Monday, September 22, 2014

Cat People = Great People

Whew. I made it through my first ever art/film festival and I had a blast.
Me at LA Feline Film Festival 2014

Here's what I learned:

       Plan, prepare, plan some more. All of my research and planning made the day a lot let stressful.        Being organized, made the set up much easier but it still took twice the time I thought it would.

 Sheets make great walls! As does burlap. I was very happy with my backdrops for my original             paintings. The burlap allowed a nice breeze through and still created a semi solid "wall" for my       banner and Enormouse Orange Kitty.  The sheets worked well and gave us shade.  With 100               plus temps the previous week, I was concerned about melting in my booth. Lucky for all of us             and the cats too, the weather goddess took pity and provided a gorgeous day.

Chains are great for hanging....and swinging in the wind. I didn't anticipate the height of the tent     and should have gotten longer chains and staked them to the dirt.  The lovely breeze had my             canvases twirling. Instead of "s" hooks I would have used C clamps to make sure none could fall.

Signage. I think I would have had more signs with information all around. Giving customers a               reason to hang out and read all about the cats in my paintings.
Paper Dolls, Prints and Original Cat Art

What sells? Can't be sure for next year. This year it was original paintings and prints. I did sell a bag,
but  I think they make better displays than product. There were lots of free bags at the festival and with so many people having too many bags cluttering their cars, even a hand painted one becomes an extra item.  That was right out of a few customers mouths. So I'll use them to attract, but unless I make high end styles....there's an idea.....I won't expect them to be a big seller.

My son "helping" out >'y'<
Oh, and if you bring your 12 year old, you'd better let him bring his ipod. It's a loooong day. He did get to see his mom "at work." And see how lovely cat people are. I had a wonderful day just soaking up the "catmosphere" and appreciating people's reaction to my work.  Didn't get to meet LiL Bub, but there is always next year. Meow!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What Was I Thinking?

So I was approached via my Etsy site, to participate in a festival with my artwork.  Do you love all those cat videos on line? Well this is the festival for you!
 I have a lot of cat paintings and I thought, "This would be a great way to meet a targeted audience, schmooze with some nice people and sell some work.  I've never sold my work out of a booth at a fair before, so this will be an adventure and push me out of my box. aka my studio."

I asked the universe to send me the $200 fee for the table and a week later we got a rebate from our insurance in the amount of $197.  Can't argue with that.
I informed my hubby and my son they were "hired" for a day of play, and we'd be making some new memories.  We all love movies, check. We all love cats... We all love my cat paintings,  check. With massive amounts of enthusiasm.....on my part, I went to work, and I mean work, preparing for this show.

Some of the long list of items to get ready:

 Inventory I decided to bring:   original paintings on canvas, prints matted to 8 x 10 and 11 x                                  14, and a I created a trio of kitty paper dolls with their own theme. These I really am happy                 with and will sell on my Etsy site in a digital form. Looking forward to seeing how well they                    are received. Here is Lucy.
Lucy's Spring Wing Paper Doll

Display, I want  to keep the backdrops neutral so that i can use them for my "a Little Beachy" items if I want to sell them along with my animal art.  And make the artwork stand out. I did purchase inexpensive curtain panels in a bright green to hang at the corners of the tent, so that they'll bring  some attention to the booth from far away. Tablecloths~ I decided on burlap. And for the "walls" I got three flat sheets to create a solid back ground and give us some shade,
The tricky part is how to hang my paintings from the tent. I saw lots of people on line with very expensive panels, but that wasn't an option for me.  I finally found a picture of a booth where the artist draped metal chains and used "S" hooks to hang her work.  This was brilliant. It will give me flexibility to hang wider pieces and many smaller up and down the chains. Will let you know how this works after the show.

Signage: I'm getting a banner printed. Figure this would be a nice large display that will be                                    something I can use for future shows, if I enjoy this experience. I also scored a large, very light weight, unfinished wood frame at Michael's and painted it. I'll hang a sign inside that as well.

Along with all the above, there seems to be a never ending list of  "to do" items to accomplish. Keeping my fingers crossed that it will be a fun experience (for the whole family)  and I'll find some good homes for my kitties.  

I must say thanks to all the veteran craft/art show sellers out in the big wide world who are so generous with all the information they've posted on line in their blogs or on Pinterest. Truly feels like a community has helped me prep for this.