My Market Addiction

It’s been 12 months since RobinART was conceived.

Back track to March 2018 and with 50 paintings completed, you could say I was already addicted to painting. With a second bedroom converted to a studio and storage and wall space running out, it was time to sell my artwork. What a daunting prospect! My paintings “stripped bare” for all to see.

The Broome Markets was a logical choice, but the question was how to go about entering this new frontier. I had plenty of experience with trade shows and field days in a past life but to put all on show in a completely new environment was challenging to say the least.

I sussed out the markets on Saturday mornings, walking amongst the stalls looking for display ideas, and even attended the 2018 AGM to get to know the workings of the Broome Community Stallholders Association. It was an intense meeting with people’s livelihoods on the line and plenty of issues that I had no idea existed.

I purchased a 3m gazebo, a couple of tables and made mesh display stands. Together with a RobinART sign (with an incorrect phone number) and now 70 pieces of artwork, I packed the Suzuki Jimny to the hilt and hit the Saturday morning markets. I had been advised to turn up at 7am as this was when casual stallholders where allocated a site. Not wanting to miss out on a “prime spot” I arrived at 6am.

Oh, the politics! As a newbie I had to wait my turn for site allocation once all the Members had arrived on their sites. It was a hard lesson that was learnt over time that I came to respect.

Now 6.45am there was a mad panic to set up a display from scratch featuring the newest gazebo on the block. After 2 hours and with a couple of helpers it looked respectable. Then I started to question myself. What would the market goers think of my artwork, and would I sell anything? 4 hours later with 6 pieces of artwork sold plus 10 smaller items, I was relieved and excited about my prospects.

The last 12 months has been a learning curb with ups and downs, but always looking forward to my next market. A 5am start every Saturday morning (and Sundays during the peak tourist season), lugging equipment to a site (as a casual not always the same site), setting up an eye-catching display and then packing it down is hard work, particularly in Broome’s heat and humidity. There is no easy way and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

At the markets I have met tourists from all over the World, made friends with a number of markets stallholders, networked with Broome business people and sold artwork to all corners of the globe. I am addicted to this environment.

12 months on, after serving my 9 month qualification period, I am now a permanent member of the Broome Community Stallholders Association and at the recent AGM was elected to the Committee of Management and subsequently as Vice Chairperson.

I look forward to promoting and selling my ever-evolving artwork at the Broome Markets but feel I now have the added responsibility to ensure that the integrity of the Broome Markets is upheld, whereby it’s Members and the wider Broome community benefit from it’s ongoing existence.