Making Art Fairs Pay Off

Show only the work you are the proudest of

 Tips on showing and selling at Art Fairs  from Jamie Carter

O.K. you are ready… you’ve been practicing and painting, and now you are going to try selling a few of your artistc creations at a show or festival… I have made a list of a few pointers you might want to think about and keep as tools of the trade.

  • Wear a Name Tag… this identifies you as the artist  and sales person…and by putting your name and where you are from on it … it often serves as a conversation starter.
  • Be available to talk to your customers… too many artists hide in the back of their booth or sit in chairs across the aisle talking to other artists and friends… you cannot sell anything if you aren’t there to converse with your customers… they will percieve from your attitude  and actions just how serious you are about it all.. and will NEVER interrupt you if you are tied up in conversation with someone else…no conversation…no sale.
  • Be proud of your work and show it to it’s best advantage.  Take the time to arrange your work in the same manner you would hang it on your wall at home if possible. Take only your most marketable works, present them in nice frames..and never just scatter them around on the ground or propped up like they are part of a garage sale… this is art. Show it as such. A few flowers in the booth or a table with personal information gives  potentail customers the feeling you are proud of what you do.
  • Offer a range of work at various prices but do not sell it too cheap. Keep a consistent price on similar or same size paintings. But have some that are smaller and affordable… prints are a good way to expand and sell at a lower price range without subtracting from your originals prices. Note cards are a great way to promote your art also. Just be sure your name and contact information is on the back of them.
  • Develop a thick skin… you will hear some negative comments and a lot of good ones if you are doing good work… don’t let the negative comments get to you. It only means that your work does not strike a chord with that particular customer… just as we all wear different clothes… we all “wear” different art on our walls.
  • Never take a negative comment to mean your work is bad. If they could do it..{paint} they probably would be .
  • Get up and ask engaging questions.  such as.. What brought you out to the show today? or Do you collect art?  or Are you looking for anything in particular I can help you with?  { I have often sold paintings to folks who told me NO to this question … so hang in there and keep visiting with them. Be interested in them and they will become interested in you.}  These conversation starters will make customers feel more comfortable about questions they might have but were afraid to ask… remember if they have taken the time to stop in your booth… they are looking for something, and have a reason for looking.
  • Show off Your Work and Be Proud of it.

    Hope you enjoy and use these tips. Good Luck and Have a great show.


  1. Betty Hardee says:

    As always, your tips are timely and helpful. The Art Study Club will be using those tips at the Clarksville Art Festival on May 28. I’ll be printing name tags for our members who are participating at the show ASAP. Good luck in Kansas!

  2. cheri connealy says:

    I now have a little experience with art teachers and you are very good. You are approachable, encouraging, knowledgeable, upbeat, outgoing, and relaxed. I loved your Floral Fantasy class at SDP in Witchita. i learned a lot and when I finally finished my painting I really liked it. I hope to take additional classes from you in the future. I enjoy your newsletter also.

  3. Jamie Carter says:

    Thanks My goal is always to bring out the creativity in others and teach in a way they can relate too… so I try hard to help them problem solve and not just say this is the only way to do it. There are always different ways to do it and I hope to bring out the best way for each student.

Speak Your Mind