The final and most important thing to consider is how much that space will cost. You don’t want to go over budget, so first decide how much you can spend on rent, paint, and other installation costs like electricity. Let’s say your budget is $1,200, and you cannot spend more than that. If that is your amount then the rent should be no more than about $800 for the three or four days of the fair, but remember that you will need to acquire the space sooner so you can clean it up if necessary, paint the walls, and hang your art. It’s important to have a rough budget already in mind when talking to the person who controls the space. Have you already figured out how much the paint and other installation materials will cost? It is OK if you don’t have the exact figures, but be approximate, and err on the side of over-budgeting. That way, when you talk to the person in charge of the space you will be organized and will know right away if you can afford the space or not. Keep in mind that as an artist, the person you are talking to knows that you are not rich, and that you are ambitiously fronting your own money to follow your passion. This may motivate the realtor to go easier on you during the price negotiation. It also means that if you are firm about the costs and your budget, the realtor will believe that they cannot demand any more money if they want your business. You may also offer a piece of your art to sweeten the deal. Most people like the idea of being a collector, especially if the art in question is associated with the major art fairs nearby. If renting a space nearby a major art fair is something you want to try, just begin to look for spaces and be prepared to negotiate.
To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here. To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.