Art Fair Insiders

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

John Leben
  • Male
  • Saugatuck, MI
  • United States
  • Digital
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John Leben's Friends

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  • Nels Johnson

John Leben's Discussions

For Sale: 10 + 2 Graphic Display System Display Panels - $500

Started Aug 9, 2016 0 Replies

I have ten 7-foot tall 37.5 inch wide sectional panels covered with black fabric from Flourish and two 7-foot tall 19.5 inch wide sectional panels, also covered with black fabric from Flourish. I…Continue

Looking for Used ProPanels in Midwest

Started this discussion. Last reply by John Leben Aug 19, 2016. 2 Replies

I'm in the market for light gray seven foot Propanels with all the needed attachments. I need nine of them. I'll probably wind up taking out a second mortgage (HA) and buying them new from Propanels,…Continue

Digital Printmaking

Started this discussion. Last reply by John Leben Apr 17, 2017. 22 Replies

Although the "Digital" category is gaining more widespread acceptance in the art world (and the art fair circuit), as a digital artist, I continue to battle misconceptions in the public eye. I…Continue

 

John Leben's Page

Latest Activity

John Leben replied to Larry Sohn's discussion Edition number tracking
"I am a digital artist and I sell limited edition prints of my work. I have hundreds of images and I keep track of all of the edition numbers of all of them. I print my work using a large format Epson inkjet printer. When I create the print master…"
Apr 30
John Leben commented on Jessica Curning-Kuenzi's blog post Any one have experience with Eurmax PREMIUM pop up canopy?
"I have a trim line that is very heavy (and stable). It’s a bear to set up, but it will withstand a lot of bad weather. I used a ez up many years ago, but, after many iterations of adapting it to withstand heavy weather, I gave up and went to a…"
Apr 30
John Leben commented on John Leben's blog post Winter Art Fairs for a Michigan Artist
"Thank you, Mary, for that perspective. The two big negatives to doing art fairs are the set-up and breakdown, and the anxiety of weather. The older I get, the more these two factors affect my experience. Of course, there are a ton of positives too,…"
Apr 9
Mary Strope commented on John Leben's blog post Winter Art Fairs for a Michigan Artist
"Here's an attendee's perspective of the FL show circuit. This is the first time I spent the winter in FL.  I had the opportunity to escape the MI winter so I took it. Plus the main office for my job with Juried Art Services is in West…"
Apr 9
John Leben commented on John Leben's blog post Great Lakes Art Fair - Novi, Michigan - Great Show!
"Good luck at Novi, Jen. As I mentioned in the review, all artists aren't successful there. Like all art fairs, it depends on the clientele, and whether an artist's work appeals to that clientele. I've stuck with this show for several…"
Mar 21
Connie Mettler commented on John Leben's blog post Great Lakes Art Fair - Novi, Michigan - Great Show!
"It is scary, Jen, to do that move up ... nonetheless, worth the effort. This is a comfortable show to do with a quality exhibition hall, lodging nearby and a very supportive staff, and you'll meet John who is from your part of the state and who…"
Mar 21
Jen Burgnon commented on John Leben's blog post Great Lakes Art Fair - Novi, Michigan - Great Show!
"I am so grateful to have found this forum and your discussion John. I am pretty new to the art fair world (last year was my first full effort at them). I am attempting to move up from the $100-$200 shows (West side of the state) to the $400- $700…"
Mar 20
Connie Mettler commented on John Leben's blog post Winter Art Fairs for a Michigan Artist
"This is so helpful, John. Thanks for reporting again. Plus, others really like to hear sales figures. We used to go to Florida from Michigan for many of the same reasons. Sometimes blockbusters came our way but there was lots of keeping the bills…"
Mar 15
R. C. Fulwiler commented on John Leben's blog post Winter Art Fairs for a Michigan Artist
"Glad to hear it, John. I love your show reviews.  Would you consider writing one on "Under the Oaks".  You asked me about it and I'm wondering how it went for you.  See you in May...."
Mar 15
John Leben posted a blog post

Winter Art Fairs for a Michigan Artist

I'm from Saugatuck, Michigan. Needless to say, there is not a lot of opportunity to exhibit and sell in the cold North country during the winter months. Since we make our living selling art, and we can't make it through the winter without some sales, Marcia and I have been traveling to Florida every winter to exhibit and to reinforce the bank account. OK... it's not only the bank account, it's also a nice perk to get out of the cold and the snow. Some artists from the Midwest, who I admire, try…See More
Mar 13
geri a. wegner commented on John Leben's blog post Key West Old Island Days Festival - Worth Going?
"Key West came through the hurricane fairly well.  The cruise ships are still stopping there and the usual restaurants are all open as well as most of the hotels.  The islands right above Key West got hit pretty hard.  The islands…"
Dec 1, 2017
Connie Mettler commented on John Leben's blog post Key West Old Island Days Festival - Worth Going?
"Oh my ... I do know that. A big slip in my thinking. Geez ... well I've been to both places and they are both wonderful destinations. One much more expensive than the other. But I can't answer to the sales. It is a great excuse to go to…"
Nov 22, 2017
Nels johnson commented on John Leben's blog post Key West Old Island Days Festival - Worth Going?
"Connie. Cedar Key and Key West are a million miles apart from each other. Cedar Key is high up on the Gulf, due west from Gainesville. It is also nowheresville for sales at its annual art show in April. Low attendance. Key West is a big destination…"
Nov 22, 2017
Connie Mettler commented on John Leben's blog post Key West Old Island Days Festival - Worth Going?
"Really? A busman's holiday ... why not, Robert? We used to do that, but usually in our van and tacked on a show somewhere to pay the expenses of the trip. If it was in Florida we'd try to fit in a Howard Alan show. Then during the week go…"
Nov 21, 2017
Robert Wallis commented on John Leben's blog post Key West Old Island Days Festival - Worth Going?
"Connie, my wife and I are considering just going and not dealing with an art fair. The difference between driving there in a Toyota Corolla vs an E350 van is considerable in terms of gas money. It would probably be wiser to go when the fair takes…"
Nov 20, 2017
Connie Mettler commented on John Leben's blog post Key West Old Island Days Festival - Worth Going?
"Hi Robert -- always worth a try. I'd give them a call and see if they might take another application if you're really interested. I spent 5 days in Cedar Key a year or two ago and it is so quiet and charming, a really nice place for a…"
Nov 20, 2017

Profile Information

Your Medium
Digital
Years in the Art Fair Business
Off and on for 30 years
First show ever
Old Burton Place art fair in the 60s. Now the wells street art fair.
What is your website?
http://Www.lebenart.com
What are the best things about art fairs
To be able to sell my art and make a living on my own terms.
Best show ever and why
Recently, 2009 DES Moines art fair. Why? Perhaps because people attending looked forward to it every year and attended with the intention of purchasing something, unlike cities like Chicago that have an art fair every week-end so none of them are considered a special event.
Worst show ever and why
I remember a show in Muskegon, Michigan a few years ago when I didn't sell anything.
Who referred you to ArtFairInsiders.com? Please be specific.
Connie

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John Leben's Blog

Winter Art Fairs for a Michigan Artist

Posted on March 13, 2018 at 11:37am 4 Comments

I'm from Saugatuck, Michigan. Needless to say, there is not a lot of opportunity to exhibit and sell in the cold North country during the winter months. Since we make our living selling art, and we can't make it through the winter without some sales, Marcia and I have been traveling to Florida every winter to exhibit and to reinforce the bank account. OK... it's not only the bank account, it's also a nice perk to get out of the cold and the snow. 

Some artists from the Midwest, who I…

Continue

Key West Old Island Days Festival - Worth Going?

Posted on November 17, 2017 at 4:05pm 7 Comments

I've been accepted to the Old Island Days Art Festival in Key West on February 24-25. Any opinions out there about the wisdom of doing this show? Of all the venues for art fairs around Florida, Key West (and the Keys in general) seemed to be the hardest hit by hurricanes. I just wonder if vacationers and visitors are even going down there yet. I've got Images in New Smyrna, then Fort Myers, then Jupiter before Key West comers up

Gallery or Art Fairs? Where should we exhibit?

Posted on October 8, 2017 at 2:00pm 3 Comments

Marcia and I opened the LebenArt Gallery in downtown Douglas, Michigan in May. We picked this area because we live close, and the area has become known at the Art Coast of Michigan. The small resort town of Douglas, where our gallery is, also has six other fine art galleries. We thought that would make Douglas an "art destination." This last weekend was the annual "Gallery Stroll," Saturday and Sunday, in which dozens of area art galleries (including Saugatuck) celebrate art openings. It's…

Continue

Old Town Art Fair in Chicago: Terrific Show!

Posted on June 18, 2017 at 11:00am 5 Comments

I'm a digital artist. I sell limited edition prints of my digital paintings in multiple sizes. Its only in the last couple of years the Old Town Art Fair has accepted digital artists, or even printmakers. This show has traditionally been an "originals only" show. I'm delighted that I finally got to participate in this, the grand-daddy of all art fairs. I did very well at this show with twice the sales on Sunday than on Saturday, but this wasn't the case for all artists.

As I mentioned…

Continue

Comment Wall (22 comments)

At 12:03pm on May 30, 2010, Connie Mettler said…
Welcome to ArtFairInsiders.com, John. I'm pleased to see you here and look forward to getting to know you.

When you have a chance, please add a photo to your profile and stop by the Discussions area to introduce yourself. We all look forward to your participation here. Also visit the "member map" and add your location. We have a lot to offer one another, experienced and newbie alike. Let's make this a dynamic site!

Best wishes,
Connie Mettler

p.s. The best way to make this system easy to use is to click on the "Follow-Email me" link at the bottom of each Forum discussion that interests you. That way the system will email you automatically whenever anyone responds. It's a great time-saver.
At 7:15am on May 10, 2011, Nels Johnson said…
John on your post about 4 Bridges you mention it was your first time doing it, then you say you sold $2K-to$5K that is quite a range.  There is a big difference between a $2K show and a $5K show.  Which figure was more likely?  Just wondering.  Personally, I wouldnt travel all that way for $2K.
At 4:34pm on June 07, 2011, Connie Mettler gave John Leben a gift
Gift
Many thanks for this support, John!
At 3:04pm on June 02, 2012, Connie Mettler gave John Leben a gift
Gift
Many thanks, John, for your continued support.
At 4:23pm on June 02, 2012, Connie Mettler gave John Leben a gift
Gift
Thank you for your generous support!
At 11:40am on September 10, 2012, Daniela Lo Presti gave John Leben a gift
Gift
Thanks for sharing your story.
At 3:01pm on October 17, 2012, Connie Mettler gave John Leben a gift
Gift
Happy birthday, John. I hope you are thoroughly enjoying this beautiful fall day, walking the Lake Michigan shore and celebrating your life. Best wishes for a great year!
At 5:08pm on February 04, 2013, Connie Mettler gave John Leben a gift
Gift
A gold trophy to you for all your contributions to the community at AFI -- your generosity and sharing and good thinking skills are a gift to all of us. Many thanks.
At 11:38am on March 25, 2013, Connie Mettler gave John Leben a gift
Gift
Congrats on your Post of the Week Award - 3/25/13.
At 9:43pm on June 06, 2013, Connie Mettler gave John Leben a gift
Gift
John, thanks so much for all your support. Your help is appreciated!

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