Art Festivals 101: Part 5 “Let’s Make a Deal”

lets make a dealArtists must help support the inherent value of their work, as well as help to build it and increase their collectors’ investments over time. When artists make signs to discount their work, like making a bargain bin…it directly affects every artist at that art festival and those not even present. It makes the art market or festival become a garage sale or bartering event. It changes the climate from collect to “Lets Make a Deal” mentality.  Independent artists and those that are represented by galleries and/or art consultants do not want art work to be devalued.

handwritten special offer 50 offCreating such discount and sale signs also cries out “I am desperate” and “I don’t even value my work enough, so why should you?“During art festivals, art markets, gallery exhibitions, it is a huge no-no to make and have a “bargain basement prices” sign, especially made of cardboard! Most quality shows have specific rules about sales, discounts, signs in their artists’ handbook that you sign off once juried into the show/venue. It looks unprofessional and cheapens the event. Take note, the other artists around you don’t appreciate it either.

VIPDon’t get me wrong, there is a place for discounts. A discount might be appropriate to a collector who has made multiple purchases, someone buying a number of pieces at one time, even a discreet sales event you are hosting in your studio to you VIPs, maybe even to a family or friend (although be careful with that too). Treat your customers as VIPs, because they are!

As artists, we need to be confident in the value of our work and be able to stand behind that price. Why is it worth that much? You, the creator should be able to answer that. Keep in mind, it is expensive to create a piece or art, materials, training, practice, framing/mounting, transportation, photography,and all your time are all valuable resources. So you need to treat them that way, even if you love doing it! So stand by your price tag and don’t be a “Discounter“!

If your work is not selling, (you need to collect some data) then examine why. Here are 5 good questions to ask yourself?
1. Are your prices too high?
2. Are you trying to sell at the wrong event/venue?
3. Do you offer multiple price points?
4. How are you presenting your work?
5, Where are you presenting your work?

Get feedback, adjust and keep notes, modify until you are satisfied with your results.

Looking for more, take a look at my blog post on  “Presentation at Art Festivals


Professional Fine Artist and Creative Entrepreneur who produces organic abstract fine art based in the west.

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