Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
I am based in Chicago and am seeing Amdur Productions trying to make some festivals happen. Have any of you done them? Are any of them good? I haven't done any of them in a normal year because their fees are a little high, usually I look for street fairs and festivals that don't cost quite as much. But with all the other Chicago festivals gone they seem like the only way to do a festival at home this year. Are they worth it?
I have done 2 Amdur productions. I didn't have any success with either but I don't think it was due to Amdur. They are very organized, offer tons of support for the artists and I think many do well. The first one I did was in South Barrington and it rained the whole weekend so that was a bust. The second one I did was the Gold Coast Virtual Art Fair and it was also a bust. I think the virtual fairs are a good idea but it really means that you will need your own following. I think people feel uncomfortable going into a Zoom room and being on camera with a bunch of strangers. It just felt a little weird - even for me as I didn't feel comfortable entering any other rooms. My art always does best in real life because it's hard to capture in a photograph. I have decided in general to stop doing shows and focus everything on my website and Etsy shop. OK, so this was wordy... lol. Sorry! Hope I answered your question.
I generally considered them overpriced and under-good. Probably the question is whether it's too soon for people to consider attending an event and whether, once they get there, they will be interested in standing in a 10x10 booth.
Do you have ways to implement social distancing in your booth? So much stuff we never had to consider before...
Good luck to you. Stay safe and stay well.
I've done a few shows this year plus a weekly farmers market that started in June. People are coming to what shows there actually are, the challenge as everyone knows is finding the shows that are actually happening, as there are very few. I've done OK at the shows I've done this year considering none of them have drawn the type of crowd that normally buys my work. I haven't had any success online so finding in person events is really my only option. I put a table in my booth and sit in the back to enforce social distancing, wear a mask, and offer hand sanitizer for customers. I try to get people to view my work from the outside.
Are Amdur shows better for higher or lower priced work? I feel I might fare OK because what I sell is affordable, but that may make it harder to make back the fees at a higher priced show.
I went to her show in Glenview. You had to get free tickets on-line and you had to pick a specific time to go. You had your temperature taken before you were allowed in, you had to wear a mask and you had to go in one direction, no backtracking (or be backs!). Only you and the people you came with were allowed in a booth at a time. You weren’t supposed to use cash, only credit cards but I forgot that rule and my cash was accepted. There were about 25 artists and the majority were 2D. It was wonderful going to a show and feeling a sense of normalcy for the first time in months.
She has a couple more scheduled but the majority of the artists are the same ones that were at this one so I’ll pass on those.
And I love my new earrings and ring that I found at the show from jewelers I had never seen before.
I'm happy to hear you enjoyed it. Could people still go around in a circle back to the beginning of the path and re-visit a booth if they wanted to?
One thing that would make my decision so much easier is if shows reduced the fees this year. It's hard to justify spending as much on a show when there aren't many other shows to fall back on.
You weren’t supposed to but there were ways to go back to another booth. We only had an hour to go around but I don’t see how they could really monitor that. With only 25 artists it was pretty easy to get through in a short time. Also, we weren’t interested in every booth so we had additional time in the booths we wanted to see more closely.
It wasn’t perfect but it was such a relief to get out and do something that we loved to do and missed doing.
i do agree that the fees could be lowered and the cities willing to do this could also lower their fees, hopefully seeing a boost in sales taxes to make up for it.