3 Creative Ways to Promote Your Art at Fairs and Festivals

By Niki Hilsabeck in Art Business Advice > Selling at Art Fairs

Summer art festivals and art fairs provide great opportunities for artists. . . but while these big events mean more potential customers, they also come with a challenge: how do you make your artwork stand out amongst all the rest?

The following ideas are several fun, creative ways to add a personal touch to your art display—I use them all the time myself, and hopefully they’ll prove successful for you as well!

1. Handcrafted price tags

I’ve mentioned before that if you’re selling your artwork at an event, everything should be clearly labeled with a title, medium, size, and price, so that your entire art booth is customer-friendly. I would also caution against hand-written price tags.

HOWEVER—that doesn’t mean your pricing labels can’t be personalized!

One way I’ve found to add a unique touch to my labels is to cut up old acrylic or watercolor paintings (done on paper) and use the colorful pieces as backgrounds for my price labels. I type my price labels so they are still professional-looking and uniform, and use strong tape as an adhesive so I can replace the price tags when prices change.


If you want a sturdier label, you can add a layer of foam board under the background color. You can also use larger pieces of your cut-up works as backdrops for small signs and informational materials.

2. Individual business cards for each artwork

After sitting through many art events and seeing people view my paintings in person, I’ve noticed that they will often really connect with one or two particular pieces, even if they like all of the artwork.

Rather than expect these viewers to look up my website and search for the artwork themselves, I thought it would be more efficient to link them directly to the pieces they enjoyed. So, I decided to make individual business cards for each painting on display.

Using a basic template, I added a photo, title, brief description, and link to the specific page on my website to purchase each painting. It sounds like a lot of work, but once you decide on a basic design and follow your chosen format, it doesn’t take long—especially if you’re already used to typing up descriptions of your work when you post it online.


I printed my individual “artwork cards” on regular printer paper and cut them out before putting them on my display table at my last event (which was a meet and greet, not for selling). Many visitors enjoyed going through them and picking out the cards for the paintings they liked.

Another way to use these cards is to turn them into coupons—include one or two with a purchase, and you may be able to encourage customers to come back to your next event and purchase again!

3. An “about me” table

I usually set up my “about me” table in a way that gives visitors enough information to make them feel comfortable approaching me with questions. My table is not about displaying my expertise, or a list of accomplishments (although such a display is certainly an asset at a high end event!)

Instead, my goal is for people to get comfortable with what I do and how I do it, so I think of the table as more of a learning center than a promotional area. Of course, I’ve been influenced by many years in the classroom, where I’ve found that a table of hands-on materials is infinitely more engaging to my students than a no-touch, dry display.

If you’re displaying at a busy event, the “about me” table is a good space to occupy people who are waiting to approach you (or who might not be ready to talk to you yet). A table with a brief bio, a description of your process and what makes you unique, along with photos of your artwork or a browsing box gives your visitors something to remember.

Occasionally I’ll display some of my materials, too, since I get a lot of questions about my medium and technique. If you paint with brushes or palette knives, put some out on the table and encourage people to handle them—they’ll enjoy feeling like a part of your process!

Even if you don’t get a lot of time with with visitors, these personal touches can help make your artwork memorable and make YOU stand out. Just remember to keep your booth visually attractive, inviting, and professional-looking. If you do, your visitors will go away with a great memory of an enjoyable experience!


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