Art Fair Insiders

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

Showing at art fairs and festivals has many challenges, one of which is creating excellent work. But as we all know, that’s only the beginning. Since I’ve started doing these I’ve learned many skills. I think it’s time festivals gave credit for all that we do. Here’s a few examples...

Best lodging find

Most nutritious diet on less than $10/day

Most scenic tour route 

Best canopy stabilization system

Most creative use of duct tape

And last but far from least. Most efficient vehicle packing (I think I would have a shot at this one. What do you think?)

Any More?

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I can't tell from your picture, but the most efficient vehicle packing means the display comes out first and gets set up so it can protect the artwork. Then at breakdown the artwork gets packed away first, etc.

I prefer spring clamps, cable ties and Velcro to duct tape.

Larry Berman

I can see your point as far as set up, but I was talking most efficient in terms of fitting the most in. Maybe there should be another category?

You did an excellent job of packing it in, Lisa. Kudos on that. It does look like you can get your canopy out pretty fast.

When I was running shows it always galled me the people who said they had to come in with their vehicles early because that is how they packed them, I guess one piece at a time as they came off the display. So one of my personal awards has to go to the people who can tear down and make a nice pile of goods before the vans come in.

This is also an good thought provoking discussion and it is probably time for us to give some awards in those categories even if the shows won't.

I have to take the two large paintings and a print rack out first. Then I can move the other small paintings over onto the other paintings in the car and then I can get to the mesh walls and canopy. So it's not too bad. It saves me about 40 mins if I can load directly into the vehicle, but I've never asked to do this. It's great when I can though!

I have small paintings packed inside the large painting in the silver pouch :)

I get a shot at your packing award too! I get everything and canopy into a Kia Soul plus "roof bag". I even sometimes bring a floor. It doesn't always look quite as neat as yours does and I can't get the canopy out first, however I do get 38 miles to the gallon on the highway which is its own reward.

I think you might get the "best gas mileage" award! I probably only get around 28 mpg, but it would probably be more if I weren't going over mountains. I wouldn't get 38 mpg on the flat though, more like 32.

Yes!  I have a Kia Soul too and it's surprisingly roomy and it!

  I think I would also be up for the packing award. I drive a compact Chevy Cobalt to shows, and pack everything inside of it. Once a fellow artist was watching me pack up after a show. She told me I should advertise for Chevy Cobalt because of how much I can fit in that car! It all fits in there like a puzzle!

That's what got me thinking about this. Every show this year, when I drive up to pack up someone says "you get all of that into THERE?!?" I say, yup, it's like a puzzle. It does take me longer to tear down and pack up, because everything has to come down in a specific order so I can pack it into the car in the reverse order. I got feedback from one art show that said they wished I had more different sizes of paintings in my booth. But then they wouldn't fit! :)

You really should look into the advertising idea!

I understand about the size of the vehicle. I kept on my husband to make larger photos (larger prices, right?) and he would always say, "they won't fit in the van." The size of the vehicle does affect the size of the work, one of the downsides of our business.

Yes, Sandy -- does Chevy have a FB page? I'd take a photo and upload it there. I'm sure some advertising person would love it and maybe lead to some art sales ;)

Good job!  Nothing beats a roomy hatchback, looks like you've got it down to a science...


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