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

Downtown Dunedin Craft Show--Howard Alan--How I lost my art show virginity

Posted on February 15, 2017 at 1:00pm 8 Comments

Well, after doing more than 1500 art shows in 42 years, I finally did my first Howard Alan show.

"Gee Nels, didn't you say they could put the epitaph on your tombstone,'He never did a Howard Alan show'".

Well, times are a changing.

First off, I did three art shows in January with a combined total of over $1200 in booth fees that did not even return me a gross of $5000 for the month.

Second, I had come back rejectedly from Ft. Myers the weekend before. I was supposedly numero… Continue

Images--New Smyrna Beach--another take

Posted on February 7, 2017 at 1:30pm 2 Comments

John Leben just wrote a beautiful blog about this show, check It out.

I am just going to give you a little more perspective, plus, talk about places to eat and drink at there.

I lived in NSB for six years in the eighties. I have done it many times, and done well.

This year was one of the worst shows there that I have ever done.

On Sunday I made a whopping $40 sale at 11am, then did zero the rest of the day.

I sell a certain amount of humor in my photos, unfortunately,… Continue

Bonita Springs Art Festival--the first one, in January

Posted on February 7, 2017 at 1:12pm 1 Comment

I am behind on my blogs, but here goes.

The good news is the fricking construction is finally done.

The whole area looks beautiful.

The bad news is that it still does not attract the base of patrons that attended when it was at the Promenade on Hwy 41.

We had great weather and the crowds were there.

Sales were spotty.

Glass artist across from me had a five figure show, painter two booths away did almost twice what the glass person did.

The key to both of them… Continue

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

Latest Activity

Connie Mettler commented on Nels Johnson's blog post Downtown Dunedin Craft Show--Howard Alan--How I lost my art show virginity
"Not sure where his ACE events are, Cindy. But the website is probably up to date on that and you're right, it's often useful to break out of your geographic constraints once in a while."
Friday
Cindy Welch commented on Nels Johnson's blog post Downtown Dunedin Craft Show--Howard Alan--How I lost my art show virginity
"Connie, that is too bad.  Before asking I had looked at his website and thought I might like to try the ACE side of things.  Even if he were in the Florida panhandle, that would only be about a 4 hour drive.  Not too bad in my…"
Thursday
Connie Mettler commented on Nels Johnson's blog post Downtown Dunedin Craft Show--Howard Alan--How I lost my art show virginity
"Nowhere near you, Cindy. Florida mostly but also some in Colorado, Ohio, N. Carolina, Virginia."
Thursday
Cindy Welch commented on Nels Johnson's blog post Downtown Dunedin Craft Show--Howard Alan--How I lost my art show virginity
"Does HA ever schedule anything in Louisiana or Mississippi, craft shows, that is?  I noticed that almost all the current show listings on his website are for Florida, with an occasional one in one of the Carolinas and possibly one other…"
Thursday
Connie Mettler commented on Nels Johnson's blog post Downtown Dunedin Craft Show--Howard Alan--How I lost my art show virginity
"I am shocked!! Is the sky still blue? Is Trump still President?  There was a conversation on here recently about the HA Events. Norm and I did some of them over the years. They are always well promoted, fees are fair, and if they fit your…"
Thursday
Paul Flack commented on Nels Johnson's blog post Downtown Dunedin Craft Show--Howard Alan--How I lost my art show virginity
"God I pray, don't let me say anything about the bloody sheets."
Thursday
Joe Edwards commented on Nels Johnson's blog post Downtown Dunedin Craft Show--Howard Alan--How I lost my art show virginity
"Ah, but yes!  We did the craft show in November at Dunedin and set up was 5:30!"
Thursday
Nels Johnson commented on Nels Johnson's blog post Downtown Dunedin Craft Show--Howard Alan--How I lost my art show virginity
"Correction, Joe, at the craft shows, setup is at 5:30am, this was a craft show."
Wednesday
Joe Edwards commented on Nels Johnson's blog post Downtown Dunedin Craft Show--Howard Alan--How I lost my art show virginity
"Great Report. We have done seven Howard Alan Events over the last two years and have always been impressed with their consistency. They advertise their shows and promote the artists! Our sales at these shows fell a bit below what Nels stated, but…"
Wednesday
Nels Johnson posted a blog post

Downtown Dunedin Craft Show--Howard Alan--How I lost my art show virginity

Well, after doing more than 1500 art shows in 42 years, I finally did my first Howard Alan show."Gee Nels, didn't you say they could put the epitaph on your tombstone,'He never did a Howard Alan show'".Well, times are a changing.First off, I did three art shows in January with a combined total of over $1200 in booth fees that did not even return me a gross of $5000 for the month.Second, I had come back rejectedly from Ft. Myers the weekend before. I was supposedly numero uno on the waitlist. I…See More
Wednesday
Bobby Weiss commented on Nels Johnson's blog post Bonita Springs Art Festival--the first one, in January
"Thanks for sharing Nels, I've been thinking about when to jump in to Florida and your reviews help."
Feb 8
Paul Flack commented on Nels Johnson's blog post Images--New Smyrna Beach--another take
"I really, really wanted to like it. Everything was great but there was no buying energy. Nobody was toting anything and the artists around me weren't very happy. And, three days is two days too long."
Feb 8
Tammie T Everly commented on Nels Johnson's blog post Images--New Smyrna Beach--another take
" It was nice to meet you in person on Friday and see your work. [I know I probably seemed like a bit of a crazy stalker] Sorry it wasn't the best show for you this year. Keep up the great posts, I always enjoy reading them. "
Feb 7
Nels Johnson posted blog posts
Feb 7
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…"
Jan 13
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."
Jan 13
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."
Jan 11
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..."
Jan 11
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…"
Jan 11
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

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
Gift
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
Gift
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
Gift
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
Gift
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
Gift
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
Gift
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
Gift
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
Gift
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
Gift
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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