Im so sorry to hear that the TOAF didn’t go as expected and you’re feeling disappointed and deflated. I know just how much of your heart and soul you poured into the show and it’s gut wrenching when it doesn’t feel like it paid off in the same way you thought it would.
So many hours, so much money, so much anticipation…does it sound like I may have an insider knowledge to this feeling? Well, that’s because I do. I’m no stranger to failure…in fact I’m actually quite experienced at it. Did you know that in the first year of my art business I sold a whopping total of 3 things in 12 months? You best believe that I'm sitting with you in your disappointment friend.
But you know what, I didn’t let that failure define me. If you’ve listen to the podcast then you’ll know that one of my core beliefs is that our response to failure will determine our success. I chose to learn from that season of "failure" and it taught me everything I needed to, to prepare me for the success that came the following year. With a little bit of strategy I went from a failing print artist to selling out 5 online art launches. I don't say this to brag- but to show you what's possible if you refuse to let the disappointment along the way stop you. There's nothing particularly special about me. No marketing degree, not fine arts degree and I since I'm being honest I leave my paint water so long it starts to smell. You can listen to the full story (it also involves an art fair) right here on the podcast.
Can I give you a quick little pep talk from one artist to another?
This is just the beginning. Don’t you dare let this experience have the last word. I know it’s hard, but you’re going to pick up the pen and keep writing, okay?! There’s still plenty of story left to write. If you need to know that you're not alone in disappointing fair experiences, please listen to episode one of the podcast- failure, scams...you'll be wondering why I didn't give up, but hopefully it will inspire you not to give up either!
THIS IS NOT THE end of the story!
PLAY THE long game
Buying art is a huge investment for people- not just financially, but also emotionally. The art that people buy becomes part of their everyday landscape and they plan to keep it for life. For most, it's a big decision that takes time to make. Did you know majority of buyers need between 8-10 points of exposure with a product before they will buy? Even if the fair didn't result in a bunch of sales, it helped you connect with collectors and got the conversation started. Keep up your connection with these collectors over the coming months. (Hopefully you snapped up their details or connected them to your socials). Continue to expose them to your work, tell the story of your creations and watch as they become fans and buy from you in the future. If you want to know more about why and how to connect with collectors find out why I swear by my email list here.
What's more powerful than telling yourself "I can do it?"It’s asking HOW will I do it? Studies have shown that those who ask themselves HOW they’re going to tackle a situation or disappointment are 50% more likely to succeed than those who rely purely on positive affirmations. So, once you’ve had a little vent, lift your head and ask yourself “How will I move through this failure?” I don’t know exactly what your next step is, but I know that I am here to cheer you on as you figure it out. I walked through a lot of failure (seriously, listen to episode one) but I made a commitment to myself to keep taking steps forward and it ultimately resulted in a joyous, profitable art business I love running. Whatever creative dream is in your heart… It Is Possible.
MORE POWERFUL THAT SAYING "I can do it"
If you haven’t already, please follow my podcast The Optimistic Artist. I created the podcast to help artists declutter their mind and focus on the things that will make the biggest impact in their art business. Check out some of my favourite episodes here and make sure you add the podcast to your library so that you don’t miss future episodes.