Heft creates detailed art featuring imaginary creatures like rattlesnake-kangaroo hybrids and raven-sea urchin mashups. She primarily sells them on her Etsy shop, but said the exchanges leave her craving buyer feedback.
So last year, she journeyed beyond the world of anonymous online sales to participate in art shows, showing her work at University of Toledo's Art on the Mall, Wild About Art at the Toledo Zoo, and The Point Place Art Walk on the Bay.
American Frame offers volume discounts starting at quantities of five for items of the same size and material, as well as so you can prepare for the show quickly.
Another helpful tip? Stock up on business cards. Shoppers may not be ready to buy from you at the fair, but may contact you later to buy existing art or commission you for a specific project.
Collage artist Steven Wipfli has been selling his work at art shows for six years. He said the look of the booth is one of the most important factors.
“The immediate visual impact of a booth is very, very important,” he said. “A potential customer must be drawn into the space, sometimes from quite a distance away.”
Wipfli believes a well-coordinated booth can draw interest, while a random-looking one can scare potential shoppers away.
“Is the work about color,” he said. “Is it black and white photography? Is it natural-toned ceramics? A hodgepodge of many different styles, techniques, and media does not usually draw visitors in to look more closely. Consistent framing is one way to establish that look.”
Wipfli achieves a consistent frame look by shopping only at American frame and limiting his purchases to a few complimentary collections.
“I frame with only two or three different frame styles and colors,” he said. “My matting width is consistent and I use three mat colors. This establishes an identifiable look which, even from a distance, defines the work and give the patron a quick idea about what’s in store.”
“Most everyone has been in your position before and everyone just wants to have a good time and bring art and smiles to people's lives,” she said. “They may also have great tips on new shows or ways to get more involved in the art community! Be interactive with your customers and try to stay positive regardless of the weather or the clientele.”
Share your art show prep with us. Tweet a photo of your prep process, or your booth to @AmericanFrame using #AmericanFramed or email it to Customer.Service@AmericanFrame.com.
Laura Jajko is President of American Frame and a longtime contributor to "A Good Frame of Mind." Here, she delights in bonding with others over her love of art and framing. With more than 40 years of practical experience, she brings a unique perspective in a straightforward style that she hopes will spark lots of interesting and relevant dialogue in our online community. Connect with Laura directly here on the blog or follow her on Twitter @LauraJajko.