Tuesday, 3 December 2013

The Art of good networking.

Wow, so much to catch up on! It's been a hectic time. So, when I last posted I was just about to go and do the Wednesday evening of my last Art fair, then a Friday and Saturday.
Well, this Art fair was not nearly as successful as the last one. The Wednesday evening saw a steady stream of people, but very few were buying, at least, not at my stall, I think some of the other stallholders did quite well. People who did stop to chat were very complementary about my work, but that was as far as it went. Anyway, I knew that was more of a "looking around" event than the other two days, so I went home in an upbeat frame of mind.
Me at the Art and Craft fair. Note the addition of a print stand!
Friday was… awful. I think I spoke to about a dozen people all day, and made no sales. There just wasn't anybody coming to the venue. Saturday was a little better, but still not very many people. I made a sale of a print, to a friend of mine that had come down specially to see me. (He got a good deal, of course!) I also sold a few cards to a fellow artist at the venue and one to a friend of an artist there. So, when you consider the money I spent getting to the venue each day (car twice and train once), plus the entrance fee, I made a loss. Oh well, it's a learning curve I guess. I made some good contacts with several of the other stallholders, all of whom were lovely. Plus, I went to a really useful talk on Friday evening by a lady who has set up a company called Craftfinder.
 The site is a directory of craft tradespeople, so just the place to go if you want to find hand crafted goods. They also help the craftspeople with promoting their work to the right buyers, so it's useful for producers and consumers alike. The talk was about how to use the internet to market yourself effectively. I proudly told everyone I had a blog! Others suggested Pinterest and Twitter as being valuable tools. I'm resisting Twitter for now, but I am keen to investigate Pinterest some more, so watch this space…
One of my fellow stallholders was a woman called Amy Lilley. She's a recent photography graduate who also does a lot of marketing work for arts venues in Wakefield. She was keen to put one of my pieces in a show she will be curating in the new year, which is great news! We exchanged business cards like you do, and I have since checked out her website and blog, both of which are well worth a look, which you can do from here.

The good networking continued last night, when I went to a meeting of the Salford Creative Network, which has been set up by Arts Development Salford, a local organisation I found my way towards via liking various related things on Facebook. The meeting was a perfect way to meet some fellow artists and there was also some people from various local arts organisations there, so it was perfect for me as someone who has recently moved to the area and wants to get involved with the local arts scene. They also have a great Arts Information pack that can be downloaded from their website, here. I've downloaded it have only given it a quick glance - it looks very useful though.

The guest speaker at the event was a lady that runs Eccles Community Art Gallery, a local organisation that seeks to provide exhibition space for local artists, as well as easy access to art for the local community. I happened to leave at the same time as her after the talk, and we briefly discussed me having an exhibition there, which was very exciting! I must follow it up by emailing her in the coming days. So, as you see, connections are being made and I'm meeting lots of really great people. Yay! This sort of socialising doesn't come naturally to me, I'm a bit shy and introverted by nature, and I don't have the knack of chatting easily with people I don't know, but everyone has been so nice and friendly that it hasn't really been a problem.
Wow, that's a long post. I still haven't told you about the TWO craft fairs I'm doing this coming weekend, but I think that can wait until tomorrow now.
As a reward for getting through this epic post, here's a nice little Instagram I took in Budapest in October.


  1. Love my print AND the last instagram! You know where to come when you want your first gallery designed.....hope to catch up soon!

  2. It's no good I need that Batik Bruegel in my life - and maybe the dark navy/gold strip beach one .... no rush but it must be done!! sorry to hear about the house hun :( have a lovely EAL xmas dinner scene to send you when I get it off of Michael's phone - or maybe I'll get him to text it directly to you xxxx) love and festive peas xxxx

    1. Ooh. EAL Xmas dinner - sounds lovely!
      I have no idea what pictures you are talking about from those descriptions (very…evocative, though!) but I'll have a word with Santa and we'll see what we can do ; )