I am considering selling my work after a lot of interest of my work has recently been generated. I want to join a local art festival to see how it goes and if it is worth pursuing.

For instance, what type of material should I print on? I like to print of metallic paper because it makes everything stand out and it is just beautiful.

How many different prints should I prepare and how many copies of each print?

How much money should I look to set aside to invest in other material goods like a tent, chairs, etc.? And what are some MUST have items?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Not a full answer but...you should spend as little as possible on things like a tent, chairs, etc. Borrow what you can, rent the rest, and err on the side of saving your cash. The more you spend here, the more you need to sell to break even. \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Aug 20, 2018 at 6:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Horitsu Selling the print with the frame means you are imposing your choice of frame on the buyer. Why as a buyer should I spend money on a frame that either I don't like or won't fit in with the rest of my decór? It also means that you are carrying the cost of the frame until you make the sale - so by your second comment, you shouldn't be funding the frame. \$\endgroup\$
    – Peter M
    Aug 20, 2018 at 11:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PeterM -- because as an artist I'm the best judge of how my work should be framed. <g> \$\endgroup\$ Aug 20, 2018 at 12:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PeteBecker As an artist you work to please your own sense of style. As a seller, sometimes one must work to please the sensibilities of potential customers. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Aug 20, 2018 at 16:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ Sell with and without frames. I’ve bought artwork both ways, depending on lots of factors, ranging from whether the style of frame will clash with other frames I’ve got, to how I’m going to get it home that day. A frame isn’t just dependant on the artwork, but also the space. I’d be really annoyed to be forced to buy a frame I don’t want when I’m going to put it in an even nicer frame at home. Or if I want a larger mount. Some people want the convenience of having it pre-framed, some don’t want the expense of the frame. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dan W
    Sep 18, 2018 at 21:32

2 Answers 2


I am exhibiting at a local artfair tomorrow, and have been exhibiting at fairs, big and small, for antiques and art/photography for years. Bottom line is that you need to offer prints in all formats, to sell. When faced with options to buy unmounted, mounted or mounted and framed most people will buy the unmounted print because:

  • It is the cheapest way of buying the artwork they like and it is the lightest to lug from the fair to their car - so an easy impulse buy

  • They have been inspired by what it looks like mounted / framed - but want to put the mount and frame on it that fits their decor or marks it as unique to them (even though it may be one of a thousand prints you sell)

  • You are limited by how many fully mounted prints in frames that you can fit on the stall - unless it is huge and you only have a few images to sell. So, in a perfect world, I would take one framed (with non-reflective glass to "showcase" the picture) of each of my most popular pictures then a bunch of mounted "ready to frame" for each popular image and the rest unmounted - with a flip album they can leaf through to see the full range of what you have in stock without getting the stock grubby and pawed through. This means that the bulk of your stock is "out of the way, under the table" leaving your display space nice and clear for your "samples and examples"

I would also have postcards and greeting cards to sell as people love a souvenir and sometimes want to see if the rest of the family/ board / office like a picture, before buying a full size one. I used to give these as free samples - but can't say that ever worked... so now sell them at slightly over cost...

In my imperfect world, however, I am unexpectedly manning two stalls (one for my art and photos and one for an artist) tomorrow and am woefully under-prepared - so much so, I am here, rather than frantically prepping... However, I have a heap of unmounted prints, quite a few postcards and some original artwork / photo prints left over from other fairs... so not a total disaster... but I wish I had done everything that I am suggesting, right now... good luck!

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes to postcards, etc. Outside of fine-art commissions, in my experience casual buyers will be value oriented. \$\endgroup\$
    – user31502
    Sep 25, 2018 at 20:15

I would think that a print should at least be matted, and let the buyer decide the frame.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, it is one person's rule of thumb, which is what the OP asked for. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Sep 28, 2018 at 2:07

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