Photo Courtesy of Silent Jealousy
The longest Art Fair that I have participated in thus far has been a three day fair, so I consider myself a complete newbie when it comes to a two month long art fair. As promised, I said I would share some info about my experience as a new artist who has joined such a big and long lasting venue.
We recently had a "Welcoming reception" which was held at the Fair grounds in Laguna Beach. Lesson one - make sure you read all the fine print in your welcoming packets, especially the part where it says how to dress for the occasion. I am already in spring mode and went there dressed rather lightly. I froze to a pop sickle, since the welcoming was done in an outdoor tent and I had skipped the part where it had said to layer clothing, as it gets rather chilly!
Other than that, it was a lot of meet your group leaders, learn who to report to and make sure to file paperwork on time. Between teeth chattering and me clenching a hot cup of tea, I also had a good look at my fellow exhibitors, who work in watercolor, oils, sculpture, jewelery design, textiles, photography, etc. A rather interesting medley of talent, which I can't wait to chat with in person.
Just to play it safe a quick search on Amazon I looked upa book about an Art Festival Guide , so I am reading and learning.
This is sooo exciting ~ We were told to expect to be plastered to the wall during opening night, since it gets jammed pack with people. As with any art exhibit, getting snacks and drinks ready was emphasized and is seen as a welcoming gesture on the artist's behalf. I was all ears when we were told there is a 6hour class one day to learn about pricing and where to order what to avoid going bankrupt.
So once I had a free moment last week I sat down and filled in my calender by color coding all the due dates. It's important to highlight when booth payments have to be made, mandatory meetings have to be attended, when training takes place, and most importantly by when you have to have your booth painted, decorated and stocked for viewing.
Having a visual - quick glance reminder also let's you how much time you have left to complete paintings, order supplies, send out invitations, etc.
It is a rather intimidating task list, especially when you are dealing with a two month long event that attracts so many visitors. So rather than hyperventilating, I decided to get organized early and start by checking off my list one step at a time. This should help to create a sense of accomplishment and calm before I totally loose it and start to wonder about what I got myself into! :)