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Art Market - Must Haves

This year I decided to shift gears and start focusing more time on my own art practice and with that, came the reality that if I wanted to sell my work locally I would need to start participating in art fairs and markets again. It’s a big step and it can be costly when you use the trial and error method, or have to re-buy everything after a hiatus like I did. I compiled a list (with links) to all the things that make my market set up a breeze. If you are new to market life or you just need a new way of doing something, check out my ideas below. If you have something different that works for you, please leave me a comment so that we can all learn from one another.

Before we dive into all the shopping, I wanted to share a few images of my current booth set up:

My make life easier market list:
The tent - THIS tent is the bomb and I don’t have this one yet but a fellow artist, @ Mria’s Mezzanine, does and as soon as I squeeze every last penny out of the one I currently have, I’ll be upgrading to this one. My current tent is fine, it gets the job done and it keeps the sun from cooking me and the drizzle from getting me or my work wet.
The walls - I use metal grid walls. I personally have the 2’ x 4’ size because I drive a Honda Fit and needed something that could be transported in my car should Andrew be out of town for work on a market weekend. These work great for me, they come in other colors if you wanted them to not be white. I double them up and use spring links or carabiners to connect two panels to create a larger space to hang work.
The wagon! - Talk about making life easier. I swear to you, investing in this collapsible wagon is a game changer. I am very lucky that Andrew helps me set up most of the time but there are times when logistically he cannot. This wagon makes it to where I can carry what I need with ease.
The giant spring links/carabiners - These massive spring links make it super easy to suspend my gridwalls from my tent. I only use these hooks to hang the walls, to make my walls “bigger” I use smaller hooks.
The spring links that connect two grid walls together - I use these smaller spring links to connect my grid walls to create a larger “wall” for hanging artwork. I personally picked all the same color but you do you. If my word painting doesn’t make it click the photo above (the one with me in it) shows how the two walls are clipped together.

The reusable zip ties - This amazing discovery came via a fellow artist too, @ Kara Voorhees Reynolds. It was a godsend during a particularly windy market as I use these to now hang my work on my grids. I used to use S-Hooks and they get the job done, but if you grab these zip ties I promise you will not be disappointed. My work was secure during some pretty gnarly wind gusts and with these zips being reusable, I feel better about purchasing plastics since they are not single-use.
I truly feel like with these items, you cannot go wrong! I’m not sponsored by any of the links above and I get zero kickbacks if you buy any of the things from my list. I am just sharing some information that I have learned along the way. The hard way.
If you’re just getting started, this list will hopefully help you navigate a confusing road and help you get this task over with so you can focus on making more artwork. If you have other ideas or must haves, please leave me a comment with links if possible so we can check out your finds too.

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