Art Fair Insiders

Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

Finally getting into shows thanks to the info on ArtFair Insiders

Hi All,

I joined the community almost two years ago when I was desperately looking for information on how to get into juried art shows.  I am not a big social website person so was just a "looker" until now but have decided to let everyone know how helpful the information on ArtFair Insiders has been to me and to recap my adventure so far.  Maybe someone can learn from my mistakes.  :-)

I live in Colorado's Front Range area and applied to many juried shows in this region last year.  I was wait-listed for a couple of them but didn't get into any.  I had good consignment sales in local boutiques so I knew someone liked my work!  I bugged the show coordinators for feedback and in each instance I got the same info - need a booth shot and need better photos.  With these two areas of improvement identified, I started my internet search for "best practices".  Just as all roads led to Rome, all fruitful searches led to ArtFair Insiders.  Taking the wealth of information on this site to heart in putting together my booth and in improving my photos, I am pleased to say that my acceptance rate this year has been 75% and I was even invited to attend a "sister" show to which I did not apply with the jury process and fee being waived!  Now I'm mining ArtFair Insiders for info on booth lighting setups... Awesome info on this topic here, too!

Tips that I've Learned @ The School of Hard Knocks So Far:

  • Don't give any art show your jury fee unless you have a GREAT booth shot.  Even if you think you have a great "grouping of work" shot, I've found this really doesn't count as the competition to get in is usually very stiff and the jury will take the artist with a booth shot every time.  They will be very happy to take your money if you insist, however.  :-(
  • You might THINK the images you took of your work with your point-and-shoot that you Photoshopped to death are great close ups but think again.  Go to the websites of the art shows in which you're interested and look at the photos from the featured artists.  Wow! 
  • For both of the above issues I found Mr. Larry Berman's information most helpful:  Thank you Larry Berman!

http://www.artfairinsiders.com/profile/LarryBerman

http://bermangraphics.com/artshows/booth-slide.htm

I almost hired Mr. Berman but having been a published underwater photographer in my youth, I decided to brush up my skills, upgrade my equipment and try it myself.  I live at 9,100 feet so wasn't able to set up my booth until late May last year.  I set it up and took photos throughout the day.  I discovered that I need some wind adjustments and after some thorough Photoshopping to eliminate most distractions I got a useable jury shot.  

My curtains are now velcroed to the wire panels instead of hanging from the canopy.  Much better for wind, especially when I put my newly acquired canopy sides on!  I will retake the booth shot once the foot of snow we just got melts.  Ugh.

From a practical point of view, this last Christmas I was able to use my booth at a craft show and got great feedback on it.  I used clip on LED lights but have decided to go for a better system using a deep cycle battery, LED light strips and LED wall washers.  My first show of the season is this coming Memorial Day weekend at Denver ArtStir.  I'll let you know how it all works out.  THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO HAS CONTRIBUTED TO MY SUCCESS BY CONTRIBUTING TO THIS WEBSITE, MAKING IT SUCH A GREAT, INFORMATIVE PLACE TO VISIT. :-)  And of course I want to thank Connie for making it all possible!

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I have found the same about the booth shots, I was using a gallery shot and now have a booth shot.  Hopefully my luck will be better for fall submissions.

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Looks great!  Good luck!

Great booth shot! I know I have to re-take mine at some point as the latest incarnation is a bit too dark.

Thank you, Renee! I live to help you make this all come true and am so pleased that this site and all its wonderful contributors have been helpful to you. I appreciate your kind words so much.

What great feedback for AFI and all its members!   Congratulations on improvements you've made that have resulted in great acceptance rates :)  Onward and upward!!

No better cheerleader than you, Annette. Thanks so much for all your years of encouragement on the site and all your helpfulness to everyone.

Renee, Congratulations on all you've learned and put to work.  Having a great booth shot is sooooo important.  All that research on AFI was well worth it!  There are so many artists on this sight who are willing to share, and Larry tops the list.  So thanks Larry from all of us who benefit.  From 0 to 75% acceptance is a huge improvement.  Getting accepted is step 1.  Step 2 is sales.  Best of luck!

Thanks for the tips and the photo, Renee, and welcome to AFI!  You're right about it being the best place for aspiring artists as well as accomplished art fair veterans...lots of good information here.  I think your booth shot looks great but I'm not very experienced in these matters, someone else can give you better advice...it sure looks like you're on the right track though, good luck!

started doing itty bitty craft fairs and festivals here in Maine back in 2005...very quickly needed advise and hints/tips/tricks...on a websearch AFI popped up....I joined and trolled for a good year, gleaning knowledge and applying what I needed for my business and booth... and low and behold, in the process, I discovered a wonderful group of professionals, willing to share their time and expertise, their stories and experiences, and have lively, thought provoking discussions.....and have never looked back!! It's a great place here Connie has cobbled together, and even though I don't do the massive ART Fairs the info and advise is still applicable. Thanks be for this site!!

I love your booth!! and versatile, too. You can configure, and set that up inside without loosing  the consistency and vibe! 

That is my story too! I would still be at the local farmers market between the painted gord lady and the honey man (he made money, unlike me!) if it wasn't for the lovely people here. A belated THANKS! To everyone.

Great to hear that from you, Robin, as I know you've been developing your good business sense and out there walking the walk. Let's keep it going. There is money to be made and a creative life to be led.

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