Before applying for a stand at Palace Art and Craft Fair
I worried about all the usual stuff; will I get accepted? How should I
display my work? How will people react to my work? Will I sell anything?
Will I enjoy it? But decided I had relatively little to lose so forced
myself to put in an application. My reckoning was that at the very least
I would gain further experience talking to people about my practice,
something that you have to actively seek out after graduating, and it is
far too easy to hide away from.
The benefits actually began before I even arrived at the fair, as there is nothing like a deadline to stop me from putting off making those crucial decisions that gets work finished. Knowing that gallery owners, collectors, students and other artists were going to come up and talk to me about my work was nerve-racking but in a really good way.
The thing that no one tells you is that if the fair goes well, the weeks following it are even busier than the fair. I have spent most of the last two weeks responding to emails, arranging studio visits, planning my new website (I would recommend people do this before the fair), sorting out images for Artfinder and private collectors, updating my facebook page, the list goes on. But all of this stuff is great if it means you sell enough work to buy yourself more time to make work, which is what we all do this for I suppose.
Palace and Brighton are great, and that it is worth doing for the feedback and the contacts alone. For recent graduates it could be an excellent bridge between University and being represented by galleries. Plus it’s fun, tiring, but fun.
Lauri Hopkins May 2013