Art Fair Insiders

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

Hello Art Show Folks,

I have been through some major life changes recently. As a result, I have decided to make the plunge and venture out to the art fair world to sell my photography. I am working outside of the US right now but at the beginning of 2018, I will be back in the country and ready to take on art fairs full time. And, I will be doing it while traveling in my SUV and a travel least that is the plan at the moment.

Are there others folks out there that are "location independent" and working art shows from their RV or travel trailer? I am interested in learning from those who have blazed this trail. What are the big considerations? Am I crazy for considering this? This information will be very helpful as I move forward to this new life in 2018.

Thanks in advance for your advice/comments!


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Hi Gary and Maureen,

I have a follow-up question to a discussion from almost a year ago. I am about to get my RV and hit the road to art fairs. I checked into getting liability insurance with RLI and they needed a physical address in order to provide the insurance. I told them that I do not have one. I have a mail forwarding service with a permanent address. They want me to have a physical place for address. How have you purchased liability insurance when you are a fulltime RVer? Any advice?

Thanks! Mike

Hi Mike, I've been living in my RV and doing shows for the last 3 years. It's far easier on the west coast than on the East. Lots of BLM land out here where you can live free or cheaply. I spend winters in Quartzsite AZ in the winter where you can stay on BLM land from the 15th of September till the 15th of April for $180 (this includes water and sewage dump). I don't get there till November because it doesn't cool down till then. It averages temperatures from 40 degrees to 75 degrees in the winter. I also rent a self storage unit there ($75 for a 10 X 20) where I keep my supplies and finished pieces (I do metal work). I'm now using a 6 X 10 cargo trailer, tall enough to stand up in, as a portable studio. I spend the winter creating work to sell at art fairs during the summer.
In the summer I head to Cottage Grove Oregon as my base camp. I have a storage unit there too. $110 for a 10 X 20. I keep my show equipment there along with finished pieces. I also keep my 2 14 foot kayaks there. East of Cottage Grove is lots of cheap BLM land for camping. This year I'm doing 6 shows from California to Washington. I try to do one show a month.
It's working really good for me. Good luck!

Hi Ralph, Thanks for sharing your experience. It sounds like you have worked out the system that suites you for life on the road, creating artwork and attending art fairs. I am just studying up on the boondocking opportunities on BLM lands. I would love to take advantage of that but it sounds like the West is where it is concentrated. I will have my home base in Arkansas but that doesn't prevent me from going anywhere my SUV + travel trailer can go. I might consider fairs that are out West more for that reason. You have given me some ideas to think about. I hope our paths cross out there on the road. Thanks again, Mike

Hello Ralph,

I have a follow-up question to a long ago discussion. How do you purchase your liability insurance when you are a fulltime RVer? I checked with RLI and they want my business to have a physical address. I have a physical address with a mail forwarding service but that does not suit them. Advice?

THanks, Mike


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