The Art-Nordic fair was booked and planned. I just needed to set up my website which was planned to the end oft he year. So everything was rescheduled. The preparations for my first art fair wereconnected with a lot of excitment, ups and downs and hard work besides my full-time job. At the same time the question was how to arrive in Copenhagen… a few of us booked a flight, another one took a train and the rest drove by car including me. Yes… I decided to drive about 10 hours just to be sure my artworks arrive save. Another pro was that I could take everything I wanted with me.
After a long driving session, my husband and I made it to Copenhagen on Wednesday evening. On Thursday we had enough time to visit the city and try a few of the delicious pastries like cinnamon rolls. About 6 pm we both arrived at „Lokomitiv vearkstedet“ where the fair took place, to prepare my booth. It was really exciting for me… I mean it was my first art fair and also the first time I met my friends from the Art Studio N7 in person. Before we only met online in video calls.
Pia and I shared a booth. A few weeks ago she had the amazing idea to do a collaboration. She started painting and sent me the rolled canvas to do my part. As I finished I sent it back and hoped it would arrive before the fair, so she can stretch and varnish it. Thankfully everything worked well.
Now back to our booth. We hanged our paintings, prepared our table with businesscards and giveaways and had great chats in the meantime. Unfortunately, Pia and I realized that our booth was a little bit hidden for the visitors due to the long walls we had. They were great for hanging paintings but also bad because they darkened the space. Of course we could order stuffs like lights, tables beforhand, but as we didn´t know how the location and our booth looks like, we expected the organizers have already planned great lightning there. I mean everyone knows a great lightning is essential for exhibiting artworks.
On Friday, 26th November the fair opened at 12:30 pm for „VIP´s“. We expected to have a lot of visitors on this day. The opposite happened... It was really slow on this day. But we were motivated enough to paint on an extra large wine bottle (about 3 meters I guess). This was planned with the Art-Nordic staff beforehand. The bottle should be auctioned from 50.000 DKK (6.723,52 €). The profit will be donated to Unicef Denmark. Pia, Jess, Marie and I had our own space on the bottle. It was fun to collaborate on a big wine bottle and we attracted a lot of people with this show. For example a person from the Art-Nordic cafeteria asked us to paint on a sail which will be hanged in the cafeteria. Jess and Marie started painting on it right after the bottle action.
We expected to have a lot great chats with the visitors, but it was very hard to start a conversation them. We tried different methods and failed a lot. This showed us that sometimes things doesn't go as we imagine. So we tried stay positive and started our live painting on Saturday. On this day we got a little bit more visitors than on Friday. We all started a collaboration on a large canvas. It was fun and we got a lot of response! I also took the time to walk through the fair and visit other booths. I had great chat with amazing artists and I could get inspiration for my next fair. So many different styles at one place! It was amazing to see how each person expresses herself in her own way.
On Sunday we had way more visitors, but overall not many. We finished our collaborations and enjoyed the fair. It was good to share a booth with someone since it was my first fair and I was really excited. We could talk and didn´t focus on our „fears“. From 5 pm we started setting off our booths, packing our stuff and said goodbye.
All in all it was a cool experience for me. I met a few of my friends from Art Studio N7 in person. I talked to inspiring artists and connected with a few of them through social media. I got a lot of inspiration and it was great lesson learned.
Here is my lesson learned list:
- Bring not too many paintings. Less is more. So people can focus better on them
- Title cards with more transparency. I will do them again with QR code and title, but also add the price next time
- Bring your own bluetooth music box. In our case we didn´t have any music. Not even any
backgorund music from the organizers…
- Bring your own table/chest/small commode when you drive by car. So you can store your
stuff and your space still looks clean and has a nice design
- Plan a live painting to get attraction