Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
Welcome to Indiana! I came from the West Coast, too, but after more than 40 years I consider myself a "naturalized" Hoosier. For the first 10 years or so at every season people would tell me, "It isn't usually like this in the Spring, (Summer, Fall, Winter)." So, in the unpredictability, be prepared. Make sure that you have a good weight system. More than a concrete block!. Check your tent for leaks. Last spring we were in a show where it poured for 2 days straight. We had to move our inventory so that the drips would only drip where it wouldn't damage anything. That really is unusual!! When it rains in Indiana, it rains HARD, but as a rule not for straight days. The humidity is hard to handle. We try to stay hydrated, and we try to have a fan if it looks like it will be more humid than usual. The humidity can be oppressive. It can feel like you are just stewing if you can't move the air. In high temps, I wear a wet bandana around my neck. One artist wrote that she puts a dishpan of cool water on the floor and puts her feet in it. If you have the opportunity, try to get to an air-conditioned space for a few minutes every so often. Will you be at your shows alone? Fellow artists are usually really nice if you need a little break. Best of luck and hope to meet you around.
Thank you for taking the time to help out. I appreciate it.
I ventured east from Colorado to do Salina, KS. I made money at the show but I was up all night tracking tornadoes on radar. Severe thunderstorms went on either side of town around 1:00 am. On the way home we saw large trees down and grain bins rolled up like tinfoil balls. I can handle Colorado mountain summer snow, hail and thunderstorms but not that. There seems to have been more post here and on Facebook about 2018 storms and shows in the midwest and east. Good luck.
Thanks for your help. I appreciate it.
I'm fairly new to the area, too. When one show organizer required a minimum of 40 pounds of weight per tent leg, I thought it was excessive...until the wind at the show was so strong that the tent (along with the 160 pounds of weights) moved several inches during some gusts. Same applies for everything inside your tent. Be sure that nothing will blow over easily, blow away, or fall on a customer. I started out in the south, so rain and humidity seem normal to me, but the issues of wind have really become a consideration.
Thank you. We do have 40lb bags on each leg. Thanks for your help.
I'm sure other people will talk about storms. Get a good weather app or several. You'll need to know when storms are headed your way in a more urgent way than will people who check ordinary weather reports.
Humidity: humidity in the Midwest is much worse west of the Mississippi. Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin are much less humid than Missouri and Iowa. I don't know why that is, just that I've made the connection that it's west of the Mississippi. Those are the only two states where I have done a show west of the Mississippi so I don't know how far that extends.
Missouri and Iowa feel like walking through a wall of hot water. Or like being wrapped in a hot wet washcloth. I have to move much slower during set up or teardown.
For hot weather I pack frozen washcloths in my cooler. I put one on the back of my neck and when it thaws lay it on my back under my shirt. No one can see it under my clothes. I wear colors that don't show when they are wet. Get a good battery operated fan. There are lots of threads on the best ones. I also mist myself with water when no one is in the booth. In states where humidity is really high I see the water evaporates slower.
Wear only natural fibers like cotton and linen, and NO knits. Knits trap heat. That means no T shirts no matter how nice they are. Fabric must be woven to let out your body heat. With these things I am still functional and able to deal with customers when other people are miserable.
Thanks for your advice. I appreciate it.
I guess you never did La Quinta. That was one of the windiest shows I have ever done. They actually require rebar stakes that they pound into the ground and you have to tie your booth to them.
Salina KS. That was a real fun event. It was raining sideways with 50 mile an hour winds. No tents went down. The show is on grass, so, instead of just weights, I brought stakes. I'm glad I did. From my perspective, Kansas is in the West. I'm from Michigan. Michigan is in the midwest. It might rain, but, it doesn't get too windy.
What you need: 1) Weights. I have 45 pounds on each corner. That seems to be enough. 2) Stabilizer bars. Very important to keep your tent from swaying. 3) Clothes for every type of weather. 4) A cooler with plenty of water and some gatorade type products. 5) Ice.
Try doing a show when it isn't raining. OK, that's a joke. I read where people are complaining about how much rain they are having. I seem to hardly ever get rained out. Over the years, the Gasparilla show in Tampa is probably the show that has been shut down the most because of the weather.
I'm kind of looking forward to having it rain at a show because I finally bought an umbrella and a raincoat. I can't wait to try them out.
If you are referring to me as to being funny, I had just watched Episode 10 season two of The Magnificent Mrs Maisel and that got me in the mood to be funny. It is a fantastic show. I watched season 1 in about 3 days. Season 2 came out about 3 weeks ago. I've been trying to make it last, so, I watch an episode about every 3 days. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. It won 6 Emmy's for season 1 and is up for 3 Golden Globes. As artists, we can relate to her starting a career in comedy, trying to get gigs(art fairs), trying to make a few dollars in a very crowded field with very little support.
Thanks for all the responses! We arrived in Indiana last June and lived in our RV for two months. Had some interesting storms so I'm a bit concerned. I create traditional stringed instruments using fine woods and am being cautious ... probably over thinking it. Thanks again, perhaps we'll meet this show season.