My first attempt was one year ago: I tried selling art at the Christmas fair. It was the 19th of december, I think. It was freezing cold: a misty evening; only a 1 degree Celsius. And some of the market vendors didn’t even try to sell their stuff that day; they stayed at home. Of course those market vendors had their market stall next to mine, so I was surrounded by empty stalls. Next to that; my stall was at the end of the market; so a lot of visitors, traced their steps even before they saw me.
I was trying to sell pyrography. I created some drawings on birchwood. Most of them turned out pretty good, if I may say so. I got my boyfriend’s advise, to ask 60 euro’s per artwork. I was afraid it would be too much, but my boyfriend was right: it is art; nobody will value your works if you sell your stuff at a moderate price. Besides; I did spend some time in creating those drawings. They didn’t appear by magic. If I want to make a living by creating art; I have to make sure my art is valued at it’s right price. And if you think about it that way; 60 euro’s might still be too cheap.
I didn’t sell any of my pyrography drawings that year. However; I did sell some key hangers: I drew names on small pieces of wood; drilled a hole in it and put a key ring on it. There you go; a personalized gift!
This is what I tried to repeat this year; only better: this year my Christmas fair would last for three days. This year I would sell, not only my key hangers; but also my art! And,… I sold three key hangers,…. In three days.
What went wrong? I considered many possible reasons why I did not sell:
- It was too dark; the visitors couldn’t see my art
- It was too early; Christmas was still another two weeks away
- People didn’t get their salary yet
- Maybe it was me; just sitting behind my stall; busy producing new pyrography works, instead of interacting with the visitors
But in the end, I think, art is just not something you buy on a market. People are surprised when they run into an art-stall on the market. When they leave home, to go to the Christmas fair, they have the intention to buy a Christmas card, or maybe some ornaments for the Christmas tree. Maybe some food. Maybe some jewelery, a book or some wine. They have allready made up their minds on what they want to buy on the market. An art-stall is a surprise. It doesn’t fit in to their expectations on what they would bump into today. When they left home; they never realised they could have an opportunity to buy art that day. Not for themselves, and especially not as a gift; for art is something very personal. At least; that’s what I think.
What do you think? Please share your ideas in the comments.