First, thanks to all you wonderful people who made it out to WHAM this weekend! I heart you all! Even those of you who didn't bother to look at my stuff or who thought what you saw sucked. It's not your fault you have poor taste. I kid, I kid.
Anyways, with another WHAM under my belt, I can probably count the number of markets I've done on TWO HANDS. And with each market experience, I grow a little more sympathetic to my fellow art marketees. And, along the same lines, I learn a little more how to be an excellent art market shopper.
So I decided, why not divulge a few art market tips, tricks and little known insider secrets? Here's a handy little guide for art market frequenters and participators alike.
Lisa's Handy Guide to Markets*:
1. Setup is a bitch. I've likely stayed up all night getting things ready for the show and am running on fumes. I'm tired and I have to lug heavy boxes and artwork through parking lots, up stairs and down long corridors. And THEN, I have to dry my armpit stains, freshen my breath, wipe my mascara smears and make sure I'm presentable.
2. Break down is an even bigger bitch. I've likely stayed up all day entertaining you fine people and now I have to carry all the crap no one wanted home.
3. I'm hungry. All the time. Because I have no moment to eat. I love you. But you just keep coming. I take one bite and there's another person browsing my table.**
4. Don't feel pressured to buy. One of my favorite interactions from WHAM this weekend was when one fellow slowly cruised by my table, his smile growing increasingly larger and just before he walked off, he gave me a quick double thumbs up.
5. Take my business card. I'm a picky shopper too, so I understand if you're just not in a shopping mood or you can't decide on the spot. Take my card, go home, think about it, view my website, email me to tell me my work rocks, Facebook fan my page, bookmark my blog, buy my things online and call me up to say you'd like to commission new pieces to decorate your entire 5,000 sq. ft. house. See? Easy peasy, no pressure.
6. Ask me questions. I'm bored. I can't read a book or surf the internet or nap. So chat me up.
7. By the end of the show, I'm tired and the thought of hauling all my crap home makes me want to curl up into a ball underneath my display table and wait until the crew people break it all down for me. So this is the ideal time to bargain with me. I'll knock off a few bucks if it means one less thing I have to bring home.
8. A sucker is born every minute. And that sucker is me. Tell me a sob story about how you had a childhood pet rabbit who ran away one summer afternoon and you thought he was lost forever and you cried and cried until one day you saw your rabbit on the news and turns out he was picked up by a traveling circus and now Mr. Bunbun is a lion tamer extraordinaire***. And then yes, you can have that rabbit print for less.
*Aka: Lisa whining about market life. But I must insert a disclaimer that I really do love doing markets. It's just so much more fun to complain.
**Not complaining. Not complaining at all. I may be hungry but I'd rather my stomach eat itself than not sell you that original watercolor you love. True story. Plus, I've learned the magic of liquid nourishment in the form of coffees and chai lattes.
***This sounds like the makings of a most excellent story. Hmmmm....