Join Justin Reznick for an in-depth discussion in this video Selling your art to the public, part of Learning to Sell Photography at Art Shows.
- I think it's important to define exactly, what is an art show? Many people the opportunity to possibly display some work at their local coffee shop, or just any kind of building where the public may have a chance to see it. This is a surprise. People go into a coffee shop, they're looking for coffee, not art. An art show is the ability to put your work in front of people who are interested in purchasing art. Or at the very least, seeing that art.
And our job, as artists, is to try and get them to be able to purchase it as well. So, it's very important that you're in a place that is very specific where people are coming to see your art. Now, art shows come in different levels. There are shows that are more arts and crafts focused, and what I mean by that is when you get into crafts, and smaller audiences perhaps, there's less potential revenue. They may be easier to get into, and the shows go from there.
And we get into these fine art shows, which are incredibly challenging to get into. Again, we're going to talk about that jury process soon, and try and give you some tips there. But if you get into them, the audience has a lot of disposable income, they're looking for fine art, and there's a reputation to that show, where you have a chance to move a lot of pieces and potentially generate a lot of revenue. Now, it's important to understand the art show is an industry as a whole, and I think I want to give you a little context here.
In the nineties, there was a real economic boom in the art show world where the market was doing well. There was a lot of disposable income, and people in that world made a lot of money. And there were two things that happened. 2001, and 2008, we had economic downturns. My very first year doing art shows was 2008. And I had people that I met, and I asked them questions and tried to learn as much as I could from my peers. Not just photographic artists, but all artists. And they all said to me the same thing; you're crazy.
Why are you doing art shows now? Because for them, it was kind of the bottom. It was the worst year they had done in 20, 30 years of business. But for me starting out, I had perspective and it was this; this is my first year, I'm going to learn how to do it, and every year I'm going to get better. And that's exactly what's happened. Every single year from 2008, I've increased profits. And so it's a learning process understanding where we're at. Now today, the market is a little bit healthier currently, and so we're seeing that the art show world's a little bit stronger.
So it's important to understand that it is a market, and it goes up and down. We're going to help define kind of where you want to be in that market. Maybe arts and crafts, or maybe more in the fine art spectrum. Now as we get into the art show world, there's a couple things we want to consider. And specifically a booth and equipment. And we're going to go into that. How to build a booth, what kind of booth you might be interested in, How do we transport that booth? So we'll take a look at that, and how to get into art shows in the next chapter.
- Applying for an art show
- Purchasing a booth
- What makes a booth successful
- Pricing your work
- Controlling costs
- How to treat customers
- Processing different forms of payment
- Packaging goods for customers