Now, they didn't state their questions that way. The questions were more specific to their situation. However, all the questions pointed to the fact that these artists were new to selling their work.
This started me thinking about some of the things that I would have liked to have known when I was first starting out. So, here are five tips if you are just starting out selling your art:
1. Know why you want to sell your work. There are many reasons to want to release your creations out to the public. The reason could be that you have so many paintings overflowing your house that you just have to get rid of some. It could be that you want the income. Or, it could be that you want to share your beautiful creations with the world. Whatever the reason, if you know it ahead of time then you will be able to focus your energies so you will get the best results. It may be that the art show circuit is not the best venue for you.
2. Visit an art show or two or three. There's no better eye opener than a reconnaissance mission. Actually looking at a show in person is a lot different from reading a prospectus. Look at how the show looks overall. Is there art similar in quality and price to what you make? Does it look easy to setup and teardown? Do the artists look like they are selling?
3. Talk to other artists. I have never met a nicer, more generous group of people than artists. Most are more than willing to share their knowledge and expertise. Ask about their experience with the show. Find out what they like and dislike about it. Ask about their favorite shows and why the shows are favorites.
4. Invest in your display equipment a little at a time. A booth can be a huge investment. A basic canopy can be a couple hundred dollar outlay. Then there are display tables, racks, print bins, grids, a chair, packaging materials, and whatever else you might need to make your booth work for you. See if you can borrow items from friends before you spend your cash. Check Craigslist, eBay, or thrift stores for used items. See if you already have some furniture pieces that might work. For example, a small end table turned upside down can work as a print bin.
5. Make sure your vehicle is large enough to carry all your booth display stuff and artwork. I once saw an artist leave a display cabinet behind because they could not fit it back into their car. Load your vehicle a day or two before the show so you can have time to deal with any surprises. If you are going to be doing the show without any help, make sure you can easily lift everything in and out of your car.
Now for one last bonus tip: Never have any expectations about a show. You never know what a day is going to bring. So, just be sure to enjoy yourself!