Fair first timers

Never been to a fair before? Well, no worries! We’ve got it covered. Here’s our all-you-need-to-know for exploring an Affordable Art Fair.

Pace yourself
Art fairs may be wonderful places, full to the brim with galleries and troves of art, but inevitably they encompass a none-too-small area and can involve a lot of walking. So make sure those feet are comfy and p-a-c-e yourself. Finding that perfect piece of art is not something that should be rushed and discovering our fairs should be exciting experiences, not exhausting ones.

Be prepared
If you have a come on a ‘that kitchen wall has been blank for far too long, I will find the perfect piece of art to fill it today’ kind of mission, then it is best to come prepared. Before you set out, have a think about the space you are looking to fill: how big is it? How is it lit during the day and in the evening? Is there a slanting ceiling to take into account? That way, you will know when you really have found the perfect artwork.

Grab a guide
Upon arriving at an Affordable Art Fair, pick up a Fair Guide. Flick through to get to grips with the layout and as you wander around, make notes on galleries and pieces you liked, including info like the name of the gallery, its stand number, the artist’s name, size, and price. Or if available, simply pick up the gallery’s card.

Speak up
If you find something you particularly like, ask questions! The best way to find out more about an artist or a specific work is to chat to the gallerist about them. You will find them an exceedingly knowledgeable bunch and more than happy to impart their wisdom. And if you have an insatiable desire to know even more, then you could sign up to their mailing lists to be kept up to date with all arty goings-on.

It isn’t speed-dating
Once you’ve had a proper good look around, it can be helpful to take a break and mull over your choices. Have a glass of wine, chitchat with friends and return to your favourite pieces with fresh eyes. You really only get one chance to buy an original artwork, so if you really fall in love with something then our best advice is to just go for it!

Trust your instincts
As fine as it is to buy art as an investment, really the only thing that matters is your own individual response. Buying art is about the connection and reaction you feel to a piece. Trust your own taste and go for pieces you will take pleasure in viewing day in and day out.

Own art
Affordable is our name, and affordable is very much our aim, but sometimes you might find yourself falling for something outwith your budget. But fear not! For if you do tumble head over heels for something, many of our exhibiting galleries are part of the Own Art Scheme, which allows you to arrange payment in more manageable instalments. And even if they’re not, many galleries run their own schemes, so it’s always worth asking.

Have fun!
Our golden nugget of advice for first timers? Art is FUN! Enjoy yourself and get involved with all that we have to offer: join in one of our workshops, meet an artist, chat with someone new, participate in a discussion and generally just have a grand old time.

Kick starting a collection »
Nail the art of framing and hanging »
Original prints, editions and reproductions » 

“Treat a work of art like a Prince; let it speak to you first.” 
Schopenhauer