I've been selling at craft fairs for about two years now. Just twice a month at regular venues. But recently I've been spreading my wings and trying out a few new venues.
I meet lots of amazingly talented artists and crafters, many have jobs and are selling their work as a hobby, a few are full time artists.
Space and facilities differ at each venue. Free parking is essential and it's great to be near a cashpoint as I don't yet have a card machine.
Key to success is footfall as the more people that see my work the more likely I am to make sales.
The days can seem long especially if it is quiet. But the company is usually interesting. I also take along my outdoor painting materials and occasionally get a small drawing completed.
In the Lake District the weather can hugely affect the number of people that come by. On a hot day everyone is out on the lakes or fells and on a very wet day they are all nestled warmly back at home or in their holiday accommodation. I like best the inclement weather.
"When you buy something from an artist, you are buying more than an object. You are buying hundreds of hours of errors and experimentation. You are buying years of frustration and moments of pure joy. You are buying a piece of heart and soul."
The craft fair gives me a great opportunity to talk to people about my work, that is not available, if I just choose to put my work into retail or sell online.
Sometimes those conversations lead to sales and sometimes they don't. I am much more relaxed about that now and just enjoy the chance to talk about my work.
As an ex-teacher I often meet ex-pupils and that is great fun. Recently a former pupil bought a print from my stall, we didn't recognise each other until later when his Mum informed him outside. It was lovely that he came back into the craft fair and gave me a hug.
My animals have been popular especially Harvey Hare, Mr Prickles, the hedgehog and Colin the highland cow.
I will be at the following craft fairs in the run up to Christmas. Please come along and say 'Hi'
20th Oct, 3rd Nov, 8th Dec, 15th Dec Cockermouth URC
10th Nov Castle Framing, Brampton
11th Nov Greenhill, Wigton
17th and 18th Nov The Gather, Ennerdale
1st Dec Gosforth Village Hall
1st/2nd Dec Moot Hall, Keswick