painting

Thoughts on Markets

I had my longest ever market this past weekend – 3 full days. Well, almost. Friday was only 3 pm – 8 pm, but 5 hours plus set up is still pretty close to a regular (11 – 5) craft show. Phew! That’s a lotta crafting!

Though it was definitely a lot of work, I really like doing longer shows like this. If one day is slow, you still have time to make up for it the next day. And by Sunday, I was happily able to start my day knowing that I’d already covered my table fees for the show, so as long as I sold *something* that day, I was in the black. Great way to start the morning!

Before I keep rambling about markets, I want to show you a sneak peek at the AWESOME wood block prints that are now covered in resin. I can’t list them in my Etsy shop just yet unfortunately. That’s the problem at this time of year…I need so much “stock” to keep my tables full at these craft show that I can barely keep up. I’d love to take the day off and shoot better pics of these lovelies to list in the shop, if only my next show wasn’t, oh, 5 sleeps away. 😉

Anyway, how freaking awesome are these???

resin-blocks

I was excited with the wood block prints when I just had them coated with varnish, but all shiny and glossy? The look like giant versions of my Scrabble tile pendants and make me oh so happy. The colors are rich and saturated and wet. Love!

Back to the market…

aside: Why yes, I *have* had a lot of coffee today. Why do you ask?

I noticed something odd at this particular market compared to other ones I’ve had tables at. This past weekend was in a high school gym off the trendy Commercial Drive area, where my art tends to go over pretty well. The event itself wasn’t “craft as a movement” trendy, if that makes sense. There were no hipster mustaches or wrist cuffs made from old vinyl records. There were a few people I knew and a few young vendors, but the overall feel was more the type of craft show your grandma might attend.

I should note here that I’m not knocking either type of show. Any type of handmade expression is great in my books, but they’re not all going to have the same customer base. That’s all. Don’t ride your fixie over here to poke me with your skull-cap knitting needles. Don’t gather the blue hairs to pelt me with crocheted pot holders either. We’re all good.

Anyway, the weird thing I noticed at this non-trendy market was the type of questions I got were dramatically different than anywhere else I’ve ever shown/sold my work. I’ve done school gyms before, but I’ve never been repeatedly asked by more than a dozen different people the following:

“So, who are these?”

“Who is this girl supposed to be?”

“Are these…like…um…your own…designs?”

I usually get questions like, “Are you the artist?” or even “Did you draw all these?”, but I’ve never seen people so confused as to what I was selling. So. Many. People seemed utterly confused that I was a painter and had painted my girls simply from my imagination. I even had a couple of original canvases out sitting on easels! And still, a good many folk could not seem to fathom that I was selling prints and magnets and postcards with characters that weren’t trademarked by Disney. It was very odd. I got lots of compliments and had a really good time, but still…very odd.

Admittedly, there aren’t a lot of painters at shows like this and there aren’t a lot of local painters who paint the kind of stuff that I paint. Which is exactly why I sell at these markets in the first place! If my heart skipped a beat for abstract landscapes, I’d be circling the galleries and big summer art shows instead. But since I like painting girls and critters and things that make me smile, I’ll stick with the lowbrow venues, rad kitschy galleries and craft markets. And the internet, of course. 🙂

4 thoughts on “Thoughts on Markets”

  1. Wow I love your work! I was in MakeIt this past weekend- it must have been the same crowd between shows- everybody seemed very confused- asking if my paintings on wood were “books”? And what do you do with them? And my christmas tree ornaments just were too confusing, despite a sign saying they were to hang on the tree or the wall, nobody got it. Very odd and surprising. Although I was lucky, most people didn’t even make their table price back… let’s hope NNN5 goes well(I have 2 pcs in it as well.. :)) )

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