How To Sell Art at Art Shows & Festivals

Marge Kinney offers some advice to become a top selling Artist at Art Shows and Festivals.

Selling at Art shows for over 20 years has given her an insight as to what works.


Hi, I’m Marge Kinney again. Welcome to the Marge Kinney Art Show and today we are at the Art Affair Festival. I’ve been in this show for 20 years so I’d like to tell you what makes me one of the top sellers of the show.

It’s very important when selling art to have many price points and starting with prices as low as even $5. I have many greeting cards and boxes of greeting cards in that range. I sell 10 greeting cards for $12.99 and so I sell about 80 boxes of cards during a 60-day period. Another item that I have that people really like is these miniature masterpieces and they’re not only original but there are also giclee. I have both original florals and landscapes, and also giclee my larger paintings. They come in a variety of frames and I’m also willing to switch a frame if a person wants a black and they see the picture in white or gold, then I’m happy to switch it to whatever color they want.

It’s very important to be at shows that last many different days because people want to talk to the artist. Also, many people want to negotiate and it’s not uncommon to change prices several times during a show. I find that I keep my prices quite flexible and I may have different price points depending on how fast supply is going, and my inventory is going – but I do paint all year so it’s important to me to sell as many paintings as I can so that I gain the spirit for the following year to paint new work. If I go home with a huge wall full of paintings then I’m not as apt to have as much spirit and readiness to paint again. So each artist is different but that’s what I found works for me too many price points.

The other thing to remember is that people buy for four reasons and you’re also in a show for four reasons – it’s the four P’s.

  • Pleasure
  • Profit
  • Protection
  • Pride

There are many people at this festival (there are 130 Artists to be exact) but many people in this show have not sold a thing; but you know they are having Pleasure by meeting other artists and they’re also having Pride because they get to be in the Art Affair festival. It’s a very prestigious event because it’s known internationally and artists come from all around the world. So it’s very important to be here even if you don’t sell anything.

Profit – it’s always nice to make a profit and if we were selling insurance, probably Protection would be an important thing too. But I enjoy the pleasure and the pride and hopefully every year I make a Profit.

Anyway enjoy my art and I think you’ve had a chance to see a little bit of it and one more thing you want to make sure that whatever you’re selling is indicative of the area that you’re in. For instance, I’m in a coastal city so I want to have plenty of coastal paintings. I’ve found that when I do paintings of the High Sierra’s, or mountain country, or desert country, it doesn’t sell as well unless I’m in that area. If I’m in that region, then that’s the type of work I sell. Have a good time and good luck with your painting.

How To Sell Art at Art Shows & Festivals
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