This weekend I wrapped up my final outdoor show for the season and it has certainly been a very busy and interesting year with no shortage of ups and downs. I keep a very accurate ledger of items sold at every show and totals of what was spent and taken in during each event. This helps me a lot to better understand how I am doing in my business and what things I need to work on to achieve a more successful work model as a professional artist. Much to my surprise, I did not even make booth at this show which traditionally according to my records has been one of the top 3 or 4 in sales for the year every year, spring and fall, and I was not alone. This trend has been ongoing for this entire later part of the season for 2018 for me. Others had fantastic sales and many were feeling the same results I was at many of these events.
There are certainly reasons for the demise of sales but it all seems to boil down to pure luck and good fortune a lot of the time. That chance encounter you have with a new or former client who just has to have your latest piece, or one that completely speaks to them in a very special way. That kind of stuff just happens and can make sales at your show huge…or not, and you can’t always win so ya gotta roll with it. The more shows you do the more you improve the odds of that wonderful chance encounter.
Of all the shows I did this year, it rained on all but two!….there’s yer sign! The rain can have an impact and often times it does, but the one show with the most perfect weather was a total goose egg for me! My best sales came at a show where it rained all weekend yet I managed to lay a golden egg and sell a couple really big paintings! Pure chance!
Another thing that impacts sales is your geographic area and how heavily you have saturated it with your art. I believe that this one area is the key to my demise this year because I have sold so many originals here at home on my own turf. Even some of the out of town shows where I did well I have saturated those areas also.
I believe that I will make fewer paintings in 2019, but better ones, with greater detail and clarity. I plan on shooting tons of shots in the water this winter to find the right inspiration for my works of art so that I have true and compelling narratives to go with each piece that are all based on my very own personal experiences in the dynamic and ever changing ocean environment where I live and travel. My style will continue to evolve in complexity and subject matter with an emphasis on the bubbles I see in and under the water and whatever creatures that are in them, be they real or imagined. I am just fascinated by those glistening bubbles that are all around me while shooting from the water and the many ways that I can incorporate them into my patterns.