It's common craft show/trade show conversation to discuss someone's success with that show the year prior- how much money did you gross last year? / how many business cards did you give out? etc. Artists can't as easily measure their success because you can't really see it until months later- once people have gone home, thought about a commission, planned for it. But I have to at least sell enough to cover my booth fees in order to stay in business. That's why I sell stationery, mousepads, tote bags and prints.
Usually my displays include a table of merchandise that's priced cheaply and ready to take home. Then I also display all my completed portraits on panels for people to look at and hopefully think about commissioning one of their own. I might sell 1-2 actual paintings (or none at all), and most of my merchandise. So this season I've decided to paint fewer new canvas paintings, and just frame some prints. Prints are cheaper and they really look great framed. They're easier for someone to take home. Most craft fair goers want to walk away with something to show for their time at the show. Art isn't usually something they're willing to spend money on in order to take it home that day. Prints are a great solution to that problem! So now I'm spending time framing prints in preparation for a show next weekend in Katy- the United Methodist Church's Fall Bazaar.
If you're someone who doesn't, but is maybe interested in commissioning someone to paint or create something, then I've gotta say, Go Local and Support Artists and Small Businesses! They're what make our country great and keep the economy up!
For more information about the UMC Fall Bazaar, shoot me an email or comment here.