Guest post: Abi Millican, 13th August 2021
There’s more to art fairs than splashing your cash. If you’ve ever felt intimidated looking and talking about art, then actually art fairs are a good place to start. Take a walk around your local art fair and even if you aren’t ready for an investment, you’ll come away with more than you bargained for.
Don’t be shy – here are 5 reasons why you should book yourself tickets to your local art fair:
1. A chance to explore your interests
The best thing about an art fair is the sheer quantity of art under one roof. Not sure what you kind of art you like? Don’t go straight to IKEA. Take a walk around an art fair to gather some interior inspiration, make a note of artists and styles you like. Around every turn there will be pieces by different artists in a myriad of styles and techniques. With so many artists packed in to one place, you can follow your instincts and follow what catches your eye (and what definitely doesn’t!).
2. It’s a great day out
Even if you don’t have money burning a hole in your pocket, art fairs make for an interesting day out. Fairs are buzzing with life and colour and it’s a great way to fill an afternoon, and come home feeling inspired. Often, tickets include live painting demonstrations and interesting talks from experts. Make a day of it and linger with lunch in a cafe or head to a fair in a neighbouring city and explore the sights beforehand.
3. Find something unique
Not all art costs £1000s. Don’t be intimidated by huge price tags or hard sales techniques. If you are on a budget, choose a fair offering affordable art. Fairs often state their price range on their website. Keep an eye out for unframed originals or prints for sale. These often sell for much less than the framed pieces on the walls. Chat with the artist or look on their website to check whether they have anything for a tighter budget. If you are in a position to make a purchase, don’t be afraid to buy it there and then. Many pieces sell on the day, so don’t miss out!
4. Make connections
Fairs are a unique opportunity come face to face with artists and their work. Take the opportunity to chat about how they create their art and what inspires them. This is much more relaxed environment than a silent exhibition space – make a connection! Be sure to take artists’ cards or follow them on social media. You may want to look them up once you get home, or even years down the line. Don’t forget who else might be visiting an art fair. If you’re looking to expand your network of like minded art lovers; have a chat and ask for recommendations.
5. Develop your skills as an artist
If you are an artist yourself, use the fair to inspire and influence your own work. Is there a style of painting you haven’t seen before that you’d like to try? Or an interesting combination of materials? Art fairs are also a great place to see many pieces of work from the same artist. Consider how they develop consistency through their work. If you’re feeling confident with your own work, why not explore exhibiting at your local Art Fair? Some fairs even have specific stands dedicated to upcoming artists. It’s a great option to complement selling your work online.