Photo of work by Rebecca Noble ( she doesn't have a website)
Two weeks ago I did a craft show in with the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsman in Blue Bell, Pa. I have three basic rules for myself when I show my work.
1. Be happy and kind
2. learn something
3. Tell my story
Every artist that signs up for a craft show, hopes to leave the show making money, but that doesn't always happen, or you don't always make as much money as you want to. I try to focus my energy on things that I can control. and believe that putting my energy into the above three, helps to create sales.
If you can't be happy and kind, then go home. Really go home.
Putting together a show is a lot of work. The organizers of the show put their best foot forward to make the show the best that it can be, and the people that come to the show are excited to be inspired and support makers. Make it easy for them. Talk to them, smile, laugh, joke, enjoy yourself. You're going to be there, and you most likely paid a good amount of money to be there, you might as well have a good time.
Next, learn something. No matter your age, or how many shows you've done, there is always something new that you can learn. I was talking to another artist about this last week, and she commented that it's so clear that I"m a teaching, I'm always trying to learn and or teach something new.
At the Blue Bell show, my sales were pretty slow on Saturday, but there was another textile artist, Rebecca Noble, right across from me that did a lot interesting things with surface design. So I walked over and started asking questions.... and I learned a lot. Her work is pictured above. I learned things that would have cost me a lot of money to take a class on.
She talked about a technique called discharge, basically what this means, is you take the color out of the yarn in certain areas to create a design. You can then either leave it the white color, or re-dye it... I was intrigued to say the least.
I went home, sat down on the computer and ordered myself some Discharge paste. And then I started to play. I still have a ton to learn, and a lot of experimenting to do, but I"m excited, and I had so much fun. This one technique can open doors to so many new designs.
The lesson to take away. Don't let your time be a waste. Don't stand at a show in a bad mood, watching others sell around you. Turn it into something good. The ideas that developed from speaking with Rebecca, where worth the sales that I didn't have on Saturday.
Plus Sunday was a great surprise and I did pretty well.
What can you still learn about your craft? Who can you ask?