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Sunday, February 6, 2011

More on : Do I want to do Fairs and Markets?

Thanks for some good comments on my previous post, and plug away Lizzie, it's great with help when starting on something new, and this is why sharing works.....
I used to bring framed works to fairs and markets, but after a while I abandoned it altogether, why?
* To heavy
* frames got damaged
* it was NEVER the right frame anyway ;o)
and the most compelling reason of all, for me,
*I am an artist, not a framer, and I spent quite a bit of time talking about the darn frames..... hmmm, that's not what I am there to talk about, so now I have an info sheet (that I found on the net) about framing, that let's me get on talking about printmaking!
Prints I bring now, are all on nice backing, in a cellophane sleeve or for bigger pieces wrapped in plastic, I have a sticker, that says "original print by Mariann Johansen-Ellis" , I have a small flier
telling people about me and what an etching/linocut is, and I also have a pricetag, all my work is priced on the back of the print. I like that people can see straight away that a small print is not expensive, and I would much rather their first contact with me is about the art, rather than about the money.
Yes, this does mean I spend quite a bit on packaging, but really, life is about good packaging :o)
Doing it like this, means that my prints flatpack, so I can bring more, they look good in a stand, they are easy to display, and people can take them home and put them on the mantel piece for a while, they don't have to get framed that minute to be looked at, and they pack nicely as a present...... all good reasons.
I say, "-so I can bring more" - why? Simple, I find that a good selection encourages sales, too little and it's not interesting enough, and too much, and it gets boring, I also try to organise my work a bit, like in an etsy shop, so people can "find what they are looking for" easier.
Now..... i am going to go to the studio and get my daily fix of printing, am working on a new lino, and it's a tricky boy...... he has to be cajoled along..... so I'd better get out there and tickle him under the chin! Take care, and keep those comments coming!


  1. Oh thanks - It's nice to feel my comments were welcome and maybe helpful.
    I think your points about frames are so interesting. Everyone has different tastes and preferences; I have actually been put off a purchase, because I didn't like the artist's choice of frame. If a print is in a nice package, you can indeed display it for a bit and get used to it, while you think about what frame will make the most of your lovely purchase!
    I totally agree about good packaging and also about pricing. I don't like to go to a stall and have to keep asking for the price - in fact I usually walk away. No price implies "you can't afford me" and scares people away. Why put off a potentially good customer? After all, they need to know the price and if it's too much, then maybe they will see something cheaper that they will like instead (or conversely, they may find it's more reasonable than they expected and buy more items!). As you say Mariann, it's nicer if the first contact with a customer is actually about the item itself, rather than its price/frame.
    And careful packaging enhances the items and makes it look as if you care about them.

  2. Dito Lizziz. Thank you for writing about this topic. And happy printing !

  3. Hi Mariann,
    I love that you are talking about this. I have been to a few outdoor shows with my prints and wonder if I should just go unframed! I love this idea! Now I'm motivated to give it a try. And thanks for your other comments!

  4. Just been catching up with your wonderful work & your very generous printmaking videos. I'm a few classes in to a printmaking course held at the local small college on the Island & am loving it, tho being a messy mixed media artist means I've had to be more diciplined & tidy; I might get a little qualification out of this then I can go wild & multi layered - your mix & match video had me drooling!

    Thanks for all this craft fair discuddion, they mostly have me a little frustrated to say the least!