Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
I feel I have learned some in participating in shows, but mostly I feel like a failure. I have literally only sold two items last year that I participated in. I've changed my prices, my sales techniques and anything else that has be suggested. I'm broke and exhausted. Finally I decided to be a part of a co-op with it's own gallery and even that was a disaster. I think it really could be true that you just can't create works of art and hope someone will like it enough to buy it. The rejection is hard to take. I enjoy people so much but, no sales makes me feel like a loser. I haven't met anyone in my position, and I feel like I'm the only person who has had this happen.
I think this changes an artist when this sort of thing happens, I know it's changing me. I've been told by other artists that I cant be authentic, that I need to have a distant attitude. Is art really like this? Does it really come down to recreating things you see on Pintrest that people liked, because your creative voice is speechless.
My new game plan is not a winning plan, but just a childish desire to not let my art sit inboxes in my shed. Yes I may sell my work at the lowest bidder, I may even give it away, which I have been doing. Yes, I may change me just so my hands can continue to feel clay in my hands. Today I'm actually borrowing 25.00 for a box of clay cause I am so broke from all of my efforts. I'm frustrated. The level of bad experiences are so bizarre I can't begin to understand them.
I haven't seen anyone sell an item over $300. this is even in shows like La Quinta. Is all artwork like this? does only inexpensive art sell? is this everywhere? I only can figure that I must do simple blobs to sell anything. Should I try it? should I make a mockery of this whole art thing? should I roll out some clay and virtually play out the" Emperor with no clothes". Make blobs and convince people this is great, and see if it sells. What do I have to loose? haven't I already lost everything?
What do you think?
Your work is high-quality, so don’t blame yourself. Just try new things until you find what works for your art: try different shows, different states, etc.
Kara, I've seen your work here before. As an artist in my 60s and having created artwork for over 40 years and having seen literally millions of pieces of artwork - your work is exquisite! But, you already know that.
I've also read down through many of the comments but not all.
I have one suggestion, maybe it's been offered already. I would look at submitting your artwork to various exhibits across the country. For a small jury fee and the cost of shipping, I firmly believe you have monetary awards waiting for you and a high chance of selling your work.
This is my last year for art fairs, but I will continue to exhibit nationally, if I believe the theme, venue, etc favor my artwork. My prices are slightly higher when exhibiting versus art fairs, and I usually receive some kind of award.
I just think you would excel greatly in the exhibit type of format.
"Be encouraged as you see the day approaching..."
I did art festivals for 6 years with jewelry. Made between 500 - 1500 per show with priced to sell items. But it was not a success for me because time and $ invested should have produced a much bigger gain. I would walk the shows I was doing, check out the competition and other artists. I rarely saw sculptures of the quality and artistry you create, but when I did my thought was they were in the wrong venue. Your work belongs in high end venues such as the shows by American Craft Council or the Smithsonian. Your sculptures seem very personal, sometimes whimsical like NIADA art. Research what other artists are doing that is selling. See if you can adapt, change colors, subject matter, etc. without compromising your vision. Look into becoming a Patreon artist.