Pleeeeeze buy my art??? (whimper)

When I was a Girl Scout, we were supposed to go door-to-door selling Girl Scout cookies as part of our merit badge activities.

I was painfully shy, and had to force myself to slink up someone’s front steps and ring the doorbell. When it was answered, I’d hang my head and mumble “You wouldn’t want to buy any Girl Scout cookies, would you?” People felt so sorry for me that I actually sold a few packages.

Fast forward about six decades to the Uptown Art Stroll which took place last weekend. It had been years since I had sold art in person at a large art fair like that, and I had forgotten how weird it can be.

First of all, when I got my art together the night before the Stroll to tag it and such, it looked like a whole lot of exciting stuff.

But by the time I got the table set up the next day at the sale, it looked pretty puny. Yikes!

You have to remember that there are about twenty square blocks of art tents in this event with eleventy-thousand artists packed on every corner, so there is a whole bunch of competition! Gulp. No wonder it looked puny.

And it’s called a “Stroll” because people walk around at the event, look at your stuff, pick it up, ask questions, and then stroll away. Actually, that’s a fib. They often purchase art, and I made a respectable number of sales. But it did bring back memories of Girl Scout cookie days.

When people came close to the booth, I tried to balance my expression somewhere between desperation (“pleeeeze by my art”)…..

. . . .and sophisticated coolness (“if you knew good art, you’d definitely buy one of these assemblages, dude”).

I want to give a high five to my fellow artists who do this kind of event with such ease and grace. And I want to thank the buyers who actually purchased my art – you will never know how much it meant to me! Want some cookies to go with that art??

And finally, thanks, Marta Stafford – you do a much better job selling my art than I do!




22 thoughts on “Pleeeeeze buy my art??? (whimper)

  1. I used to be really uncomfortable selling, but after a number of years, I find I love to talk about what I create – the process, why I do what I do, and how my creations are functional as well as decorative. I think browsers (strollers, etc) like hearing from the creators, and especially appreciate that I don’t pressure them to buy. Now that I work/sell in a local gallery, I am happy that I don’t have to set up, stand for hours, then break down… getting older means the body doesn’t recover as quickly as it used to! Hope you had a good experience at your event.

    • Judy, thanks for such a thoughtful reply – I, too, am so grateful for my gallery owner, Marta Stafford. But it really gave me a chance to think about my art from a buyer’s perspective.♥

  2. We place our heART in such a vulnerable place when we set up a booth…I also did it many years ago…and being shy does not help when strollers enter the booth and you hear whispers of “I can do this for you…you don’t have to pay that price”…our creativity is our heart…and it can be easily bruised…having a friend/sister/soul mate is always so helpful…I would fill my house with all your work if I could…Stand tall…stand proud…stand with your heART…blessings sent for your success on the weekend stroll…XOXOXO

  3. Hilarious Lyn! Sure know the feelings. I always feel honored when someone connects/ likes a piece enough to purchase it for themselves or for a gift. Your work is treasure, carry on! Hugs Karen

  4. When I put up a tent EVERY weekend in Colorado, Don helped. We left home at 6 AM every Saturday morning. The surprising part was that he was better at talking with customers and selling. He actually enjoyed it. Based on his experience, I would put Bill to work. Because it isn’t their work, they don’t have the reluctance to sell it and schmooze the customers. They can brag and extoll your virtues while you act modest and elaborate on their answers.

  5. after reading this I thought about how generous you are with your teaching … and how much I’ve gotten out of your online classes (Southwest Stripes comes to mind) … so why not make little cards with an image of a piece along with a QR code that links to an online class and put them in front of a related piece on your sales table? I’ll bet lots of those browsers would love to know “how-to” … you could even offer a modest discount code that would enable you to track how many sales you made related to the event … and give links to your online shop to boot (ha! I’m getting carried away with this idea) …

  6. I can only imagine how difficult it would be to be set up in a booth for people to view your art, hoping that they’ll buy from you. When I’m in someone’s booth, I am very respectful of the artist and their process. It’s irritating when some of those people either balk at the price of an original piece of art, or comment that they could do it for a smaller cost. Little do they understand how long it took you to come up with the idea, and then to implement it! Your art is lovely!!!

    • Thanks, Cecile – as I said, I’ve sold my work through galleries for a long time and had forgotten how nice it is to have people like you come by and appreciate the work in person! 🙂

  7. Oh my – does that ever bring back memories – never got easy, really! And I did it every weekend for years. Arghhhh! Those awkward moments until a conversation started…..I wanted to run out the back part of the tent…..But there I was – putting on that brave smile and……..Once the conversation started it was much easier.

    Great post – as always: love the writing.

  8. Lyn I had to smile while reading this because it was ME…..from the cookies (and Job’s Daughters candy) to the art fairs. I still struggle with in person art selling. Thank you for sharing. I would have loved to buy some of your art.
    Warmest wishes, Judith

  9. I do so enjoy striking up conversations with those artists whose work draws me into a booth or closer to their tables. It is so similar to the skills one learns when standing on the other side of a fundraising table! It doesn’t matter who makes the first comment and it’s just terrific to walk away after having that enlightening conversation! Aaaaaand, that’s what usually brings me back to buy something, too.
    (Sorry I missed the stroll!)
    Glad you found new customers/patrons!

  10. It is soooo hard putting your art out there for people to buy. Even harder to give up your art children at times. I don’t think people realize the courage it takes to promote your own work or probably care?
    Your booth was beautiful and I hope they appreciated your beautiful, soulful art!
    Will Some of the pieces be available on your Etsy shop?
    I love your work❤️
    Best regards,

  11. Lyn – Hiya! – everything I was feeling and thinking is written above. Missed the stroll, would love to buy anything of yours! Honestly!! I haven’t done a booth, because of all the STUFF that goes with it. I was sort of like you selling girl scout cookies. I just never went door to door – hey, hey. Never sold much. Maybe that’s why I don’t sell anything now?! You’re always so wonderful: art, words, friendship.
    🙂 L

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.