Thanks very much for the congrats!
The event organizers told me that prior to ’08 that the local home show had a large number of artists that participated. In this one there were 4.
Around this area there are only a few art shows, and then only in the spring/summer and one ultra high-end show around xmas. And then, most art shows are a double gouge for the seller. The show demands both a high booth fee plus a commission. The rest of the time arts are mostly incorporated along with the larger overall shows. A couple of gallery owners I work with have asked me about their doing home shows, wine and chocolate shows, and some crafts fairs. Evidently none are willing to commit to the expense.
The downside to doing a home show is that the artists are in the same display area as any number of other hawkers. F’instance, one neighbor sold a tool that separates garlic and ginger from the plants’ skin ($12 to $30 per sale); another sold hand warming devices ($3 to $18 per sale), another sold aloe vera lotion ($8 to $30 per sale), another promoted their acupuncture service, another sold pillows, and so on. The closest near-art product nearby was some nice higher end knives – and they said they had a bad show. Such is the nature of the economy at this time.
And yet, nowhere else can one get access to close to 100K people shopping for something (probably inexpensive) for their home.
On the other hand, I sold at least one work that started out as print bin item, but turned into a custom made 6’ long work. To be truly successful at this kind of hesitant and reluctant environment, I will need to learn a lot about closing sales.
Bill, you are extremely fortunate to be in a community that is highly supportive of the arts. Here, even though hundreds or more said “That cost includes the frame!?” for my bigger and even mid-sized works, I felt like I need more chutzpah or other sales skills to really increase the sales numbers.
I was lamenting this with another husband and wife artist team. The sellers of heating pads and aloe can show the consumer how nice the stuff feels on the hands, or how it warms and relaxes the shoulders and thereby play to the impulse purchase. With art one cannot really try something on for size or feel, but instead the product must grab an emotion or fulfill enough of a perceived need for them to contribute C notes. Thousands said they loved (or fill in the positive comment about the work) but only a tiny fraction of those converted.
Next year I plan to do at least 3 of these shows, and between now and then will read several books on 1:1 sales techniques and acquire some good panos of local interest for the other locations.