I thought I would write an honest post about how things are going as a full-time Artist, the things I've been up to this Summer and what's to come next.
After quite slow online sales in 2022, I thought I would make sure to sell at more in-person events in 2023. This being quite a big thing for me as they always filled me with anxiety and dread. My first big event of the year was the Lady Bay Arts Trail in Nottingham in May, this was a successful two day event and I met some lovely fellow artists and had lots of interest in my work. In June was my regular event run by the North Norfolk Creative, another really successful weekend for me considering the economic climate and the time of year.
Lady Bay Arts Trail - stall set up
July saw me working hard to prepare new work for my exhibition at the Garden House Gallery in Cromer. I love exhibiting my work in this little gallery and was really excited to be asked back. The exhibition went well but was slower than previous years, maybe the grey weather didn't help.
Alongside this I took part in Worstead Festival which is fair to say was a bit of a flop for me this year. It's a bit heartbreaking when you put so much effort into things like this to only make a small profit. No one seemed to want to look at my stall, let alone purchase something. There were thousands of people yet most of them passed me by which was a complete contrast to the year before. I understand that you might not go to an event like this to buy expensive art but I had plenty of smaller pieces under £25 and cards at £2.50.
Outdoor market set up, Worstead
It is hard to stay positive when things like this happen and I have to give it to market traders that do this every week, you are amazing!
It is best I don't mention the other exhibition that I was 'supposed' to be part of. A real nail in the coffin for my time in Norfolk and it has brought about some major imposter syndrome.
So, the things I can take from my recent experiences are: I CAN do markets without feeling anxious and I CAN run a stall on my own if I wanted. This a big achievement for me. Secondly, don't place all your hopes on events that went really well the year before, because it just might not be the same this time. And lastly, grow a backbone. It turns out the art world is snobby, who knew.
Looking forward, I have an exhibition coming up next month but I'm not going to put too much pressure on it to go well and just see what happens. Following that I have at least four Christmas markets booked, one being my most expensive pitch fee yet, but it's a risk I have to take.
I hope this blog post doesn't sound like I'm moaning too much, I just wanted to be honest that it isn't all plain sailing, a lot goes on behind the scenes of social media where everything is sugar coated. I know that a lot of other small businesses and artists are struggling at the minute and it doesn't cost you anything to show your support.