Art Fair Insiders

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

Nels Johnson
  • Tampa, FL
  • United States
  • Photography
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Nels Johnson's Page

Nels Johnson's Blog

Naples New Years Show-- A Big Letdown, horrible way to start the year

Posted on January 10, 2017 at 2:30pm 6 Comments

Well, I started my 44th year in the biz with a lot of hope.

I was loaded with lots of work, ten new images and I expected big results. This is usually a $3k-$4k show.

Ellen and I left Ybor early Friday morn under warm, clear skies. It was frigid everywhere else in the USA except Florida.

We knew the weather forecast, 90% rain due for Saturday with a clear but chilly Sunday.

We knew it would impact sales, but it was Naples. They always buy our work there.

I have done… Continue

Great Gulfcoast Art Festival--the best fall festival in Florida

Posted on December 23, 2016 at 4:54pm 4 Comments

When I come back to Florida after five months in Michigan, the GGAF (Pensacola) is the best show to do in Florida in November and December. All the other shows are ok for keeping your head above water (read, being able to pay the bills).

People make great sales at this show almost every year. By great, I mean $4K and up.

I will do another blog about the other shows I did in this time frame, but for now, let us talk about Pensa, GGAF.

It is always the first weekend in November. It… Continue

My thoughts on next year--after 43 years in this biz

Posted on December 20, 2016 at 1:30pm 21 Comments

I really liked Oscar's latest post. It got juices rolling about next year. Gas prices, soaring stocks, more disposable income, all great topics.

Two things missing from this prognostic discussion ( good word to use in Scrabble, Barry).

One, the factor of too many A/C shows everywhere.

Two, the dumbing down of America about appreciating art. The present generation could give rats-doodles about art. Electronics rule, wall art comes a poor second. Craft always has a chance,… Continue

Downtown Sarasota (Paragon) Show--nice but we needed more people

Posted on November 23, 2016 at 5:30pm 2 Comments

This was held last weekend in a charming Five Points Park in downtown Sarasota. Bill Kinney produces the show and does a good job of it. About 130 artists setup on the street and sidewalk with the park as a charming backdrop.



This time of the year you see mostly locals, the winter people have not arrived yet. You are selling to a mostly older, monied crowd. They are very traditional and conservative in their tastes for art. They love the birds, beaches and flowers.



My…

Continue

Another view of the Bayou City art show.

Posted on October 19, 2016 at 2:00pm 11 Comments

I am excited that Melanie Rolfes had such a great show. And wrote such a great review.

She is a really good writer who gives great Insights and I was so happy to meet her.

She is a pistol. We had a lot of laughs.

I was worried about how she would do at this show with her color abstract paintings. Obviously, she blew them away and went home with a lot of moola.

I felt I should write from another point of view--the artist who needs a lot of customers to make a good… Continue

St. James Court Art Show--yeah it is the original, but it's age is showing

Posted on October 5, 2016 at 10:00pm 8 Comments

Well, I am sitting in a kickass sushi restaurant in Austin, Texas enroute to Houston on Friday for the Bayou show. Shot pics in Clarksdale, Mississippi (Blues flavored city, think juke joints). Shot in Helena, Arkansas, Tuesday before King Biscuit Blues Festival starts, spent that night in Texarkana, just a pit stop there is nothing here to get excited about.

Which gets me back to here.

St. James, a legend in their own minds, now in its 60th year, is a fading maiden, long past her… Continue

Funky Ferndale Art Show

Posted on September 27, 2016 at 3:00pm 9 Comments

Ferndale is a north Detroit suburb that is going from a decaying old town into becoming a very "now" kind of scene.

It happened last weekend. You do an early Friday setup and then the show runs 3-7 that day and10-7 Sat. And 11-6 on Sunday.

It is a tight setup on the Main Street there. Most booths are back to back with zero storage. There is a wee bit of storage on one of the sides. Artists can store on sidewalk in front of them.

It is run by a savvy Detroit area promoter, Mark… Continue

Common Ground Birmingham Art Fair--fair to so-so for many

Posted on September 20, 2016 at 1:00pm 5 Comments

This was last weekend in downtown Birmingham,Michigan right on the street--Old Woodward Avenue. This show is produced by the Ann Arbor Guild but you do not have to be a member to do it. It is on Zapp.



For the second year in a row, weather killed the attendance on Saturday--rain, until about 3pm. The crowds never showed up even though we still had over three hours to sell. This basically made it a one day show.



A couple of artists that I know made serious money that…

Continue

Latest Activity

Kim Goins Kosek commented on Nels Johnson's blog post Naples New Years Show-- A Big Letdown, horrible way to start the year
"Should be a beautiful weekend in Bonita Springs Nels . Let us know please how it goes. We were in Las Olas , pretty somber crowd understandably after the shooting . Rain on saturday to boot . Fortunately , crowd hung out in the shops and restaurants…"
Friday
Christina L. Towell commented on Nels Johnson's blog post Naples New Years Show-- A Big Letdown, horrible way to start the year
"Well, good for her...sounds like you're a lucky man on many levels, very sweet."
Friday
Nels Johnson commented on Nels Johnson's blog post Naples New Years Show-- A Big Letdown, horrible way to start the year
"Ellen had a fabulous show, it shocked her, she did so well. She is one hell of a woman, gorgeous, and a great artist. She is the berries."
Thursday
Christina L. Towell commented on Nels Johnson's blog post Naples New Years Show-- A Big Letdown, horrible way to start the year
"Another fabulously descriptive recap of a less than stellar show.  Sorry you had such a miserable week-end...how did Ellen end up doing?  Sounds like she may have been the winner this time out. Thanks for keeping us in the loop, Nels..."
Wednesday
Jim Parker commented on Nels Johnson's blog post Naples New Years Show-- A Big Letdown, horrible way to start the year
"Well that sucks. I hate the rain. More than I hate the snow up north. We had 5" yesterday, then the weather turned warmer, and it rained all day. 60mph winds blew down power lines everywhere. I made no money sitting at home, but I was warm and…"
Wednesday
Nels Johnson commented on Nels Johnson's blog post Great Gulfcoast Art Festival--the best fall festival in Florida
"Thanks everybody, I will always keep a sharp eye there"
Dec 30, 2016
Cindy Welch commented on Nels Johnson's blog post Great Gulfcoast Art Festival--the best fall festival in Florida
"Thanks for this detailed review.  I always enjoy reading your posts because you don't forget the details.  :)"
Dec 28, 2016
Christina L. Towell commented on Nels Johnson's blog post Great Gulfcoast Art Festival--the best fall festival in Florida
"Thanks, Nels, you always make me feel like I was there...very descriptive and gritty (dusty?)."
Dec 28, 2016
Paul Flack commented on Nels Johnson's blog post My thoughts on next year--after 43 years in this biz
"Go Richard Sherer, Go, I am loving it. When the going gets weird the weird get going. Find a niche and fill it, Have a great 2017 "
Dec 25, 2016
Richard L. Sherer commented on Nels Johnson's blog post My thoughts on next year--after 43 years in this biz
"Merry Christmas from the proverbial optimist. Wind is howling in Battlement Mesa in wester Colorado. My son-in-law has to work today as gas wells just keep pushing out money and he has to monitor them. I'm looking forward to a great 2017. I am…"
Dec 25, 2016
Nels Johnson's blog post was featured

My thoughts on next year--after 43 years in this biz

I really liked Oscar's latest post. It got juices rolling about next year. Gas prices, soaring stocks, more disposable income, all great topics.Two things missing from this prognostic discussion ( good word to use in Scrabble, Barry).One, the factor of too many A/C shows everywhere.Two, the dumbing down of America about appreciating art. The present generation could give rats-doodles about art. Electronics rule, wall art comes a poor second. Craft always has a chance, especially traditional…See More
Dec 25, 2016
Dave Piper commented on Nels Johnson's blog post My thoughts on next year--after 43 years in this biz
"Hello everyone... good job Nels. Always a pleasure. However, here I go again covering the clouds with sunshine.... Math is the bitch we cannot slap away. Evidently mathematics (that only exact science there ever was). I have never in my forty-six…"
Dec 24, 2016
Dave Piper commented on Nels Johnson's blog post My thoughts on next year--after 43 years in this biz
Dec 24, 2016
Loren Fisher commented on Nels Johnson's blog post Great Gulfcoast Art Festival--the best fall festival in Florida
"I'm glad it worked for you, out of 27 shows I did this year, it was #26 in revenue for me. Only one was worse. I've never been in any place that was so dusty and dirty, fortunately I was warned and brought a rug that I had to throw out…"
Dec 24, 2016
Peter Grimord commented on Nels Johnson's blog post My thoughts on next year--after 43 years in this biz
"This is a good and sobering post and I wish to throw my shabby and aging hat into the ring along with my fellow cultural brethren who continue to brave the odds and carry on.  My brief history can be summed up describing a 1980s that saw a…"
Dec 24, 2016
Nels Johnson posted a blog post

Great Gulfcoast Art Festival--the best fall festival in Florida

When I come back to Florida after five months in Michigan, the GGAF (Pensacola) is the best show to do in Florida in November and December. All the other shows are ok for keeping your head above water (read, being able to pay the bills).People make great sales at this show almost every year. By great, I mean $4K and up.I will do another blog about the other shows I did in this time frame, but for now, let us talk about Pensa, GGAF.It is always the first weekend in November. It is a three day…See More
Dec 23, 2016
Paul Flack commented on Nels Johnson's blog post My thoughts on next year--after 43 years in this biz
"Tell us more gramps about A/C festivals before the advent of the combustion engine. Seriously Nels, you nailed it. Merry Christmas and we will see you soon on the golden road of unlimited devotion. "
Dec 23, 2016
jeanne cherry commented on Nels Johnson's blog post My thoughts on next year--after 43 years in this biz
"You are preaching to the choir ... I say again and again, there are too many shows.  Pretty much any weekend I can hit a show going an hour in any direction.  What I don't know is how to get around this.  It is killing the…"
Dec 23, 2016
Sue Lowery commented on Nels Johnson's blog post My thoughts on next year--after 43 years in this biz
"Wow, your story is so familiar! Hubby is the artist photographer in the family. During the 90s he had a great run as one of the first to use 3d imaging combined with his photos as an illustrator and sold pics world wide, some for five figures. Then,…"
Dec 23, 2016
Sue Lowery commented on Nels Johnson's blog post My thoughts on next year--after 43 years in this biz
Dec 23, 2016

Profile Information

Your Medium
Photography
Years in the Art Fair Business
36
First show ever
Waimea Falls Park, Oahu, Hawaii
What is your website?
http://nelsjohnsonphotographer.com
What are the best things about art fairs
the freedom to move around place to place and make money
Best show ever and why
Kansas City Plaza--they bought from me like there was no tomorrow
Worst show ever and why
One in Michigan(which will go unnamed) held in a muddy cow pasture, and it felt like only the cows were there.
Who referred you to ArtFairInsiders.com? Please be specific.
Munks

Comment Wall (100 comments)

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At 2:19pm on October 27, 2016, Connie Mettler gave Nels Johnson a gift
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OMG! You're almost as old as I am. Happy birthday, Nels. Enjoy this virtual shot until we meet again for a much better one. Love, Connie
At 12:13am on October 11, 2016, Connie Mettler gave Nels Johnson a gift
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Congrat on your Post of the Week on St. James Court Art Show - 10/9/2016
At 10:43pm on October 05, 2016, Connie Mettler gave Nels Johnson a gift
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Congrats on being awarded the Post of the Week for your post on the Funky Ferndale Art Show - 10/2/2016
At 11:43pm on July 19, 2016, Connie Mettler gave Nels Johnson a gift
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Congrats on being awarded the Post of the Week - 7/18/2016 Thanks so much for all 3 of your posts this week. They are enjoyable to read.
At 10:40pm on January 12, 2016, Connie Mettler gave Nels Johnson a gift
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Thanks for kicking our New Year off with your post on Naples - Post of the Week - 1/11/2016.
At 11:24pm on December 28, 2015, Connie Mettler gave Nels Johnson a gift
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Congrats on being awarded the Post of the Week - 12/24/2015. That was a nice way to finish out the yaer.
At 10:02pm on December 28, 2015, Connie Mettler gave Nels Johnson a gift
Gift
Thank you, Nels, for referring Michael Meyer to Art Fair Insiders.
At 1:00pm on October 29, 2015, Connie Mettler gave Nels Johnson a gift
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Congrats on being awarded the Post of the Week - 10/26/2015.
At 11:59pm on October 12, 2015, Connie Mettler gave Nels Johnson a gift
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Congrats on being awarded the Post of the Week - 10/12/2015
At 10:17pm on August 18, 2015, Connie Mettler gave Nels Johnson a gift
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You were awarded the Post of the Week for your great review on Art Fair on the Square - 8/17/2015
 
 
 

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