2019 has been moving incredibly fast for me. We’re already 1/4 of the way through the year, and I feel like I’ve accomplished so much and also nothing at all. One of my main goals for this year is to build and develop my creative side outside of work and make original art.
I decided pretty early on that I wanted to eventually get a table at an art/craft fair, just because it just seemed like a good tangible goal. I had no idea that I would be doing it this soon though!
A few weeks after I tempted fate and announced my grand plans to the twitterverse in a fit of confidence, I saw an event on Facebook for an upcoming art fair. I love going to zine and art fairs and chatting with artists, so I was already interested, but when I clicked on the event info, I saw that there were not only tables still available but that they were FREE.
This is really rare for art fairs, as artists usually have to pay some sort of overhead fee to participate. This was the perfect opportunity for me, as I had no expectations to sell a single piece. I immediately emailed the man running the fair, bluffing the whole time to make it seem like I had a large body of work to bring to the fair (the truth was that I had 2 paintings and 1 weaving at that point). To my surprise, he said yes! I had three weeks to make as much stuff as possible to try and sell.
Through this marathon art process, I learned a lot about my personal creative flow, the ins and outs of selling your art, and listening to your muse.
Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
As I starting to make pieces, I found myself getting caught up in having a set “theme” or “style” that all my work had to adhere to. That’s what all of the Instagram illustrators I love do, after all!
But the truth is, I’m not them. Chances are, if you’re like me and are just starting out, you’re not them either. So don’t take yourself or your art so seriously!
Take this chance to really explore all the different colors, styles, mediums, etc that you want to see what feels the best. My table had collage, paintings, prints, and woven tapestries in a range of colors on it. Cast your net wide in the beginning, because you’ll never know what you’ll catch.
It’s Okay to Be a Little Repetitive
Another hang up I had was the feeling that every single work had to have a fresh new idea behind it, which contributed to a lot of frustration and burn out. For example, I made this piece of a hand with a negative palm reading and really liked it! But out of fear of seeming too repetitive, I only used this idea on one piece and then pushed it out of my head.
But you’re first iteration of an idea isn’t always the best, so try it again! Use a new color scheme, try it in a different size, whatever! And even if you love the first try the most, the truth is that selling your art is a business. Having multiple copies of a great piece just makes sense from a sales perspective.
Follow Your Muse
When you’re just starting out, it’s hard to know what’s going to land with other people and what’s something that is just your fancy. I have really been loving using super bright, nearly neon colors in my stuff lately. Almost all of my paintings and certainly all of my weavings have had hot pink in them because I just love how it looks.
I was worried that not a lot of other people would like such bright stuff, so as I was making a bigger tapestry I purposefully fought my instincts and kept the color palette very muted. Sure enough, I absolutely hated that piece and no one gave it a second look at the fair.
Clipping your inspiration for the service of others doesn’t help anyone, so stick to your guns and you’ll find your audience.
I’m so excited to keep pursuing my goal and get into more art fairs and make more original work. In that same vein, I’ve decided to open my own Etsy shop!
I have a few pieces up right now, and I have a few more in the works that I’m really excited about! I’ve had a lot of fun making all of this and don’t really have any expectations from this, I just hope I’m able to keep doing this for as long as I can.
To celebrate the opening of my shop, I made a coupon code you can use HERE for any order over $10! You can use the code YGITC10 to get the offer for the next week, till March 19th.
Thanks again to everyone who was able to come out to the fair, or sent me their support! Wanna stay up to date on all my latest blog posts? Be sure to subscribe to get email alerts whenever I post! You can also follow me on Instagram to see daily updates on my art and reading goals.
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