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

OK,  Can I throw a pic or 2 in here?  This is my new P P set-up with the LED lighting system (that is discussed in another thread here). The weather finally cooperated (i.e. no rain/snow, temps in the mid - upper 40's) for an afternoon/evening and so I set up my tent with the new sidewalls (found here in the classified section) and my new Pro Panels. I am using the Harmon hook hangers and my acrylic paintings. I sent another artist friend six shots to choose from... she liked this one best. Click the pic for larger viewSo, short of the wrinkled floor carpet (like I said, mid-40's and things which ought to flatten didn't which I will make disappear through the magic of photoshopping, would it pass muster?

The booth shot is supposed to represent how the booth will appear with your wares in it, but these days, it seems that it's more like a still life work of art in itself. I think this is taking away from many artists who create a superior product, but aren't interior decorators and can't afford to step up their game without risking the family farm - so to speak.

I credit Dr. Barnes and his museum of impressionistic and post-impressionistic symmetricity for inspiration for my layout design gestalt. This is a $3.2 k upgrade from my hand-built, very practical pegboard display which was regularly rejected by upscale events, but accepted by top drawer, second shelf events....

I had to use the LED floods in bounce mode because they were too hot for the camera. I like the direct lighting, as it gives a gallery feel, but couldn't correct the over-exposure near the front corners of the booth. Here's what I mean. even eliminating the lights completely in the closest aspects didn't get it. Looking at the art in the booth, the glare isn't there, but 1000 lumens per lamp is a lotta light... (see below front right and left ) I suppose if I set it up again (and I had it broken down just before it started to rain again), I could get the glare gone in the corners eventually... But, in the meantime, could the upper image gain me entrance into some of the nicer juried events?

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So here's what it looks like 1920x1920 with the black masking to make it square... sor of looks like I am peering through a letter slot. I have uploaded images like this 1920x1920 with the image 1820 wide and add 50 pixels on each side as black mask... but do not know how that appears to jurors... arer they viewing the images projected or on a computer monitor..? Now I am using the save as button each time I save rather than the save for web button.. but when I saved this, it ended up being 1.67 mb with the slider up to max. I suppose I could make it larger by going back and re-sampling, but I question the value.  I might step back a couple steps and re-work it so it all comes out as a final 2 mb file size... but wanted to show it in ZAPP format

Uploading images smaller than 1920 with wider black borders displays your images proportionally smaller when projected and when they're viewed on a monitor. For monitor jurying they're displaying the images on a black page so your images are smaller than your competitor's images, not what you want the end result to be. Same when projected.

You can't get it to be a larger file size than 100%. JPEG file size is determined by the amount of detail in the image. Larger black borders translate to a smaller visible image at a smaller file size.

You should be using Save For Web. Save As JPEG only gives you 12 levels of compression to choose from. Save For Web gives you 100 levels of compression to choose from. Using Save For Web allows you to get closer to the target file size which results in a higher quality JPEG.

Larry Berman
http://BermanGraphics.com
412-401-8100

Got it and will check if old photoshop CS has feature... but is there 100 level the same as the 12 level?

And sounds like in any event, the 1920px square images are viewed in a black background. So, as you say less is less in this case 

Mark, you and Larry lost me a page ago on your photoshopping tech speak  -- I'm envious of your skills! -- so come back down to my level a second to talk again about the art placement.

Now that I know your pro panels are 6' tall I see that your work is indeed at proper viewing height.  However what I personally still dislike is that the top row all around is hung at the top of the panels.  Without seeing a bit of the tan panels along the tops of all your paintings it looks to me like a picture that is framed on just three sides.  I would drop the whole lot down a bit -- maybe 6" as a first guess -- so that your body of work is "framed" on all four sides by your walls.  I think this will create a nice visual package and will also reduce the impression of pieces being crammed into the space.

Karen,

Forgive me for not replying. I hung the work in the booth like I always have... and this goes back to my pegboard display of last year. I have always tried to cram as much stuff onto the walls as possible in order to give people as much to choose from as possible. This first image is from 4 years ago when my pegboards were white.

 

This next image is from 2011 (?) It shows my booth at the very first (ever?) Paragon event in National Harbor (Washington International Art Festival). I am doing a 3.5 wall set up and had to use some white pegboard in addition to the now black boards. Again, it is all crammed together in old english hanging style... i.e. art from bottom to top, no space between pieces if possible in order to hang as many pieces as possible. 

 

So the habit of a level hanging using the top of the panel as beginning point is a carryover from these days - an efficiency to get as many pieces displayed as possible.

 

Please tell me your thoughts on why this level top line should be broken up? It's a point of reference for the viewer. Your eyes went straight to it, so it is visually distinctive - though for you, not in a positive light. Tell me the advantages of breaking up the line of sight in the booth...

Here's another view from this first set of 2013 panel wall shots with the lights with the rug  and some of the ceiling not cropped out, lights pointed down into the booth. One thing i note is that I really have not decreased the total number of pieces that much when you compare apples to apples. But I am using more vertical space that the panels offer as 6 ft tall spaces and the display appears less dense owing to the lighter colored panels and no open space at the bottom to act as an upside down horizon

Hi Mark,

The evolution of your booth is an interesting visual story.  Thanks for posting all the pix.

First, I think yours is one of those cases when the booth shot for jurying may be different from your actual booth set-up.  First, my thoughts on the jury shot...

For whatever reason, less seems to be more according to the juries.  Maybe it has to do with the limited number of seconds they look at each pic.  So for the jury you might want to lose the 4 smallest works on the back and left walls, OR pair them like you did on the right wall.  Then, I still think bringing the whole collection down a bit to create a top "frame" of propanels will create a more balanced visual for the jury.  Remembering that seeing something in a photo can be very different from seeing it in real 3-D life, I think part of the problem now is that the upper two thirds of the walls are multi-colored and then the bottom third (the empty parts of the walls) is monotone.  For me it creates an unbalanced look of top-heaviness (or bottom-heaviness, depending upon your point of view).  So the frame of tan propanels all the way around would create balance, as it does for any framed work hanging on a living room wall.

The actual booth is another story.  I completely understand wanting to show many works in the hopes the viewer will find the one he/she likes, and I think that's fine for your show display.  And, I get the reference to the old english style of multiple hangings (although I thought that style went back to the french salon era; whatever).  But interestingly, when I look at your earlier pegboard versions, the lining up with the top of the boards actually works better for me than the current propanel version, probably because with the pegboards the work also goes all the way down to the bottom of the boards as well as to the top.  So there is balance because there's no "framing" anywhere, just wall-to-wall artwork.  Another reason the earlier version may look better is because there are no distracting lights, just a plain white tent canopy, whereas in the current version the artwork is encroaching up into the rafter/lighting area.  Again, a little more breathing space at the top of the panels would make sense to me.

Here's one more thing to think about, and I don't have the answer just the question.  I have noticed over the years when viewing my work and others' in a booth setting, sometimes the impact and importance of each piece gets lost when it's too close to other pieces that are competing for the eye's attention.  The same thing holds true in writing (I'm a professional writer); if you want to give something attention, put it in a paragraph all by itself.

To get noticed, step away from the crowd.

For that reason, the current arrangement may be better than your intermediate arrangement (when you started introducing black boards) because that earlier version has the work displayed very close together. 

Consider if the work needs even more separation than you're currently using.  Or consider using a different organizing principle to create more visual order, such as similarly colored works hung together or works of similar sizes hung together.  I know it's counter-intuitive -- you'd think having like pieces together would make them all blend into nothingness, but I think the actual effect is that it diminishes visual clutter in the viewer's peripheral vision and allows them to more clearly focus on their piece of choice.  When I have rearranged my work according to color or size it's made a startling difference.  Now I choose different organizing principles based upon the audience, which part of the booth I want to grab their attention, and so on.

Finally, if I were you I'd search the booth-shot section of this site and examine the arrangements of other 2-D artists, then emulate the ones that work best for you.  Also, some of the painters and artists who are active on this site may be willing to share their booth shots with you if you send them a personal message. 

Good luck!

Karen

And BTW, don't know if this was clear in my comments but I do like the fact that your work is hung with a consistent (or "level") top line.  I would definitely keep that consistency and am not advocating a staggered top line.

Karen,

Thanks for your input

Here's another couple shots using the same set of photos. I replaced the wrinkled carpet with what looks like linoleum, but is really samples of the carpet. This way, I didn't have to crop out the floor completely. I also corrected some glare and exposure issues. Does this change anything you were commenting on?

Mark, I like these better because the roof supports and lights are less conspicuous.  I can't decide which of the two I like better...in the first the ceiling stuff almost goes away but then again the artwork loses some of its punch, too.  I would probably go with the second one.

I like the look of the solid tan flooring quite a lot better than the black or cropped-out-floor versions.

I'm afraid I'm always going to prefer the artwork hung a bit lower than the top edge of propanels, for all the reasons listed earlier.  However I think it has become less noticeable in this version, perhaps because it's not a close-up like your original version.  

I do think this version of your booth shot offers a clean, orderly and professional appearance that clearly focuses on your art.  I believe it would satisfy the judges.

That was easy, wasn't it?  :)

 

I'm sure this has been mentioned before, but every time you save a jpeg you lose image quality. You should convert your file to tiff or psd and then convert to jpeg at the end. If you need to do more editing use your most recent tiff file.

Karen,

Believe it or not, I think it is important for the juror to be aware of the presence of the lighting set-up. It cost over $1,000.00 and if the juror is aware of this, just like they might be aware that the Propanels cost $2,000.00 for 9 panels and the gizmos to hold it all together.... they may appreciate the art a bit more in context.

From the feedback gleaned from the past couple years, jurors have certainly noticed my old hand-built display - in a negative fashion.

I find that the panel display is being perceived as the bare minimum display admitted to more and more decent fine art events for 2-D artists. The lighting should also be impressive - even if the juror should be looking at the art... The booth shot is supposed to be judged in light of the set-up and the quality of how the work is presented to the customer...at least that is how many events qualify it... They want your booth to be the mini-gallery... and none of them are saying they don't want this. So if panels and lighting are coin of the realm, signifying a high quality booth presentation, I think they are just as important as the arrangement of the art on the panels.. It should be about the art, but I think jurors are also swayed by the swanky display of the work, too

That all makes sense.  I think your most recent versions serve the purpose of showing the quality lighting, walls and tent without causing too much distraction from the art.

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