Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Slow Day at the Market

Yesterday at Portland Saturday Market was a bit of a flop for me:  If you don't know how the market works, here's a bit of info about it:  It's rather complicated, so I'll try to stick just to the immediate facts.

Due to a point system, we artists/vendors (who for one reason or another don't have a permanent space for the year) are allowed to choose our space for the day or the weekend dependent on our accumulated number of points.  As a "returning artist," (I'll explain that some other time if anyone is interested), I have a small number of points and thus usually don't get a choice of a great spot (this year).  I made a bad choice in the location I did choose, and it had a very strong adverse result on the number of people who passed by my booth yesterday.  I just wasn't thinking but wanted to try someplace I had never been located, too.  It was a big mistake, and my poor sales reflected that bad choice.  Well, okay, it's only one weekend, and I know not to choose that location again in the future!

Overall, though, it's been very good for me to have been at the market all these years I've been there.  I get to "meet and greet" my potential customers; I get to see real-time feedback from customers, using what they say, their body language, what they look at most (and least), etc.  It's a real education for the artist who pays very close attention and can help the artist (or craftsperson) determine what themes/items/sizes, etc. are most likely to please customers and thus create an income.

I have finally started taking just a few commissioned custom painting orders again, so I'm going to be quite busy with them over the next several weeks and may not be at the market as regularly as I have been, but I will go at least every other weekend until the holiday season starts to kick in.  Also, this time of year, customer traffic is generally slower than in the summer and holiday months, so it's a good time to get caught up on other work, such as custom work.

Now to start on a customer's four - or is it five? - dog portraits!  Wish me good painting!

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