Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
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 is in a grassy park with lots of trees. Booths are set up along a paved path. All booths are in the grass. Our booth was between some trees giving us side walls on both sides to exhibit art on. The ground at our location was very uneven giving us a challenge to keep everything level. The high point was a good foot higher than the low point. Other artists had more even terrain.
Last week I was disappointed by my sales at Bonita Springs, making that show our worse in five years. This show beat that record. So, overall, we had a great start with four successful shows at the front end of our "tour." The last two shows at the back end were disappointing.
I saw a few pretty good artists at this show, but not many. There were a lot of inexpensive jewelers and a lot of buy/sell. There was a fine art section and a craft section. Saturday started out pretty good with people responding very well to my work (I'm a digital artist showing surrealistic prints). Its common for people to see my work and come back later to purchase. That didn't happen this time.
This show was also asking artists to donate a piece of their work for a fundraiser. In fact, the woman who came around to collect donated artwork assumed I would be donating and was surprised and insulted when I declined (politely). The work was to go in a tent at the show and be sold to patrons. I generally have a problem with donating my work unless I really have a connection to the cause. In this case, my donated work would directly compete with the work in my booth. Not sure why us artists, who struggle to make a living with our art, have to subsidize these "causes." Why can't they solicit a donation with the stipulation that a sale of our work will be shared with the artist? I would probably donate a bigger, more expensive piece if I knew that I would receive 50% of the sale.
Anyway, this was a pretty venue for a show, and it was easy to do, and not too expensive. But it wasn't a good show. I'd be surprised if any artists at this show grossed more that $1K.
One more thing. I just heard from Carolyn Edlund and her excellent website: Artsyshark. She just published a great piece on her website about me and my work. She made me look very impressive! HA! You can see the piece at this web address: http://bit.ly/2nfyeDS