Art Fair Insiders

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

Hello Art Show Folks,

I have been through some major life changes recently. As a result, I have decided to make the plunge and venture out to the art fair world to sell my photography. I am working outside of the US right now but at the beginning of 2018, I will be back in the country and ready to take on art fairs full time. And, I will be doing it while traveling in my SUV and a travel trailer...at least that is the plan at the moment.

Are there others folks out there that are "location independent" and working art shows from their RV or travel trailer? I am interested in learning from those who have blazed this trail. What are the big considerations? Am I crazy for considering this? This information will be very helpful as I move forward to this new life in 2018.

Thanks in advance for your advice/comments!

Mike

mbthomasphotography.com

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Hi Kathleen, I am sorry I overlooked your reply until I just now. You mention a good point...these touristy destinations have some high rents on their hotel rooms during festival season. I have a more economical option with a travel trailer. Since I am single at this time, it is a reasonable option that would not be so if I had a family to house as well. Thanks for your input! Mike

here's one I just remembered

https://mandyleaphoto.blog/

Thanks Don. I will check it out.

Mike

I been learning along the way. Although I have not done this full time.. I have traveled in my van part time during the winter months in South Florida.  Im still learning the shows and the circuit..  

Began 3 years ago with a Toyota Sienna.  I have now graduated to a ford transit medium roof.. Which I enjoy..  The trick is keeping it stealthy.  I have had no regrets yet, as I have met many folks on the road and has been a total adventure.. Would love to meet other travelers & artist.   My attitude is to do it while you can, enjoy life, take photos, learn, & well I know its only for a season or two as we discover our market.  

Wishing you new discoveries and growth as a artist during this time of your life.. 

I have a tad head start before you, so I will be learning during the next couple years myself.. 

Hi Chris,

Thanks for sharing your journey with me. I have to say I am rather excited about the prospect of meeting the other artists and learning from them. 

Mike

We have been selling our handmade jewelry at shows and living in our 40 ft. motorhome for 17 years. We are fulltime in the MH and have two cats travelling with us.  You are not crazy for thinking this is the way to do it, because it certainly is!We tow a mini-van so the RV never has to come in the show.  Instead of worrying about bedbugs we go to sleep on our own 500 thread count sheets and use our own clean bathroom. We often park right at the show, so it's very convenient.  We are based in the winter in an RV park in Naples, Fl and have traveled the whole country.  The first three years we did shows in Washington state where our kids live. On our way out, we have done shows in many states including Colorado and California. We have travelled the country and made money and have loved every minute of it! We are happy to answer any questions you may have.

Hello Gary and Maureen,

Thank you for sharing your experience living the RV life. I am becoming more convinced each day that I am on the right path. I am getting excited about this new mobile lifestyle that I will soon be adopting and to entering the art show scene where I can get firsthand interactions with the crowds. Happy trails to US!  :-)

Mike

Is your motorhome a mobile workshop also? Do you make your art, from scratch, in the motorhome?

Yes. Some of it gets done outside. We have a jewelers bench that slides out from the basement.

Hi Larry, I am not sure if your question is meant for me, but here's my answer anyway ;-) I have not yet purchased my travel trailer but my intent is to have an office nook in the trailer by removing a bunkbed set and putting small counter and shelves. My medium is photography. I will have a 17" printer and my computer for processing prints. I plan to print, mat and package my prints in my travel trailer. I am playing with floorplans now that I think will work for my needs.

Michael.

Been there, done that ;-)

Be careful of climate control. When you are doing shows or not in the home, the temperatures and humidity make not be kept up, if generators or outside hookups are not being run. This will have a deleterious effect on your equipment, ink, materials etc.

The basement storage in many units is not large enough to accommodate large, framed prints put in vertical. You may want to look at a class c. The space above the driving section is fairly large, in many.

A Toy hauler, is also good. I'm looking for one now.

Are you going to carry a saw for the framing also? If not it means pre-cutting a lot of frames and carry the chops with you, for the different sizes.

Space requirements to lay out prints to allow for extra drying, prior to matting is a concern.

You should invest in custom locks for the basement doors. Most are a standard lock that everyone has keys for. Not good for our trade.

If you pick a unit with a canopy, a sidewall system will allow work in inclement weather, outside.

If you want to PM me your rough plans, I'll try to give you some constructive criticism.

 

Hi Larry,

Thank you for your perspective given you "have been there, done that." You raise a number of issues that I will need to address. That is what I am hoping to do is consider all the issues and have some sort of plan going into this. I will be purchasing my travel trailer in December/January. Thank you for your offer to talk through my plans. I will be in touch soon. Mike

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