Learning Experience

This summer has been such a great learning experience.  Knowing I was retiring at the end of summer I schedule a lot of weekend outdoor Art Sales.  Although at times I felt a little defeated I gained so much experience.

I tried sales I had never done before,  some a hit and some a miss.  A couple of Portland Street Fairs, a couple with a local group I recently joined, a Friday Art Walk and a winery I enjoy just for the venue.  Each has been a learning experience.
My booth at the Belmont Street Fair yesterday.

Not that I wouldn't do any of them again but I would definitely sell differently.  The best sales for me have been the juried art shows.  But on the other hand by finding some smaller items at lower prices I hit a market I hadn't reached before.

I added my Zen Rocks this summer and always sell at least a dozen at each sale.  They appeal to the kids and so many of the outdoor markets are family oriented, especially the neighborhood street fairs.

What I have learned is not everything appeals at each venue.  Some sales especially the street fairs I will only take the smaller items next time.  People are only there for the afternoon stroll, food and entertainment.  If they buy it's a small impulse item, more of a souvenir.  Nothing over the price of a t-shirt.

If it's a Art Fair only show, anything goes.

Yesterdays sale I was competing with the face painters, the non-profits and all the food and music.    The shows that are billed "Art Fair" are really the better shows for artisans.  And I am an artisan, that is what I enjoy doing.  That is why I am doing this.

I created some new doodles yesterday, each very different.  Sometimes I sit in front of my booth doodling.  It stops people and I need something to pass the time. 

As much as I have been disappointed with some of the sales I've learned a lot, each sale is not the same.  I need more of some things at some sales and I don't need to pack as much of the bigger art to all the sales.

Next summer I will know what I need to take,  maybe narrow down the items I take but more of the ones I do take.  Choices, people like choices.

One challenge that has eluded us all summer if putting up our canopy all by ourselves.  Yesterday we did it.  I think we have a system finally.  Hooray for small accomplishments.

I've come a long way from my first sale where all I sold was my original art.  One piece sold at that sale.  But I learned a lot.  I don't think we ever stop learning something new at each sale.  Whether it is a new marketing technique or a display idea, no sale is a total bust.   Well, maybe there was one.  But I learned not to do that one again.  You don't know till you try.

Thanks for listening today, sometimes it helps to write it out so you can see what you've accomplished, it helps on those days that you question what you are doing.

Have a great day.




  1. thanks for telling us the ups and downs of selling,


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