdoor Fall shows are wonderful in every aspect, but I'm getting off track. Point being-- now it gets a little hairy--you have to build up a pretty big stock of items. I don't mind this--in fact I love it. The only thing, is that I can't play around or experiment. I have to do what I know best. I really like painting my own papers to use in my art, but I can't really take the time, but my new K & Co. papers are the next best thing.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
I want to thank everyone for such an overwhelming repsonse to my 100th post giveaway. And I've went to Random.org, and let it pick the winners for me. So the winner of my Garden Girl print on wood--
#167, and that's Vickie from Redfish Artwork! Congratulations, Vickie!!
And the 2nd winner of my houses print on wood --
#44, and that's Isabel from Ooodles of Doodles Studio! Congratulations Isabel!
I hope you two enjoy these as much as I enjoyed making them, and Thanks so much to everyone again! There will be more giveaways in the future!
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
This box was fun to make. What I did first was collage pages from a children's school reader book on it, and then I took my house prints from different pieces that I've made and cut them out to make a little village that wraps around the box. And I really like what I did on the lid--
I have an old glass doorknob on it. If you are a flea market shopper, you know that these doorknobs don't come cheap. They're a heavy glass with brass hardware. Well, I found 4 of them at a garage sale (which is unusual in itself ) for $2.50 each. That's a VERY good price for these. I really like this for this box--it fits the theme of the houses so well.
And do you remember Button Town?
I don't think I'll ever get tired of making these boxes!
And I just want to remind everyone of my 2 giveaways--there's still time for you. I'll be drawing the names on Thursday. Just go to this post and leave a comment--good luck!
Friday, July 23, 2010
So I started out with this cupboard door with a glass insert that I had. I originally had 2--the first one I showed everyone here. Here's the door before I had done anything to it--
On the glass, I collaged papers onto it so I could have a painting surface. But these papers are so great, that I'm using them as part of the design.. I bought a scrapbook paper pad made by
K & Co. I love this company--everything that they make--I could represent them! This pad is filled with butterflies and birds. Some are slightly embossed and some of the papers have a touch of metallic in them. So here's the background that I chose--
Beautiful paper--the wings of the butterflies are metallic bronze. So what did I do with it? Well, as promised, I made another flower child--
My Hippie girl needed a friend! I'm very happy with her. I used some Lumiere paints on her, and also Byzantia by Stewart Gill. I found out about the Byzanita paint from Suzi Blu's class--it's great paint. And I purchased it from The Artist Cellar . This is a new online store started by Lisa at Random Veracity . She's offering some great products and the service is excellent. I received my order within a few days of placing my order. So Lisa, if you're reading this--Thank You--I'll be back. This is one of the reasons that I'm so glad that I started a blog. I found out about this store from Janet--another blogging friend whom I never would have met otherwise. If we lived closer to each other, we'd be having play dates together--no question!
So here's the finished piece in it's "frame".
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
I cannot believe that this is post #100 for me. I still can't believe that I even have a blog! Well, to celebrate my 100th post, I have to have 2 giveaways. The first name chosen will get her--
This is a print of my Garden Girl on a 7 x 9 piece of wood. And the 2nd name chosen will get this.
This is one of my woodblock prints, and this is part of an original collage that I did. I just cropped it to make it a brand new piece.
So this time, you can enter your name 3 times. First, you can just leave a comment on this post, but if you're a follower, your name will be entered again (just let me know). And also, if you mention my giveaway on your blog, then I'll enter your name again--just remember to tell me that you did. I'll draw the name on Thursday, July 29--so good luck everyone, and as always, thank you for your visits and encouragement!!
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Hi Guys, I'm back from a very hot, fun, exciting one-day show. This show was in Willoughby, Ohio--just outside of Cleveland. And doesn't it sound like the name of a town that you would read about in a story book? Well, it's that kind of town. And like I said in my last post, it was all along the main street and in the cute little park that was there (everything was cute there!)
Here's everyone setting up in the morning. The weather wasn't too bad, as far as the heat and humidity, but you could tell that that the day was going to be a scorcher!
You can click on any of these photos for a closer look.
You can click on any of these photos for a closer look.
And you know, you can always tell when the residents support their town by the types of shops that are flourishing there.
The town's downtown area is only a few blocks, but it's pretty much filled with local businesses like these, not to mention the great restaurant selections. I've never seen so many restaurants (with such great food) to choose from in such a short distance from one another, except in larger cities. (forgot to take photos of the restaurants!)
So, seeing all of this, you can imagine how many people showed up for the festival, despite the high temperatures and humidity.
And yes, these people supported us artists, by puchasing art. Needless to say, you can see why this is one of my favorite shows--great town--very friendly people--and an added bonus of excellent sales. I made as much money in one day as I did in 3 days from the show last week.
Plus, I forgot to mention that they had a very impressive farmer's market there (which is weekly).
A large variety of produce and a BIG selection of Amish baked items!
I was even able to get a great photo to use in my artwork--
Loved this house!!
And my intuituion was right. Remember the boxes, the mirror, and the embossed metal piece--ALL SOLD! I was only able to make 5 of the boxes, but I know now what I'm bringing for my fall shows--they're great for Christmas presents.
And there was one more tip that I wanted to share with you about selling your art at shows. This goes for everyone. Alot of times you'll sell out of something--everyone wants one. So you'll always make sure to make a TON for the next show, and when you do, not a one will sell--this is very common--just ask any crafter or artist. In this case, though, just the opposite happened--my boxes went just like that!
So now I don't have a show until September--I need this break--it was becoming very hard to do this all the time. I think that I would actually like to clean my house now if I can remember how to.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
In these last couple of posts, I've just given a general idea of what is involved in selling your art at shows--there's lots more, but if anyone is interested in more, just let me know. So to sum it up about shows--you're always learning new things about them no matter how long you've been doing this. Anywhere from set up, what to bring, how much, and the list goes on. So what have I learned this year so far? Well, I found that people like mirrors!
I guess you could call this functional art--right? People have to check themselves out before they leave the house. (Boy, did I have a hard time taking this photo. I ended up putting a piece of wax paper on the mirror, but it worked.)
And embossed metal is very popular--
Along with sun faces or a flower face--however you want to look at it.
And, also to my surprise--Hippie art!
Everytime I take this Hippie girl with me, she never comes back--somebody always takes her home. I think that she might be getting a little tired of going alone from show to show--I think she needs another Hippie friend--what do you think?
And I've also learned not to put my wood blocks on shelves, but hang them all up so people stop trying to open them! I'm leaving tomorrow for just a one day show on Saturday. It's a tough set-up in the morning, but it's a good show. I did it last year for the first time and I loved it. I hope to take photos, because it's right on the main street, and it's such a cute little town.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
I would have to say that one of the advantages of selling your art at a show is the feedback that you get from potential customers. For example--remember the wood blocks that I made? Well, I received a good response from customers, but I didn't sell as many as I thought I would. Most of the blocks were displayed on shelves that I had in my booth. And if I had a nickel for every person who came up to them and tried to open them, I'd have some decent pocket change now. And another nickel for ladies saying to me that they wished they were boxes-----so, I took their advice, and went to the local craft chain (Pat Catan's--if you're ever in Northeast Ohio--go to one of these stores--excellent prices), and bought me some small boxes. They're the exact same size as the blocks, but a little deeper. So I'm making some for the show that I'm in this weekend.
But the best reason, I feel, for displaying your artwork at shows, is that people like to see the art in person. They love to touch it. This is what I want. I want people to touch and see the colors up close, and ask me questions like "what is this, or how did you do this". I love when my art puts a smile on their face, because it puts a smile on mine. You can't get that when you're selling online.
And there's one more thing that I should mention about shows.--Juried vs Non- Juried shows. With the non-juried shows, all you have to do is fill out the application with the required booth fee and send it in. They just require that your work is handmade, but you're going to see alot of non-handmade, anywhere from Tupperware to Home Windows--this is just how it is. And you're also going to see crafters that are not really making their craft--this is very common.
Now in the juried shows, they want to see photos, slides, or a CD of your work, and sometimes your display. The fee is usually quite a bit higher, and 9 times out of 10, there's a non-refundable jury fee from $10.00 to $30.00. But in the long run, they're worth it, because for the most part, sales are always better in these types of shows,and the quality of arts and crafts are much better. And every artist who does the show circuit as had the dreaded "rejection" letter. It's not a reflection on you--really--it's just that some of these shows get way over the amount of applicants that they need, so they have their pick and choose. It's a bit of a blow to your ego, but in the long run, it's an advantage, because it pushes you to go farther with your art. I consider it a challenge, and I don't give up year after year until I finally get accepted, which is a great feeling.
So enough business talk--What About Bob? Well, my daughter told me that the night he came home from getting his tooth removed, his mouth was swollen, and he was "gently crying" all night--Awwww! But, the next day, he was fine. And she also told me that before they had found out about the cracked tooth, he had been mopey for a quite a while. She thinks that the tooth was hurting him all along--Awwww! She says that he's a very happy dog now!!
But he's too cool to show it : )
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Hi everyone--back from my long weekend at my art show. It was in Westlake, Ohio--just outside of Cleveland in a lovely setting on the grounds of St. John's Medical center.
Lots of shoppers and beautiful weather.
And you'll always see all kinds of "shoppers" there too--
So, first off, I wanted to thank everyone for your wonderful comments on my last post, and I also wanted to reply to some of you asking me if I was going to start selling my work online. Well, I'm thinking of starting an Etsy store probably in November--I'm not quite sure about how to set it up, but I know that everyone will help and give me advice when the time comes.
Plus, a few of you have asked me for any help or advice I could give about getting started at selling your art at art/craft shows. So I decided to tell you how I got started and what I've learned throughout the years. I know that it sounds a little intimidating if you've never done this before--but if you just take it in baby steps, it's not so daunting.
The First StepI started in 1990, and way back then, I didn't even know what a paintbrush was. My craft was florals for many years, which I was very successful with, but after a while, it started to become a job, not a passion. But, that's another story. The first thing I did, and what I feel everyone should do is start small--local craft show in a school or church--a craft/ bazaar show. It really gives you great experience of display, how much you should make and bring. And before that, you can visit the show/shows that you're interested in. Look at the customers--are they just walking around or are they shopping-- and talk to the crafters about the show (are they happy with it) and their overall experience. All crafters are very generous with their help and advice.
You can also find items similar to what you sell, and check their prices to stay competitive. I've heard alot of different formulas for pricing, but I feel it depends on where your selling and who you're selling to. Obviously at an art show, you can raise your prices as opposed to a craft show. The customer base is different. I tend to keep my prices on the lower side. I want my art to be affordable so people can purchase it and enjoy it for their own home. It thrills me when people are thrilled to be able to purchase my art. And before I go any further--if you want to start selling your art hoping to support yourself with your sales, then stop reading this, because most likely, you won't. The term "starving artist" is SO true. If I was just doing this for the monetary reasons, then I wouldn't be doing this at all. I'd be in another line of business. All I can say, is that I'm very grateful that my husband has a good enough job to support my "job"!
This is a great website if your looking for display items--they can be a little pricey, but they will last forever and they're all collapsible. Here's what the table looks like without anything on it, front and back--
Another way of attracting people to enter your booth is to demonstrate your art or craft whatever it may be. People LOVE to watch artists at work, and they'll ask questions, which makes them appreciate what you do that much more--to see what's involved in your art process.
Best Time to Start Out
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Okay, I'm off again--this time to my much anticipated art show. It's starting tomorrow at 3:00 till 9. I think that it's kind of a preview party thing--I'm not sure. I used up my painted papers for more art pieces. I did a couple of "praintings" with my prints--
And on the next one, I just cut up one of the papers that I had and just jumbled it around and then added collage accents. I really liked the way it turned out, and it was very quick to do.
And I used the rest of the scraps of paper for this mirror--really fun!
Today we're going to set up our booth/tent, which I like to do--set up the day before, although the temperatures are going to be in the 90's with the high humidity. But I'm trying not to complain. I remember all of those very frigid winter days when I'd be blogging and longing for warmer weather--so here it is! I'll try to check in with everyone when I'm gone too!
P.S. I haven't talked about Bob lately, have I? Well, I wanted to tell everyone that he had his yearly check- up, and the Doctor found that his back molar was completely cracked in half (poor thing)--now of course they have to watch what they give him to chew on. Well anyway, yesterday he had to go to have the tooth extracted, but of course with a French Bulldog, nothing is easy. I guess the molar has 3 different roots, so they had to take it out in 3 parts, so that means he had to be put under with anesthesia (more $). He was at the Doctor's most of the day, but he did come home last night--completely out of it.