But not everyone thinks that they’re good enough, or that they’re ready to take on the wide world of art shows! It takes a certain person, a driven creative heart, to live this life. So read on and find out, are you an Art Market Gypsy, too?
Most of us think that our biggest fear is the Customer. What if they don’t like our work??? How awful would it be to put your time, sweat and tears into expressing your innermost artist only to have NO ONE BUY IT?
The vast majority of customers will NOT buy. They’ll tell you how lovely your work is. Aren’t you clever for that design or the way you pulled that sculpture together? Or they’ll express how much they envy that you’ve embraced your art where they can’t because (insert excuse here). But honestly, about 5 to 10 percent of the people who view your work will part with their cash to buy it.
That is one of the harder things to cope with during an event. But that’s ok, because they love your work, and they bought something… you feel validated. Until…
The Critic can come in many shapes, sizes, and costumes. Sometimes they are a customer with impeccable taste. Other times, they are an artist colleague with suggestions on how to refine your process. And then there are the jury judges. Each critic offers critiques that can make you soar, or tear you down. But we need them all.
Well, they’re judging quality, workmanship, and process. But we FEEL as if they’re putting every flaw under a microscope. A lot of times, jury judges will offer great feedback on how to improve. They give us growth tips… and they do this to the most skilled, talented artisans out there! So when they tell us that something can be improved, they’re offering us a wonderful service.
We’re CONVINCED that we’re frauds and that there’s no way we’ll be accepted into this event now. It’s a terrible feeling to endure. And we torment ourselves.
It’s simple. We forget that no matter what they say about our work, we are our own worst critics. Those judges are there to put on a great event, yes. But even more, these are usually people committed to the growth of quality artists who can keep their events thriving for years to come!
They WANT us to succeed and get BETTER! So now we feel confident! We’re in, we can officially tell people that we are, in fact, artists. We can commit to our art, our vision, our way of life — wait….
Do I want to live with the ups and downs, the thrills and spills of the artist life?
That’s the rub. Without customers, we cannot make a living with our art. It doesn’t matter if we’re hobbyists looking just to supplement our play budgets or if we’re pros who want to make this a way of life.
And we can’t do without critics either. Critics help us to shape our art, develop our vision, and hone our skills. They challenge us to reach for the stars that inspired us. They guide us in what they want so that we can meet more customers and more critics.
Without the critics in their many guises, we cannot grow, we cannot know if our art touches anyone but us.
But for those of us with the heart of the Gypsy, we must commit. As artists and Gypsies, we cannot thrive without the thrill of the dance with the customer.
Then let’s get started!! Read about how to pull together your first display in our next article, The 4 components of your First Successful Display!
Hi! I'm Sandy, your Head Gypsie here at Art Market Gypsy. I've been working the markets since 2003 when a friend asked me to show some jewelry I'd made at an event she was coordinating. I cobbled together what I could with the limited answers I could find to my questions, and I've been roaming art and craft events ever since. I've expanded my line to include wire and bead sculpture. I'm exploring French beading, and I've recently discovered the joy of clay! But no matter the medium, writing about those questions unique to art market vagabonds is always on my mind!
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