How to Talk to Artists at Art Festivals- The Do’s and Don’ts (Warning: You’ve probably been guilty of at least one of the don’ts…)


How to Talk to Artists at Art Festivals – the Do’s & Don’ts (Warning: You’ve probably been guilty of at least one of the don’ts…)

I visited the Cherry Creek Arts Festival here in Denver today. I go every year. As an artist I was fortunate enough to be chosen to show at this festival (one of the top 3 outdoor art festivals in the country) for 3 consecutive years back in the 2000’s. (I’ve since moved on to strictly gallery exhibits) As I was wandering around enjoying the art, I was struck by the conversations around me, and reminded of the “horror stories” shared by fellow artists (and experienced myself over the many years of doing outdoor shows) about rude and insensitive people, and even well-meaning people who unintentionally insult the artist. On the other side, I see many people who are intimidated by art and feel insecure talking to artists and asking questions. So if you are one of the millions of people visiting an arts festival (or gallery opening, or art walk) this summer, this “How to Talk to Artists” Primer is for you.

Please Note: The following was compiled as a result of nearly 2 decades of conversations and questions with fellow artists of all stripes, and is a reflection of the main concerns expressed by hundreds of artists over the years, and not at all strictly my opinion or experience. Every artist is different. This is meant to give a general idea of what life is like for the fair artist, and hopefully give a little knowledge and understanding to the patron.

Lesson One: Understanding the Artist

We may be somewhat unconventional people, but we are human, just like you. What sets us apart is the intense drive to create. It is what we are made of. We can’t not create. (I apologize for the double-negative) What we make is part of us. The pieces you see hanging on the walls are our “children”. We put our blood, sweat and tears into every one of them. Frankly, it takes (ahem) big balls to put ourselves on display, to open ourselves up to criticism and judgment. No matter what we do, there are going to be people that don’t like it. Being an artist is a hard life. We are all self-employed. We do not have companies to give us regular paychecks, insurance, and security. Most of us also have to do all our own marketing, sales, packing & shipping, and everything else it takes to run a small business. A typical working artist spends 50% of the time on marketing and sales and the rest of the time working on his/her creations. We also tend to put in 50-60 hour work weeks. Make no mistake, being an artist is a JOB, not a fun hobby we do in our spare time. Most of us went to school to learn our craft and earn a degree, and have spend years (in my case, decades) continuing to learn, practice, and get better at what we do, just like any job. It can be a thankless job as well, as most artists make very little money especially in the beginning. It can be a rather humbling career.

Lesson Two: How did these artists come to show at this festival, and what does it take to get here?

With the larger Arts Festivals around the country, this is how it works. There is an application process about 6 months before the festival, with artists submitting images of their work (usually with an average fee of $35) to a jury who selects which artists will be allowed to show at the festival. The competition is fierce. With the Cherry Creek Arts Festival for example, only about 9% of all submitting artists are chosen to exhibit (and of course, the jury fee is not refundable). The artists then pay a “booth fee”, which can be anywhere from $800-1600 depending on the show (CCAF is $850 for a 10 x 10 space for 3 days). The artists then have to supply their own booth and display. Artist’s displays can cost in the range of $1000-$5000, some even more. Many artists also travel great distances to get to the festivals, usually driving with all their art and booth set-up hundreds and thousands of miles, incurring costs for gas, hotels, etc. As you can see, most artists are out-of-pocket for thousands of dollars before the festival even opens.

Here’s what doing a festival can feel like for an artist: Imagine packing up a tent along with all your most valuable possessions, being on the road driving for days, then setting up your tent on an asphalt street with hundreds of other people in 90 degree heat, and placing all your valuables in this flimsy tent. Then, you get to spend 10-12 hours a day for three days standing in that hot tent (you can’t leave except for bathroom breaks and to grab a fast bite), smiling at thousands of people till your face hurts, and hoping like hell people like your valuables enough to buy a few from you. Then, at the end, when you’re dog-tired, you get to pack your tent and things back up and drive all the way back home, or to the next festival and do it all over again.

Lesson Three: What to Never-Ever Ask or Say to an Artist

So you’re at the festival, looking at the art on display. If you’ve read the above, then you know more than most of the people there already (good for you!) and probably have some appreciation for the artists, even if you don’t like their work. Here is the Top 9 List of what to Never-Ever Ask an Artist, and why:

#1 “Can I get a discount?” Or, “Will you take $500 instead of $1000 for this?” First off, this is an insult to the work and the artist. Unlike a flea market, artists generally do not expect to haggle. This is their livelihood and their blood sweat and tears on display. That being said, most professional artists build about 10% wiggle room into the price for their collectors, and this is ok, but asking for more than that is not. Most artists price their work at very fair rates based on time, materials and overhead. Think of it like this: What would you say if you went into work on Monday and your boss asked you to work at half your usual salary for the week? You’d probably quit.

#2 “Does this come in any other size/color?” Each piece of art is a unique creation by the artist, not a mass-produced item. Again, this question is insulting the artist’s work, however unintentionally. (Note: this one refers strictly to original art, not prints and reproductions, which can of course come in several sizes. It is in the context that implies “Can you change your original art to suit me?”) DO ask to look at the artist’s portfolio, there may be something there you like even better!

#3 “Is it finished?” Another one that makes artist’s cringe. If it is on display and for sale, always assume it’s finished.

#4 “How long did it take you to do that?” I can feel artists all around the world shriek in horror at this question. How long it takes to make has no bearing on the value. My favorite answer to this question is a little story about Pablo Picasso. Pablo is having a coffee in a cafe’ when a fan comes up to him, exclaiming how much she loves his work and asks, “would you draw something on this napkin for me?” Pablo does a drawing on the napkin, hands it to her and says, “that will be $10,000”. She cries “$10,000! but it only took you a a few minutes to draw it!” and Pablo replies, ” But madame, it took me a lifetime to learn to draw that way.”

#5 “How did you make that?” There is a fine line with this one, as it’s all about the context. Often, this question is asked with the intention of, “I’ll go home and make one just like it!” Which is obviously not good for the artist. Inquiring about the artist’s process (ie: “Tell me about your process.”) is ok.

#6 “Your work is just like so-and-so’s.” Ouch. Artists like to think they are unique creators. We would rather not be compared to other artists. It IS always ok to ask who the artist is influenced by.

#7 “It must be fun to just paint all day.” and/or “What do you do for a living?” If you’ve read the above paragraphs, you already know why this one is a no-no. They are artists. That’s what they do for a living.

#8 “I want to learn to paint when I retire/have free-time, etc.”  It’s wonderful that you’d like to paint, (everyone should have a creative outlet!) however it can imply that art is a hobby, which to these artists, it most definitely is not and this can be taken the wrong way. This question goes hand-in-hand with “How can I learn to paint like that?” Just don’t go there. “Do you teach?” Now that’s a good question.

#9 It should go without saying, but never insult the work. Even if you think it’s hideous. Just keep it to yourself. That’s a person’s heart and soul on display, even if you don’t like it. Comments like, “My 5 year-old could paint that!” are always rude. I’ve had many rude comments thrown my way, such as, “Why would anyone want to hang that on their wall?” (CCAF 2008) and, “You’re painting on top of photographs!” (Spoken very loud and accusingly at my own art opening in 2010) It just plain hurts. That person standing behind you may be the artist, don’t assume he can’t hear you. I’m an artist and see work I don’t like all the time, but I always try and have enough respect for the artist to keep my mouth shut. If I want to discuss the work in a negative way, I wait till we have left the festival or gallery. Always.

OK, if I haven’t completely scared you away from talking to artists at art festivals by now, here are a list of questions that will always be welcome:

#1 “Tell me about your work.” It’s the perfect question.

#2 ” What/who influences you?” An excellent conversation starter, always welcome.

#3 “What inspired you to create that?”

#4 “What attracted you to working with pattern/the figure/still life’s/animals, etc?”

#5 Sincere complements are always welcome. “Beautiful work”, “well-done”, “great technique” is always nice to hear. I had one man tell me, “This is hands-down the best work of the show.” and I could tell he really meant it. That was 4 years ago and it still makes me smile.

#6 It’s ok to just be silent. (it’s much better than an insincere complement) A person thoughtfully and quietly studying a piece is always welcome. Don’t feel like you have to say something.

A few final notes:

Never take pictures of the art unless you ask the artist for permission first. There are unfortunately people out there who take hi-res images of work to make prints of and sell. Obviously this is a highly illegal copyright violation, but it happens. Also, some folks take pictures thinking they will go home and try and copy the piece (this is theft and copyright violation). Both these scenarios are bad news for the artist. You may just want to take a picture because you think it’s pretty, but the artist doesn’t know that. Ask before you shoot.

And lastly, remember these folks are working hard and are here to sell their work. While many artists will not mind shooting the breeze when the booth is empty, don’t be offended if an artist excuses themselves from your conversation to greet/speak with someone else who may be a potential customer.

Don’t feel bad if you’ve been guilty of one of the “bad” questions. We’ve all been there, even the arts professionals! You are now armed with more art festival knowledge than most, and you’ll never be in danger of unintentionally insulting an artist again. So go forth, explore the arts, and have fun!

Still have questions? This artist will do her best to answer them for you. Just ask in the Leave a Reply section.

PLEASE NOTE: This post has generated a lot of discussion, and that’s a good thing. However, please keep your comments of a constructive nature, and refrain from rude and insulting comments. Thank you.



An open letter to all: I deeply appreciate that you took the time to read and comment on my article. It is obvious that it has stirred up a lot of feelings on both sides of the fence, and that’s fine, however for the most part the intention of the article has been misunderstood. This post is for shoppers who may not know how to approach artists. It’s a “safe list” of conversation starters, delivered with an attempt at a little humor, if you will. I have put this together based on conversations with and comments from hundreds of artists over many years of art fairs and compiled a list of their largest concerns, which is what I am expressing here. It is simply an attempt to bridge a gap, to help people who may not know what to say feel more comfortable talking to artists. It is not by any means all my own personal experience and opinion. Of course artists need to be kind, always, and need to educate themselves about customer relations. That is not what this post is about. I am personally very grateful to be an artist, I love what I do, and always treat my collectors and potential clients with the utmost kindness and respect. In no way do I imply that anyone should do otherwise.

I have allowed all comments to go through on this post until now, but that will change. Thoughtful and polite discourse that adds to the conversation is very welcome, but attacks, belittlement and insults are not. Everyone has a right to their opinion, but you’ll need to follow standards of decency and civil discourse if you’d like to join this conversation. Comments that violate this will be removed. Thank you for understanding.

227 thoughts on “How to Talk to Artists at Art Festivals- The Do’s and Don’ts (Warning: You’ve probably been guilty of at least one of the don’ts…)

  1. I greatly appreciate your advice in written words. However, person to person, much of the communication between viewers and artists, most of it, is non-verbal, so I’d allow any kind of well-intentioned dumb question, just not outright disrepect. The viewer’s intent is in the eyes and the attention to the work and the artist.
    My own problems at shows (as an attendee) are, first, exactly those eyes…what to do with mine when I see work I greatly dislike but still want to respect the maker. Secondly, that I have little money and go to shows to be amazed and enchanted by people’s talents, visions and, yes, appreciation of their work, work, work. I end up feeling guilty for not buying.
    I suppose “Do you have a card?” is good with the thought of telling others about the artist, looking for their website and even perhaps a purchase someday. Maybe that beats “I’ll be back tomorrow,” but most people do the best they know how to extricate themselves.
    Without money and rather than requesting a discount, I have bought some work on time payments, but that’s not reliable for a traveling artist. Hamada’s response is the best at explaining why accomplished work deserves a valid price (30 years and 5 minutes), but some artists also seem comfortable just saying “No, I can’t make a living that way, and this IS my living.”
    Unless they’re on their cell phones the whole time, we have to assume attendees went to at least a little trouble to show up and have some reason to be at a show…maybe just to soak up the good vibes and some or all of the beauty.
    Thanks for your thought-filled article. Gaylee Amend

      • And just for balance, we’re shoppers/buyers, too. A somewhat related discussion today on Vermont Edition applied to whether people liked Farmer’s Markets and meeting the growers or preferred the anonymity of the grocery store. I hadn’t thought about how some could be uncomfortable passing a farmer-grower and not buying because they already had enough or had seen better for a lower price. Verbal and non-verbal communication are so very complex. Maybe at the core are Appreciation and, above all, Respect, for the artist— and for the viewer who may or may not be a potential buyer.
        At this point in my life, if the artist-seller doesn’t give off hostile or defensive vibes, as a viewer I’d feel comfortable saying “Would you tell me about this?” and then, in leaving “Thank you so much for sharing with me…..” or “I can’t buy today, but thank you for sharing with me.” How would YOU feel about those interactions assuming they are honest?

    • An article that serves to inform most non-artists how to approach a conversation with an artist. Although I have an affinity for creative people, not everyone does and, therefore, you’re providing a real community service here by giving a few do’s and don’ts. As a novelist and one-time actor, I was asked some pretty insensitive or even rude question, but for the most part people are genuinely interested or curious and mean well when asking questions. Good job in tackling this sometimes sensitive subject!

  2. I’m no materials artist. I have the imagination, but I’m clumsy and inept. Except for music, which is my art. However, I have several friends, mostly from New Hampshire, who are first class artists. Art teachers, degree holding scholars, art writers and historians, all sorts of interesting people. I’m an artist groupy. Dudley Gibberson not only sells at fairs, he invented new glass blowing technology, and sells it. He is a singular glassblowing historian, and has written a book about glass history, and produces museum quality historical replicas (which are bought by museums for displays) of glass going back to the era before glass blowing, when they applied sand to a clay core, and fired the sanded core in a kiln. The guy is a genius as well as an artist. One of his art show selling projects is hand made beads, made one at a time on a mandrel, in a technique first used in Africa 5000 years ago. I have spent hundreds of hours volunteering in friend’s booths at the yearly Mount Sunapee Craft Fair, which is an astonishing museum of art and crafts in twenty huge tents and the 2 ski lodges at the bottom of the hill. You just wouldn’t believe some of the work. It ranges from $50 to around $50,000. Since I’m a poor boy, by volunteering in booths, I’m able to collect some small pieces of pottery and blown glass and jewelry, wrought iron, and leather goods. Sitting here at my desk, I have a 20 year old wrought iron letter opener sitting with the pens in in a Sunapee pottery pot. 10×10 viney wrought iron bookends hold the crown line up of books on the top shelf. One day, helping at a pottery booth with my friend Rick Elkin, we were sitting outside his booth playing music. We played a few old timey blues, me on harmonica, Rick on guitar. When we got up to go into the booth, we discovered about ten dollars in my hat, which I had just accidentally left on the ground. That caused explosive belly laughs. We fought over who was getting the odd change. Well, I digress. I loved the article. One friend had a replica Buck Rogers Ray Gun that made noises and emitted sparks. He used it to kill Rudeniks, from the planet Asswipeon. I completely agree with the article, but I prefer to armor myself with humor, and expect Rudeniks to be on the attack. Rudeniks are like weather. It makes little sense to gripe about the weather. I do wish the Do’s and Don’ts list was posted at the gates at every festival, given away for free in baskets. It would educate buyers and sellers alike.

    • Wow! If music gets to be a bit of a drag and I can’t imagine that, you can always submit writing samples for publication. You have a charming, warm, witty, and engaging style. I loved reading every word, which I did twice!

      I’m in no league of your glass artist friend but the joy and relaxation I get from just turning on my torch and watching the glass begin to melt onto the mandrel transports me to another heavenly and therapeutic dimension. At age 74, I’m hoping to be around for many more years of

      Good health and good pleasures in your coming years!

      Judi Rubin
      Glass Lampworkers of Wisconsin (G.L.O.W.)
      Wisconsin Chapter of International Society of Glass Beadmakers- ISGB

  3. Great article. I sell sculpture at shows. Lifesize cats and kittens. The public is very kind to me. They like to tell me about their cats and ask me how mine are made. I’m not offended. People in my tent tend to draw the interest of others. I frequently have people taking photos of my cats. They are one of a kind. I show mostly in Fl but have been to a show in Denver to sell. They would be hard to copy and a very involved process, so I don’t mind photos. I guess we each have different takes on whats rude or not. Also there will always be someone on Facebook he is rude and argumentative. Thank you for taking the time to teach the public. : )

  4. As a former director of an art center that sponsors a large show every year and the mother of an artist who has been in many shows and won many awards, everything you said sounds very familiar. The majority of people at a quality show know better but I would add that commenting on price can be added to your list. Materials and time are costly so if the price is beyond your budget, don’t question the artist or make snide comments to your companion. Smile, say something kind, and move on. Per your comments about Art being personal to the artist, I had an artist tell me he “hangs his heart out every weekend and lets people stomp all over it.”

  5. Most of these questions don’t bother me. I answer them as nicely as I can and consider the source. I have bartered with people if they have something I am interested. If I have a person that says, ” My 5 year old can do that.” I always reply, “you are a very fortunate parent.”

    • I LOVE this reply……Lovely and clever…I’ll try to remember it. I’ve heard this remark about “a 5 year old”… especially at museum exhibits of abstract art, think Rothko or Hofmann. I always want to be defensive, and argue the case for the artist….but I just stay silent. I think your response is so much better than seething inside. make me smile at myself for being so clever!

  6. This is so spot on. Having set up in 100 degree heat after traveling 2 hours to have someone say, “I can buy that at Walmart for $2” about an original design pendant I made from copper metal clay- it was all I could do to keep from jumping over the my display and -well, you know. The visitor at my booth is free to think anything they want, but where is the license to say something rude? Another person at the same show asked me if I could “do any better?” At that point the heat got to me and I say, “Sure.” She then asked how much and I raised the price $20. Shocked she said, “But you said you could do better.” To which I answered, “But you didn’t specify for whom.” Surprisingly she came back later and purchased the item at my asking price.

  7. The key idea in this essay is not fear communication with show artists. Author, your attempt at clarifying made this far too wordy, thus tedious to wade through. I speak from my own weakness.
    Artists are tougher than projected. If someone is hurtful in an exchange in the market, they will be tarred, not the artist. I imagine this will offend the author and it will not be allowed, and that would prove my point–there is unnecessary protection for artists that have the courage to show.

  8. You forgot one group of very annoying commenters. They look around usually for quite a while and then they approach and say “I paint too you know” oh really? They’re always the same, hobbyists with no idea of the commitment needed to put on an exhibition. They really wind me up. Oh and they NEVER buy anything.

  9. My favorite is “friends” who want a painting done just for them but “they don’t have much money” most don’t even offer to pay for the canvas !!

    • Yeah I get that all the time, it’s most madening. For near friends I say there’s a waiting list for freebies, or when is your next big birthday IE your 90th? For those really rude ‘friends of friends’ sometimes people I hardly know, I direct them to my website, where the prices are clearly marked. People do try-it-on and at times there’s what feels like quite a bit of pressure, it’s really quite rude but easily brushed off with a bit of humour.

  10. Pingback: How to Talk to Artists at Art Festivals- The Do’s and Don’ts (Warning: You’ve probably been guilty of at least one of the don’ts…) | galactic957

  11. I do believe that context and intent are always important. For instance, “I want to learn to paint when I retire/have free time” can definitely be an insult, implying that the artist is indulging in a free-time activity for retirees or lazy bums. That comes across in the tone and the context. But unspoken might be these words: “Oh how I wish I could quite working and paint again. I painted for awhile, but I have debts up the yin-yang, a disabled kid, and a mom with Alzheimer’s. I would kill to be able to pick up a paintbrush again, but I’m afraid I’ve lost my artist’s spirit. But this artist here has really inspired me.” That isn’t me–it’s just an example–but do you see? A negative response to late-starters often comes from artists as well–for instance, at my local community college, where a truly fine artist teaches continuing-ed and his fellow teachers mock him, talking about his class as “old ladies who paint flowers.” There is no shame in spending your life working at one career and then deciding to go back to your first love.

  12. We live in a society that treats the arts and artists as something of an enigma; an oddity on the fringe of the social norm. Is it any wonder that we sometimes need to educate our customers while we encourage them to buy from us? This articles position that our customers should learn how to speak to us is pretty ridiculous. We need to learn how to speak to them and not make meaning out of misunderstandings or rude comments. Until our educational system recognizes the arts as the roots of creativity and invention, we’re just going to have to do the teaching ourselves.

  13. I have been attending art shows for many years and have seen some breathtaking pieces. I don’t see a comment regarding the weather. A fierce wind or rainstorm can wreck your booth, not to mention the art you have in it. And, transporting from show to show is a tricky business due to unforeseen damage in the process. I am always so impressed at the creativity of what I have seen. Thank you to the artists!

    • Oh, so true. I did outdoor shows at the beginning of my career. The physical and spiritual cost was enormous. The financial cost was mind blowing (for frames). At every one, I suffered through heat, humidity, torrential downpours, and wind blowing my display over. Add to that, the huge crowds shuffling by, I was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. At the end of two years, I vowed to never again set up my life for such a trial. My hat is off to those with the strength and fortitude for what it takes to pull off selling at an outdoor show.

    • Or… and I guess we all have them. One of those paintings you were never quite sure about. Its been to several exhibitions, you’ve lowered the price (twice) and you’re just carting it around like a stow away. These make good scrounger fodder. (Switch to cheap frame.)

  14. Some people just cannot differentiate between fine art and hobbies. But they can’t help it. I was once told by a sweet little lady, “My daughter does what you do, except she paints bluebonnets on saws”. Stifle the guffaw…smile and say, “How nice for her.”

  15. You said it so well! One of my favorites is the person who will go to a Pampered Chef party and pay big bucks, then complain about the price of art. She should make it herself with kitchen utensils.

  16. I think every artist out there worth their salt has a collection of stories like the ones listed here, that they have collected along the way. Looking back those often embarrassing questions, or difficult situations make for a lot of hilarious stories after the fact, if we are able to laugh at ourselves and this crazy life. It is also a sign that we have paid our dues to get to the top of our chosen, albeit creative, career. I would not take back even one of those often exasperating experiences (well – maybe one…) if given the chance, as those experiences were part of the journey to the top of the mountain – a show like you are speaking about. When I was accepted to show in New York, I knew that all of my hard work, all of the shows while it was pouring rain, and all of the miles, were worth it. I don’t believe I would have appreciated it quite so much, or in the same way, without every part of the experience. By the time I hit New York, I knew that I didn’t care if someone didn’t like my work – different strokes for different folks. I knew who I was, and that I was offering the best I could offer, and I was grateful to have made journey, and proud of what I made. Interestingly, the biggest problem in New York, was others wanting to “knock off” or copy your work, and so the opposite problem begins… I’m here to say – enjoy the journey – because it is a most amazing ride, and few people get to experience it!

    Linda Thomas

  17. Thank you. As a budding jewelry designer, who retired early to try to make a go of my passion as a business, this totally resonates.

  18. Great article, thank you. This is also very timely for me as I have recently become unemployed after a long career in a technical field, and was toying with the notion of attempting the art show circuit. I have “dabbled” in hand-colored photographs for many years and had some success with exhibiting, won some awards and made some sales. Your article reinforced for me, that artists that go the route of art festivals must be made of very tough stuff, indeed. I think I’ll just try Etsy.

  19. I appreciate your article. When I am at a festival, i refuse to purchase anything from a vendor who is too busy to even speak when I enter their tent. this mostly seems to happen in empty tents. i understand if the vendor is speaking to someone else. Ironically, they are usually the most friendly vendors. If the vendor cannot be bothered to look up and speak then I cannot be bothered to get out my wallet/ credit card / checkbook.

  20. I think the person who says “I’d like to learn to paint when I retire” is trying to build a connection to the artist and to show that he does value what you’re doing… even if they don’t really understand. But that they even value art enough to come to a show is something in this day and age. Believe me, where I live, those people are few and far between.

  21. Concise and insightful. As another artist who has suffered at the hands of the uninitiated and often clueless general public I applaud your efforts. Thank you.

  22. Thank you for this information. I’m sorry now for things I might have said in the past but, never again will I do that. I guess I never understood but now I do.thank you so much for helping me understand.

    • I hope you know that not every artist feels this way. Some of us love making what we make and are glad you came out to see it, and happy to answer your questions. There’s no perfect way to behave at an art festival, as long as you are enjoying the art and generally respectful, as I hope we are to you, as well.

  23. I would like to address another art festival issue. I don’t fully enjoy going to art festivals because I don’t have a lot of disposable income, and feel guilty that I’m looking (and enjoying looking), but am very likely not going to make any purchases. Is this a normal feeling, and should I just stop going, or try to get rid of the feeling somehow?

    • Jason, please DO go to art festivals! I’m in the same boat as you. It is very rare I have the cash to buy anything, heck I couldn’t afford my own work! I promise you MOST people attending art festivals are only there to look. All artists like their work to be seen and appreciated. All we ask is for people to be kind, and not monopolize our time when we are trying to sell. A simple “your work is beautiful” is always delight to hear. Also, if you really love an artist’s work, many of us have lower-cost options: Fine art prints, books, etc. that you may be able to afford. Most of us also offer layaway. It’s ok to say “I love your work, do you have any prints or small pieces that would fit into my $300 budget?”. (Check out the documentary “Herb & Dorothy”, and amazing New York couple who amassed an incredible art collection on small and budget pieces.) Please do go out and enjoy some art this Summer, we need more art lovers in the world 🙂

    • Buying is never a requirement. Enjoy the day. Be inspired. Create a mental wish list of what you would buy if you had more room, or more money, or weren’t planning to move next year.

  24. I shared this on FB a few years ago and just reshared it. Great for art show attendees to read. I did art shows for 12 years before I took off from the shows to raise my kids. Now I’m thinking about doing shows again and some of the don’t made me cringe.
    I was raised in retail, tourist related jewelry stores. We made a list one time of all the stupid, sometimes mean comments, we heard. It ended up filling a legal notebook. That’s why shop owners get downright nasty after years in business. After 40 years in retail Let’s hope I have a fresh attitude when I hit the shows again.

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