Art Fair Insiders

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

Hello everyone! New member here, and I have to say that this website is wonderful! I’ve been searching for such a resource as this for a while. The advice and insights to the arts/crafts business here has been a godsend.


The contraction of the employment opportunities has forced me into what I consider to be a ’forced’ early retirement (alas no pension) but I have decided to embrace the opportunity to follow a life long dream of becoming an itinerant artist. My wife and I are in the process of purchasing an RV, tent, display etc. and I’m pouring over maps and calendars for application deadlines. Of course it seems that I’ve chosen the best of all economic environments to start such an endeavor! At least I won’t be in any danger of becoming wealthy, but we aren’t chasing fortune so much. We are more interested in an interesting lifestyle and interesting places. I’d be happy if we could just earn enough to get to the next art fair.


I do have a question that I would hope some of you experienced buskers out there could answer. My background is in Art History, and as you might surmise, my interests are very eclectic. The body of work that I’ve accumulated varies from a majority of plein air landscapes, traditional realism, to fantasy images (dragons and such) as well as experimental abstracts. I do realize that juries want to see consistent work in application slides, but at the actual show, does it hurt to have a few samples of paintings that depart from norm? My wife tends to think that seeing the traditional work adds “bonafides” to the abstracts, and makes them more attractive. However, I wonder if appearing “inconsistent” is a handicap. I believe that it was Grouch Marx that said that you can  “never trust a man who wears suspenders AND a belt… because he can’t trust himself.”

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Welcome to the site!

I can't answer the particular question about consistent vs. eclectic, but I am sure someoene will chime in on the subject! We have a varied, fun, helpful bunch here! If you also use the search function, you may be able to see if there have been any past discussions on your subject! Again, Welcome! Enjoy your holidays, and keep us updated!


I am a jeweler and so I can't answer the question specific to 2D work.  I can only tell you that I have more variety in my booth during a show than in my jury photos.  Your jury photos need to show a consistent body of work wheras I believe when you go to a show you need to appeal to a larger group.  I am sure some painters here can answer better than I.  Welcome to the site.

Hi Leslie,  I see you already have been welcomed to our site so I'm going to chime in and welcome you also.  I love your work.  So happy to have you join us here and best of luck on your new venture.  Keep us informed on how you are doing and check out our web site Art Fair Calendar to find more art shows to add to your calendar.  Also at the top of this page check out Call for Artist for upcoming shows and applications.  Again so happy you are here...this is a great place to make new friends and find out all kinds of information.  Take care,


Hi Leslie, Welcome to the world of art festivals and shows! Your work looks good and I think you should do well at shows. I think the key is to have variety but have a consistent style. You can have a piece that is abstract and a piece that is realism, and if they still have the signature style of the artist, it will work. I am a jewelry artist, but deal with the same issue as far as eclectic interests. I endeavor to offer a lot of variety in design and artistic expression, but each piece conveys a consistent style that is my signature look.


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