General artist information:
If you get a higher priced custom order or commission such as a painting or photograph at an art show, collect at least 50% at the show and then get the remaining amount before you deliver the finished art to the customer. With the exception of corporate buyers, I no longer send out the artwork to individuals unless I get the final payment first.
You may be tempted to start on a special customer request for your artwork or print the artwork before you receive the initial 50% deposit if they are sending it to you later, but I suggest you do not. Sometimes customers change their mind and you may be spending money and time on a custom order that has been cancelled. I sometimes take the deposit by credit card or Pay Pal using my web site and then request the remainder by check if possible.
The artist should consider providing bags to customers to bring home art purchases. I actually do not have any shopping type bags since most of my art I sell is matted prints already wrapped in Clear Bags. It could be considered a form of promotion for the customer to carry around your art in a clear bag for other customers at the art show to see. For artist to purchase custom larger flat bags from a manufacturer would be expensive since you need to purchase in larger numbers and artist generally do not have needs for that quantity of bags.
I have not had any complaints from customers who are usually parked close by and just carry the larger framed or canvas art to their car. Some artist at larger art shows may have some bubble wrap and tape a layer around the artwork. I have also heard of others who buy large clear garbage bags at Home Depot and use them to wrap art. I suppose they fold the extra bag area tight over the art and tape it neatly. If you sell larger prints that are not matted or framed, you could have some extra mailing tubes ready and just place the prints in the tube for the customer.
Gail Peck Says: “Talent is almost the least of it. To consistently sell you have to have images that people can relate to emotionally. Although I’m not the most talented photographer out there, I’ve sold from the very first day because people like what I do. They care very little about the qualities that most photographers stress over. What you need is a winning personality that can engage well with the buying public. One young man who has wonderful images sells very little because he lacks conversational skills. I can’t stress this enough!!!”
Read more at: Selling art at art festivals
Really informative art show videos and articles:
Informative video on selling art at art festivals. While this video is 1 hour 47 minutes long, the incite and information this video offers is worth the investment in time to watch at this link: How To Successfully Sell Pictures at Art Festivals and Fairs
This is a very informative article on how to sell photography at art shows that is geared more to larger professional art shows but has good advice that would also pertain to artist doing smaller local art shows”: How to sell photography at art shows
This is a nice article on how a painter got her start selling her art at art shows and her progression to being a well seasoned art show participant: Seven Years of Art Festivals – Sharing My Experiences with New and Aspiring Artists
Art Show Magazines:
Sunshine artist – www.sunshineartist.com
This magazine is the main magazine used by the professional outdoor art show artist and includes show location information as well as articles of interest to the art show artist.
Professional Artist Magazine – www.professionalartistmag.com
This magazine is for professional artist with good art business articles but geared mostly for painters.