There is so much to learn in the world of ceramics. Not just in the methods and techniques of creating ceramic work, but also in relationships, networking, collaboration, sales, business etiquette, and the list could go on forever. Being a relatively new and young ceramicist myself, I am learning so many new things every year, in all of the said realms. What I would like to focus here however, is the art of the craft fair.
Entering this world can bring about many new learning experiences, whether they are learned the hard way, or whether they are shared by kind individuals you come across along the way. There are so many things to learn about! What kind of canopy should one get? What color should the top be? How should the booth be set up? Where did they get those nice display shelves? Is there an easier way to transport all this work? How should I price my items? I could fill volumes with the questions I have asked myself about the world of art fairs, and the answers I have found.
I have learned many things by trial and error--for example, recycled plastic shopping bags may not be the most elegant way to present sold work to a customer (though of that I am still guilty, I must admit). This summer I learned something else though, something which inspired me to write this blog. I learned that there are so many nice people in the art fair world that are most willing to offer helpful advice and conversation. I have had many insights and learned many things about how to improve upon what I am doing--all from fellow artists generously sharing their experiences and information.
This also led me to the realization that many who attend these art fairs are not competitors or rivals of any sort; rather they are comrades, friends, and smiling faces who want you to do well, who want the world of art to continue thriving. Every art fair, gallery opening, and art function I attend I find myself learning something valuable. For that I would like to extend a big THANK YOU to all those friendly artists who make creating and selling artwork that much better.