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

  • William Lee
  • Christine Goshorn
  • Kathleen Taylor
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  • Deborah Bohren
  • Robert Wallis
  • Linda A Shields
  • Ruth Jellema
  • Alison Thomas
  • 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 sean McDougal Feb 26, 2013. 10 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 received a gift from Connie Mettler
Mar 22
Jacki Bilsborrow commented on John Leben's blog post Brooksville: Nice Venue, but Dismal Sales
"That was a nice write up on you John in Artsyshark.  I love your work.  I don't think I've seen an image yet that I haven't liked.  Good luck with your gallery opening."
Mar 20
Carol Larsen commented on John Leben's blog post Brooksville: Nice Venue, but Dismal Sales
"But the majority of people are volunteers and are trying to do the task someone told them to do, they most likely have no idea the business side of what is going on. And they are upset because they failed. It's a double edged sword."
Mar 14
Carol Larsen commented on John Leben's blog post Brooksville: Nice Venue, but Dismal Sales
"Now, if the event had contacted me previously, explained how my donation was going to be used, such as one does a silent auction and all proceeds goes towards college scholarships, and I am listed in marketing/website etc as a donor, that's…"
Mar 14
John Leben commented on John Leben's blog post Brooksville: Nice Venue, but Dismal Sales
"Yes, Carol. The woman who approached me was totally clueless. She came to my booth and saud she was there to collect my donation. She didn't even ask if I was going to donate. She assumed I would donate and was surprised and angry that I would…"
Mar 14
Carol Larsen commented on John Leben's blog post Brooksville: Nice Venue, but Dismal Sales
"Thank you for the comment about donations and direct competition with yourself. I have never understood this train of thought from show organizers. There seems to be a total disconnect that an artist's is working for a living. When I have…"
Mar 14
John Leben posted a blog post

Brooksville: Nice Venue, but Dismal Sales

Brooksville was the sixth and final art fair in our winter swing through Florida. It is a small art fair and I didn't expect much when I signed up. And, guess what? I didn't get much either.This is a laid back art fair which assigns you a space and pretty much leaves you alone. We set up on Friday and were able to keep our van right in back of our booth for the entire setup. In fact, on Sunday we parked in the same place, in back of our booth, all day, so break down was also a breeze. The show…See More
Mar 13
Cindy Welch commented on John Leben's blog post My Lucky Streak Ended in Bonita Springs
"Sometimes shows can be hit or  miss.  It is hard though when we've seen success at a show, then take a downturn, especially by that much.  Thanks for sharing your story and best wishes on your other shows."
Mar 8
Connie Mettler commented on John Leben's blog post My Lucky Streak Ended in Bonita Springs
"Love the truth telling as always, John. Such a fine area for high income folks, but we never did well there and could never put a finger on it. SW Florida wasn't interested in our work, regardless of the quality of the show. Maybe it is the…"
Mar 8
John Leben posted a blog post

My Lucky Streak Ended in Bonita Springs

I've exhibited at various Bonita Springs Art fairs over the years, including at the mall many years ago. I've done well there in the past off and on, but never great. Two years ago was the last time I did Bonita and took home $4000. I was a happy camper. This year I did around $950. This is my poorest showing in 4 years at any show. I'm jealous of you artists who were at Gaparilla. I was wait-listed this year.I can't complain too much because the four previous art fairs were good for me this…See More
Mar 7
John Leben commented on John Leben's blog post Arti Gras in Jupiter, Florida: Good News and Bad News
"Beth Amato: In answer to your question about prints... I am a digital artist and I sell prints. All of them are limited editions. I have a disclusure statement on the back of each print that I sell stating that the edition will be retired when sold…"
Mar 7
John Leben commented on S Brian Berkun's blog post Just Thinking Out Loud...What If?
"Brian: I like your thinking! If the promoter or organization that runs the show has a stake in how well the artist does, I agree... its a win-win for both the artist and the promoter. But, how to sell this concept to the people who organize art…"
Mar 7
Beth Amato commented on John Leben's blog post Arti Gras in Jupiter, Florida: Good News and Bad News
"Are your limited editions signed & numbered and do you offer a disclosure statement regarding your editions?  From what I am reading in applications, some of the shows seem to have strict policies about how many prints can be in an edition.…"
Mar 2
Jean Murray commented on John Leben's blog post Bradenton - Arts Festival of Manatee County: A Pleasant Surprise
"There were only 4 awards, Best, 1st, etc. Cheer won Best, Barb Boyce won 1st (jewelry) and I think award was close to $900.. There was lots of buy/sell there, but the awards seemed fair. The location isn't permanent and wasn't well…"
Mar 1
John Leben commented on John Leben's blog post Bradenton - Arts Festival of Manatee County: A Pleasant Surprise
"Barrie: when I was checking in I saw a bag of ribbons on the table, and I did see a woman in my booth with a clip board. But there was no ceremony or announcement of awards. I think there were awards, but they might have been only ribbons. Not sure."
Feb 27
John Leben commented on John Leben's blog post Bradenton - Arts Festival of Manatee County: A Pleasant Surprise
"HA! If I made less than $1000, I was expecting you to make up the difference, Nels. And, to Craig and Sara: it was a mixed bag, like all shows, but several artists around me witnesses the odd 2 hour buying spree."
Feb 27

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 Moinesa 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

John Leben's Photos

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John Leben's Blog

Brooksville: Nice Venue, but Dismal Sales

Posted on March 13, 2017 at 1:41pm 5 Comments

Brooksville was the sixth and final art fair in our winter swing through Florida. It is a small art fair and I didn't expect much when I signed up. And, guess what? I didn't get much either.

This is a laid back art fair which assigns you a space and pretty much leaves you alone. We set up on Friday and were able to keep our van right in back of our booth for the entire setup. In fact, on Sunday we parked in the same place, in back of our booth, all day, so break down was also a…

Continue

My Lucky Streak Ended in Bonita Springs

Posted on March 7, 2017 at 10:28am 2 Comments

I've exhibited at various Bonita Springs Art fairs over the years, including at the mall many years ago. I've done well there in the past off and on, but never great. Two years ago was the last time I did Bonita and took home $4000. I was a happy camper. This year I did around $950. This is my poorest showing in 4 years at any show. I'm jealous of you artists who were at Gaparilla. I was wait-listed this year.

I can't complain too much because the four previous art fairs were good for…

Continue

Bradenton - Arts Festival of Manatee County: A Pleasant Surprise

Posted on February 27, 2017 at 11:21am 7 Comments

I was looking for a show for Feb 25-26. Marcia and I are down here in Florida from Michigan for a couple of months and, to make it work, we have to cram in as many shows as we can. Its expensive down here in the winter. I stay away from shows that are organized by professional promoters, preferring shows that are put on by arts groups and community organizations. The one in Bradenton fit the bill so I applied and got in. Its a small show with less than 100 artists, and this is only their…

Continue

Arti Gras in Jupiter, Florida: Good News and Bad News

Posted on February 22, 2017 at 12:11pm 5 Comments

Arti Gras was our 3rd art fair of the winter season for Marcia and I. This is also the third time we have exhibited at this show. The good news? We had a good show. We sold well and even won an award. The bad news? Most artists did not do well. 

I am a digital artist. I create surrealistic images with environmental themes using humor and fantasy in the mix. My lowest price point is $28 for small, unframed limited edition prints. I sell a ton of these. My highest prince point id $695…

Continue

Comment Wall (20 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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