Now for the good stuff. Here’s my latest painting that I completed on Saturday at the Santa Fe Artists’ Market. I stated that during my art show that I’m a part of, I decided to bring my french easel and start painting during the course of the 4 hour show. I don’t see too many artists doing this and I wonder why. Why don’t artists do painting demos during their art shows? I like to look at this perspective from two sides, because I think it’s good to challenge your left and right brained ideas.
First the left brain. It wants to make sales, talk to people about life as an artist, ask questions like, “What kind of art do you collect?” or “Let me know if you have any questions”. Nothing heavy here, but since many artists are mostly living in a right brain world, talking about your art or anything can be a mighty challenging task. But artists must focus on sales, not making artwork and potentially missing a sale if self-absorbed in their art. There’s a lot of pressure, and it’s up to the left brain to take charge and be a convincing salesman. Nothing wrong with that, but does it sound like the right brain has any say in decision-making? That means no demos, too right brained. Darn, less fun, now let’s see the right brain perspective.
Now the right brain. There’s a lot of creativity in setting up a show. How should an art booth look attractive, go with a white or red tablecloth? How should I place the artwork, make a good first impression? And my new favorite, to bring or not to bring the french easel to do a crowd-pleasing demo. Well, I just tried that option. Now I have to admit, I did get caught up in the painting process, maybe I did miss an opportunity to talk with a few people. I tried my best to look at the corner of my eye, seeing if anyone was looking at my art. I can tell by now if people are interested, especially if they go through my basket of art and look at the pieces. But I feel there are more pros than cons in doing some art at an art fair. First, I want people to see that I’m a working artist and that creating art is not some magical spell only created behind closed doors. I’m trying to “demystify” the process by doing my art in public. Plus, it keeps it real for me, as I’m still being myself creating art, and I’m being productive, which makes me happy and content with myself. And I feel it adds value to your art and profession when you demo in public. You’re also educating the public, another plus to your credentials.
I’m sure there’s more brain droppings and discoveries to behold, which is why I’ll continue painting at art fairs. Your art fair booth is like your business/studio away from home, and I feel that I’m welcoming people to my studio, and this is what I do. And I’m darn proud of it, welcome to my life!
Keep on painting, amigos!