Monday, September 8, 2008

Preparing for an Art Fair - Part I

green pear with cranberries watercolor Familiar Blush
3.5" x 2.5" watercolor on paper
Stacy L. Rowan

I am currently preparing for an art fair that is taking place this Saturday evening in Nazareth, PA. While I'm in the middle of the process, I thought I'd share some tips that make show prep a little easier for me.

My first few art fairs included a mad scramble of preparation which took up all of my art time for the few weeks leading up to the fair. As much as I like doing fairs, I hated being away from my paints for so long and my family hated the stressed out, frantic person I turned into.

The solution - move as much of the prep work out of the weeks leading up to the fair.

This first post will deal with managing the "stuff" required for an art fair. By stuff I mean the canopy, lights, table, extension cords, print rack...everything that is not art.

After my first couple of art fairs, I realized that I needed the same stuff for every fair, and with a few fairs under my belt I had a pretty good idea of what it was. So months before I had any shows scheduled, I sat down and made a list of all the stuff I wanted to take with me. Now I will admit that I over pack for every occasion, so my list is quite long. I included everything I thought I might possibly ever need. And I mean everything. Big things like my canopy and chair and display racks and little things like zip ties, scissors and tissues.

Once the list was done I put it in a safe place. For me that place is in my bin of office supplies (receipt books, stapler, pens, calculator, business cards) that I take to every fair. It would also be a good idea to have a back-up copy somewhere, say on my computer.

Next I chose a spot in our basement to store all the stuff that I don't need to unpack between shows. This saves time when I am gathering everything together for my husband to load into the van. It also makes it easy for me to point my art fair stuff out to my family. So when I say "Don't touch Mommy's art fair stuff!" they know exactly what "stuff" I am referring to. Lastly, having everything together in one area makes it harder, though not impossible, to lose or forget something.

In my next post I will give some tips for managing inventory.

About the painting: I love the little blush of red that sometimes appears on green pears. I had the idea that cranberries would "pair" nicely with one of these blushing pears because of the common color and similar shapes. So I tried the combination on my kitchen table and a painting was born.


Rose Welty said...

Stacy, very sensible advice - looking forward to the next installment!

Stacy said...

Thanks Rose! Most of this is probably pretty basic for veteran air fair attendees, but I thought it might help someone starting out.

Vikki a.k.a "V" said...

Wow, another beautiful work of art (as always)! Thanks for the blog list, I am reading and following all.

Stacy said...

Thanks Vikki! Glad you are liking the links.