Updated: Feb 13, 2019
My first blog post about my first print festival! I was nervous about finally putting my artwork out into the world for people to judge but I packed up my hopes and dreams, threw them in a car, and drove to Silver City, NM.
On our way!
First off, taking the plunge into art sales was made easier by enlisting a talented, artist friend. I met Alex! at the University of Arizona when we were going through the same art program. We awkwardly friended each other and the rest is history! She continues to inspire me with her drive and talent. To view her art, visit alexclamation.com.
We were able to share the booth, which meant splitting the $100 fee. Yay! Don't be afraid to appeal to coordinators about booth sharing. For poor art students paying back student loans, sharing is ideal. Also, this was an inaugural year for the Southwest Print Fiesta. While the booth fee was high, they offered the incentive that if you did not sell $100 worth of art, you would receive a refund. That way we would only be out the cost of expenses such as hotel and food. Everything fit in a 4 door sedan because a 10' x 10' tent, 6' table, and two folding chairs were provided. All the stars seemed to be aligning for us!
We rolled into town the night before the show on a Friday. I wish we had arrived earlier because Silver City is a funky little art town. I wish had more time to explore because the town shuts down early. We went to a local distillery, Little Toad Creek, and had dinner and a couple drinks before turning in for the night.
The festival began at noon and it was a slow start. If you have down time, use it! Visit with your neighboring artists. Making connections in the art world is also a big part. Being able to see the different printmaking styles and meeting the people who created them, is inspiring. It made me realize how much work I still had to do and keeps you humble. Don't be afraid to ask about techniques. It's a great time to get printing tips and tricks. Call me biased but printmakers are some of the best people in life!
Once early afternoon hit, people came ready to buy. My face hurt by the end of the day from all the smiling I did! Greet everyone who comes into your area and keep yourself accessible.
It also helps having a friend along to not only hang out with but to have someone who can speak about your work while you're away instead of finding a booth sitter. Around 5:30p, the festival started to wind down but all artists needed to stay until 7p. I used this time to go around to other booths and introduced myself. I scored some sweet prints too! One thing I noticed was we forgot to bring some sort of sign with our business names on it. I also didn't have business cards and Alex ran out of cards. As far as networking with customers, it was a fail on my part. Here are a few of the beautiful prints I received in exchanges!