Art Fair Insiders

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

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On Saturday, I made $4, yes that is four dollars, which very unfortunately was MORE than a number of the artists around me. Jewelry people and yard art folks did pretty well. Sunday we were open for 2 hours when the storm hit hard and fast. People were starting to spend. I had just sold a $50 painting to a very dear little 8 year old boy. Actually, his very sweet father bought it for him! I put the painting in a free frog bag and then the storm hit, really hard.

A short time b/4 the storm someone came around with an IPad to show each of us the radar of the storm coming. They were taking a poll about shutting down the show or waiting it out. They were going to let us all go into the Mansion. I said I'd be willing to wait it out IF I could haul my two crates of paintings in with me. So I did. It was quite an amazing experience. Never did get a show flyer, but I think there were about 60 vendors holed up just inside the mansion and in the basement. The mansion guards would NOT let us wander around the mansion until MUCH later-hours later-that's when I was able to take this amazing photo.

In a very weird way it was kind a cool experience being in the basement with all the artists and show folk with the wild storm raging outside. I was ok because I had ALL 28 of my small paintings safe with me. I had to leave the four large ones in my booth. Many of us had time to grab our lunches.  We swapped stories, played trivia games, gossiped about the guards, shows, how little $ we made. It was kinda fun. The usual social 'barriers' came right down.


Quite an experience taking the booth down from the inside out in the storm, everything was absolutely soaking wet (understatement). The ground was sooooooo soft, the grass was sooooooo long. The load in and out was made even more exhausting by that unfortunate condition.

 

VERY amazing and character building experience.

Great pictures and storyline.

One thing you might want to remember.  Vendors are people who sell the pop corn, the fried dough and etc.  We are fine artists and craftspeople.  We don't "vend", you should really try to think of yourself in that way.

I will say one thing for those food vendors--they usually make a lot more money than us.

Hey Nels-thanks for the reply. I will be delighted to refer myself and others as a fine artists and craftspeople from here on out.  It was unfortunate that the liquor 'vendor' shut down so quickly...he WOULD have made the most $ had he been there after we left the cover of the mansion.

 

Gee, to have everything put away....how I envy that mansion. Yeah, we've had to break down in the soaking weather of storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, and even snow storms. It's not so bad when the inside of your tent is dry and you can just pull the van up to load in (under cover of the lift gate). But, when you have to break even your tent down before you are allowed to load your stuff--that's the pits. Nothing like the smell of damp in the van on the l-o-n-g drive home. But, like you said Lynda, it builds character, and, nicely enough, it also builds friendships too ;-)

Lynda, it a pleasure to meet you in person.  And Yes this event was quite an experience.  I think I worked every muscle in my body dragging my cart 50 yards (each trip) in the wet, long, lumpy, muddy grass. 

 

Here is my observation of this show: No one was allowed to drive up to their booth.  Some artist might have had the length of a football field to cart their items.  Not good!  1 or 2 vendors loaded up prior to the storm.  After some discussion with surrounding artist, we concluded that 50%+ of the artists at this show were 1st time attendees.  I would have been better off going with my husband to support his hobby instead.  If this show didn't experience this rain storm, I don't think it would have even seen 1k in customers.  This is a low attendance show. 

 

Oh well, live and learn.  Onto the next show. 

You have my utter sympathies doing this show, I did it last year and again most were first timers at the show. the load in and out was terrible my neighbor and I drove together but still on our own to break down and pack up, load etc. It was so hot last year it was awful , and the sales oh yes what sales, beautiful location just not well attended. left Chicago area as the sun was setting , arrived home as it was rising. ...  I would not recommend this show to anyone.

 

Very sadly, the fine artists located near my booth all vowed not return to this show either. The producer is a fine woman, the venue is beautiful, the area, higher income. Unfortunately it doesn't add up for this event. It's too bad, it should be a successful show.    : (      Patty has the right attitude, on to the next show.
Sorry to hear it wasn't a success, but you got to network and to see inside this gorgeous house, so at least there was some sort of payoff!

I went to this show in 2008 and 2009 and was very disappointed.  There were fewer artists than advertised and what was there was of poor quality. I didn't even bother to go last year and had no intention of going this year.  It is about 15 minutes from my house and I still didn't think it was worth it if that gives you any idea.

I even told an artist from here not to do the show because it wouldn't be worth this person's time.  

There is very little advertising, I only saw one sign on the monument at the main intersection in town advertising the show.  This show is about a half mile past more shopping than you can imagine so getting people into the area is not a problem.  

It sounds like the quality of art is improving but that is about it.  

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