3 reasons why artists don’t sell anything at art fairs.

Being an emerging artist in Europe I was able to participate in a few International fairs and thought I would share some feedback for artist interested in going to fine art exhibitions.

If you are an emerging artist and had never looked into what it takes to be in an art fair, you are in for some sticker shock. Not only do you have to pay for your booth, which is thousands of euros, but for some you even have to bring hanging wires, hooks and lighting as well. The cost to just set up for the booth is sky high but also the added expenses of business cards, name plaques, postcards and art cradles can add up as well. So to budget for an indoor, high- end exhibit, it would be in the thousands.

The biggest tip I would give is to first visit the even before committing. That way you can take your time walking around the event, see if it’s well adversities and a wise investment. Take inventory of what booths stood out to you, how did artists engage to the audience, what wall hangings work best, and check out the lighting. Then apply when the exhibitions do an early bird sale for the following year.

Why artists don’t sell are many factors, but I will list the not so obvious reasons. The first is the most important, and it’s your attitude and energy you are giving out. Don’t stand with your arms crossed, or hunched over in the corner on your phone. Instead be standing nearby, preferably outside of your booth with a smile on your face and be welcoming. Secondly, some artist don’t sell because they simply don’t ask! Have some objections in your mind so that when someone doesn’t say yes right away, you can come back with answers but bottom line it’s your job to lead them to say yes or no to the sale. Thirdly, some artist don’t ask questions and make it all about them. Yes you can share a few sentences about the work but learn to engage with the potential clients. Maybe ask why did that certain painting stand out? Where would they want to hang that piece? Are they already collecting art, or are they just starting? It’s fascinating to hear who connects with your art as it gives you an idea of who your future collectors are. Let me know if this was helpful and if you want a part two. #internationalartfair #internationalartist #artfairtips #artfairsales #artexhibitions #fulltimeartist #artsales

Responses (1)

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J’Atelier9 Artist

January 06, 2023

Very solid points! Art fairs and exhibitions can be a costly expense added with much prep time, display set up, traveling, sales, marketing and monitoring your station. You must be very selective as to which ones are worthwhile to participate in or invest in as there are a vast many options out there. The exposure, networking, experience, and sales are necessary; yet the effort, cost, and time must be factored into the overall equation. Happy 23!

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