Become A Con Artist: selling at conventions and markets with April M Baird

We were pleased to have April M Baird of the Maritime Con Artists group come to speak at E3C. This amazing group is a Facebook space where you can ask questions, get feedback and make artist alley friends. Dedicated to Atlantic Canadian artists, crafters, makers and writers.

As an artist who is going on her tenth year of selling at events, April M Baird has gleaned so much from learning on her own and from other artists in the community. She wanted to stay connected with them all and decided to form a Facebook group, so everyone can help each other out and post our work and more! Maritime Con Artists is a group where you can ask questions, get feedback and make artist alley friends. Dedicated to Atlantic Canadian artists, crafters, makers and writers.

April’s presentation covered a lot of ground. There were also a LOT of questions asked by attendees, which we always love. Some people at the event were just considering selling at events, while others had been selling for a few years and wanted additional insight. Some items April covered included:

  • The evolution of her display setup from when she first started out to now (and how you don’t have to ‘do it all’ when you start out)
  • What to charge, what to budget for, and expected revenue. April was very transparent about her profits, which was greatly appreciated!
  • What to do when you’re just starting out and unsure of which event to sell to. April recommended to go as an attendee and take note of how your work may or may not fit the space.
  • Selling original concepts vs. established properties.
  • What does branding look like for a convention/market artist? Social media was mentioned a lot, but April noted that just because people may not ‘engage’ with you on social, doesn’t mean they’re not paying attention to what you’re doing.

We want to thank April for being so kind in letting us into her business. One attendee was so inspired by her talk, they finally created an Instagram account for their art and started to talk to other attendees about how to move towards selling their work!

Photos by Shannon Dawn Ellis

Alison

Proud horror film geek and lover of every flavour of chips, Alison is a designer and illustrator working in Halifax. As head of the E3C steering committee, Alison is all about gathering creatives together and pushing people to do the most with their creative talent.