Is this bad? Nothing against jewelers at all, but I don't know why I'm the only painter in a row full of them. :( I'm new at this art fair thing so I'm not sure what this could mean for me with sales.


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  • It would depend on what type of Jewelry it was.  If it was all similar jewelry, people may get tired of looking at the same thing and just skip your row.  If the jewelry was all unigue and different, then they would be looking at each one and you'd do good. 

    I don't know much about the different types of jewelry, but I've been seeing a lot of unique styles and types of jewelry.  Maybe it's time to divide jewelry into different categories.  ( such as: Those that sculpt unique pieces out of metal, and those that make artistic creations out of beads and jewels.)  Painters have several categories, why not jewelry and photography? 

    Actually, the show director should have done a better job of spreading the types of work out.  I know it's a hard job, and is usually complicated by people asking for specific booths, or to be beside a certain person, etc., but having too many jewelers together may not be a good idea. 

  • Hi Jeannine,

    I did two summers of art shows as a fine oil painter. I also know the feeling of sitting in my booth watching my jeweler friends all around me make many, many sales. I sold many paintings, won a few awards and best of all, had a wonderful time. My first season I was accepted into almost every big show I applied to. At the time I thought it was because my art was well regarded. But after two seasons I couldn't afford to continue to go to shows as a fine art painter, I just wasn't earning enough $ to make it pay. I was camping, bringing my own food, doing the circuit as inexpensively as possible. I still didn't earn enough $ to justify continuing to do art shows as a painter. I'm a single parent and have supported my family as an illustrator since 1989. I had to choose to continue with art shows as a painter or not based on financial viability. Several summers ago, with a heavy heart, I had to stop.

    Serendipitously I began making wrap bracelets for my own personal therapy. Last summer I ventured back out doing smaller shows with my bracelets. NOW, I have to say it's very gratifying to make many sales and actually be earning decent $ at art shows.  I'd still like to think I was accepted into so many shows as a painter because of the quality, feel and vibe given off by my paintings. Now looking at it from the other side, I wonder if I was accepted into so many shows those first two years simply because I was a painter. (I'm not dissing myself, I know I'm a good painter.)

    I love making my bracelets. They're a wearable form of art that people choose to spend their hard earned money to purchase. I love knowing that people wear my bracelets and spend so much face-time with my work on their wrist. I'll always paint, but I sleep better at night now knowing my bracelets bring in decent $.

    I hate to imply that if you have a partner who can help support you, your chances of holding out until you have some decent name recognition would get you past the point I reached. But that was my feeling. Best of luck to you.


  • I love beautiful jewelry, and love seeing it and buying it, too. And I admire the work of many of the jewelers whom I've met at shows. 

    I'm a painter and I don't have much in my booth below $100 (though I am about to change that). I've often had jewelers on both sides of me, and I will say that it can get depressing when the jewelers are making sale after sale after sale after sale, and I'm selling nothing. It's not that I wish them fewer sales. I also recognize that a jeweler who is selling, selling, selling is working his or her butt off. But it's tough to hear the cash register ring (virtually) again and again and again, while I'm sitting there showing large canvases to people who have to go home and measure walls.

    Of course, when that $2,000 painting sells, the balance shifts - but that can be the final day of the show. 

    • Ugh, Carrie, I know that feeling. I was at a show last year with a low end jeweler on one side and a underwater photographer on the other side at a Beach town show and it was depressing. However, on the last day I made some big sales and it was my best show of the season. I guess you never know :)

  • I am a jeweler and have heard complaints from painters for years about jewelers.  But, I found it interesting two years ago when the One of a Kind Show in Chicago decided to divide the show between "fine art" and "wearable art" many of the painters complained.  They said that they got a lot of their customers from people who did not come to the show for a painting, but noticed their work when their wife was buying jewelry next door.  One painter said that if he was in a section that was all fine art he would lose business because many of the attendees would never enter that area of the show.  As a result of all the complaints the Show remained mixed.

    • Jane~I am also a Jeweler & this is SO TRUE!

  • It's bad for everybody, even as a visitor you don't want to see the same thing tent after tent. I hear painters complain all the time about jewelers but I don't believe it matters.  I stay away from smaller shows that tend to have overload of what I call "stay at home mom" crafts and jewelry, I believe fine art is a harder sell and needs to be with the right audience. I'm a painter and usually people who purchase my work are into fine art and not buying jewelry. I don't really think there is competition between them, I see more competition between painters and sculpters because they usually have the same clientele.

    • Brian~By slamming JEWELERS, does it make you feel more important? YES, there are some questionable jewelers, but I can ALSO say that same thing about painters!  Just because someone is a painter, does NOT automatically qualify them an ARTIST! There are painters & there are painters.  Before I continue, I started out years ago as a painter where a lot of my work has been shown at the Walker Art Center in Mpls., MN., so I am also familiar with painting.  My passion since has been Jewelry~my work is all one of a kind, & I am truly an ARTIST. I have seen your work, & REALLY, you have NO place judging, & categorizing ALL JEWELERS as "stay at home mom crafters," not having the same clientele as you.  (omg~how RUDE).  ALMOST ALL WOMEN & alot of MEN admire & buy JEWELRY~maybe that is what bothers you~I don't know, but you really need to get over it to stay in this Business & get along with ALL ARTISTS & CRAFTERS.  I sell to rich as well as "not so rich" customers & I appreciate every one, & have a following, just like painters have followings to add to their collection. I suppose you think that Tiffany, Cartier, & Faberge are stay at home crafters as well?  By the way, I buy & also have an appreciation for the stay at home mom jewelers & other crafters too, but I am responding to the completely RUDE comment you made as I could NOT just let this go by. I along with others are just as sensitive about my work as you are about yours, so PLEASE quit the bashing, & have some RESPECT for ALL of your fellow ARTISTS & CRAFTERS~  

      • Plenty of folks in any venue have plenty of money and buy just about anything but a regional fine arts venue targeted toward art buyers is probably a better fit for a booth full of expensive paintings than a local arts and crafts show, isn't it? 

        Sorry, I think you read a lot into Brian's post that he simply didn't say.

  • Back when we rode motorcycles my husband used to spend a lot of time in Harley Davidson stores looking at parts and other things I wasn't interested in.  I would spend my time looking at the clothes and the jewelry.  It always ended up that we spent about equal amounts of money.  Well except for the time I bought a bike :-)  If you can sell to bored husbands it should be a great spot for you.  And what wife can say no to a painting when she has just spent a lot of money on jewelry?

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