Why bother doing art and craft events? What motivates us – the artists and makers – to do them?
I think its much more interesting to purchase something handmade and be able to chat with the maker, instead of purchasing something mass-produced from the high street or on the internet. At events, you get to see my work displayed, chat with me about particular pieces that you like, and find out more about them. It makes it a much more personal purchase.
“I enjoy chatting to people about what I do and taking part in art and craft events.”
Although the main motivation for taking part in events, is for the opportunity to promote, display, and sell my work, there are other reasons too…
Like most designer-makers, my work is quite insular, so an event is a great opportunity to meet and chat with people, both customers, and other artists/crafters. Over the years, it’s been lovely that a number of friendships have blossomed out of chatting with my neighbouring stallholders at events. If I get a chance, I also enjoy taking a quick look around the art and craft stalls, to see who’s there are and say hello. I love seeing how everyone displays their work, the innovative and creative ways of using their limited space.
One of the things I don’t do is ‘sell’. I don’t like pushy salespeople and think there is nothing worse than people being hassled to buy something when they are just having a day out and enjoying looking around an art and craft fair. So, my work has to sell itself and I just help it out.
“Its really a great confidence booster, when people like my work and compliment it, and even better when they like it enough to purchase it!”
I prefer to be busy at an event, so if an event has quiet spells, I’ll do some making, either my abstract beaded wire brooches (as they are easy to ‘pick up and put down’) or wirework shapes. I’m happy then as I get in my own creative zone and time flies. Plus it has other advantages too, as visitors are usually intrigued with what I’m making, and its a good way of starting conversations.
At some events, I only have a 6ft table and my making tends to be more hidden from view, but at other events, such as the ‘Art in the Pen’, ‘Handmade in Lancashire and at my jewelart pop-up events I have a bigger area and my making becomes part of the display.
Occasionally I take part in charity fundraisers, so my being there is also helping out a good cause.
A highlight for me is that I get to visit and enjoy the atmosphere of some amazing venues. These range from gorgeous gardens to interesting buildings rich in histories, such as St Georges Hall in Liverpool and Lytham Hall in Lancashire. There is a lovely buzz about these places when they are filled with amazing arts and crafts and the hubbub of people chatting, admiring the stalls, and making purchases.
Thanks for joining me on my creative journey, come along and visit me at one my events,
Sam Rowena, jewellery artist x