This years Art Fair RDS 2011 was, I'm happy to say, successful for me and I am now so pleased to tell you that as a result, I am now represented by a top Gallery, name of which will be announced soon.
So this is terrific, I am creating a body of work on the lines of "Bookface" and "The Guinness Smile", for the Gallery and this is the line of work I will be following for the near future, along with the continuation of my series "Nudes in White and Gold" and my line of charcoal work, which, I hope, will be shown in Dublin.
70 x 56 cm
This, being my third year exhibiting at the RDS Art Fair, did raise the question-is all this worth it?!
After three years one would have to either start making a profit , at least 'break even, or gain some kind of recognition, have offers, and a good 'follow up' after the show.
How is it for an artist, financially and, I have to say mentally, as it can be really stress full, and expensive to exhibit at any Art Fair. I should imagine that Ireland's premier art fair is not as expensive as one in Europe might be. I was approached by Art Monaco early this year, which is a prestigious invitation which I was thrilled to receive- until I saw how much it will cost to exhibit-about €4,000 for a four metre stand, which is at least the amount of space I would need to exhibit my work.
Then, of course, you have your travel, accommodation and shipping expenses on top of that so you really, to take part, would have to be quite well off or are able to command a considerably high price for your art!
Standing in front of your work in front of a sea of people takes guts and complete confidence.Be prepared for the good AND the bad and, sometimes, 'cutting' comments that some people can make as they pass you by. You must be able, mentally to take any bad comment as a learning post, thankfully, I myself, did not have to listen to negative comments this year, they were thankfully positive, but in the past there has been the odd 'quip'!
As i say, try and look at it as a learning post, taking in everything, including negative comments, that perhaps lead you to look at your work and learn by what people are saying to you and improve on for the next year.
So, for me, I find my time so far at the RDS Art Fair an invaluable experience and I would whole heatedly recommend it to fellow artists.
Sales are great to get, and what a boost when your first piece sells. Indeed, what an honor, for someone to pick your piece out of hundreds on show at the fair!
Then, of course, is the meeting with other artists , learning from each other- again, well worth taking part for this enjoyable experience. Much discussion for me this year was, to print, or not to print your original artworks! I had this conversation with collectors, as well as other artists.
The opinion was mixed. Some people said they would not like to see their original piece copied or displayed everywhere, adding that it actually 'cheapened' it, which has lead me to question whether I will put my original artwork to print in the future.
The debate goes on for me on that subject, and for now I am happily in the arms of the new gallery, who represent my work and it is entirely up to them whether, or not, they decide to put to print any of the new body of work that I present to them.
So I cherish art fair conversations, invaluable, informative.
So are art fairs worth it?
From this happy artist- yes- if you don't have instant success, learn from it and work at it,
YOU'LL GET THERE!