Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
Here's my booth shot. I moved the print rack outside the tent later that morning. Overall it was a great experience. Made some sales and people kept remarking that they loved my colors and that my art and booth had such a light, peaceful feeling to it. Jewelry didn't sell at all so I may leave it behind next time. I'm thinking of getting a backdoor to my tent so I can sit just "out back" instead of perched in the corner. I think it intimidates some people. All in all it was a pleasant experience... The only negatives were one guy who through a fifty on my table for a $75 print while I was in the middle of another transaction. By the time I was finished and turned to help him, he was gone. The other was that it started raining one hour before closing on yesterday so my husband and I had to tear down a soggy tent and artwork with two kids (5 & 7) in tow. I could be wrong, but I get the feeling that most people who do these fairs do not have young children. Thanks for all your advice!
I agree with that customer - about the light, peaceful feeling! Looks great and I'm glad you made some sales. That guy was a bit rude, I'm assuming he took off with the print at a $25 discount that you didn't say yes to?
Annette, have you run into this kind of customer in Australia? I remember a guy stuffing a $100 bill in my husband's pocket and saying that he should take it, "it was cash after all." Oddly we remember this kind of customer but they are not the norm. Most so nice and appreciative.
No, I haven't had that happen to me, thankfully Connie! I've had the occasional forceful haggling from men which I don't enjoy (and only makes me stick to my prices more!). The occasional woman has grabbed a pair of earrings or similar and given me the correct money showing me the price on the back of them if I'm really busy, but most wait patiently especially if you acknowledge them.
yep - I was basically robbed. :(
Oh no, I was afraid as much. If it ever happens again you will have to excuse yourself momentarily from the customer and quickly say, I'm sorry that's $75. The customer you're currently dealing with will surely understand.
I wonder if he did it on purpose seeing you were busy?
Good for you, Jeannine! Your booth looks great for a first-timer. Looks to me like you've really been doing your homework and research. Sitting in the booth does slow things down. Finding the right place is tricky. If you search on this site you'll find whole discussions about "where to sit," and discussions that include the dictum NO sitting, no chairs.
People with young children do do shows, they are not so much in evidence and the kids meet the other kids and make friends that they'll see another weekend at another show. It is definitely good that your husband can be there to pay attention to them though and a park is certainly better than a street show.
Do you have another show coming up?
lol - yeah, for a "first timer" I think I did okay. I'm definitely a sitter because of lower back problems so I'll probably find my spot in the back behind a floating wall or out on the side of the booth if there is room. The whole standing around (which I did as well) made me feel awkward and lost and that seems to chase even more people away. I'd rather have a project or book and just try to stay out of the way.
I have to keep it local, but unfortunately there are not too many shows out by me and I've missed the boat already on quite a few that are, but that's fine. Happy to start out slow. I did however apply for the Sedona (not close but love Sedona), Malibu and Manhattan Beach fair. I'll probably apply for some palm springs shows next year. I got into the Indian Wells one this year but had to back out because I just wasn't ready. Are there any good shows in so cal that you can recommend?
jeannine, I'll warn you about the Sedona show, people only buy art that reminds them of Sedona. I have heard from many artists that this show is horrible unless you have art of the area. unfortunately it makes it look like everybody has the same stuff, but that's just how it is there. That's pretty much how the galleries are too. Southwest/Indian style jewelry & pottery does great there!
Thanks for the heads up, Brian! I really don't want to waste time and expenses if it's not the right fit.
Believe me there are kids involved...My girls were 3 & 4 when we started, they made tents under the tables, stayed there for hours. Jerry set up the trailor with a fan and lights and a mattress for them to play in and do homework in. They were a great draw for counting back change, now one is an art teacher (go figure) and the other is an librarian teacher...when ever we are close to one of their hometowns, they come and help us with the show, our metal is heavy, and of course the husband and boyfriend are involved...no grandkids yet but believe me they will be there too.
Jeannine, It is interesting that the jewelry didn't sell. Most juried shows only allow one medium per booth. Taking it out is probably a good idea. Was this a juried show where the photo was taken?
Yes, it was a juried show.