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

Hi Guys,

I know the members of this forum are savvy in getting to shows and handling the expenses better than I am, since I am just getting back to showing again this past Fall.

Consequently, I landed three shows in a row in Florida in February. That means two and a half weeks of motels or rentals that will hopefully be offset by good sales.The problem is that the closer you get to Miami and Boca the more expensive it gets. There is nothing on Hotels.com and Booking.com that is remotely affordable for me. I haven't heard from the shows concerning breaks on hotels so I expect that these shows are big enough to not worry about that and I just need to book it myself.

My question is; does anyone know a way to get better rates or sites on the internet that might be better prices? Also, is there some site that gets you in touch with other artists that might want to rent a condo or an apt.? I am doing Mt. Dora, Boca Museum Show and Coconut Grove, which I am stoked about, but I might just be sleeping in my van and that might hurt my sales worse that anything-HA! (kidding i think). I do know that you have to spend money to make money, but if anybody has some insider suggestions I would be eternally grateful. Thank you so much.

marge luttrell

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I've tried to get artists to sign up here to share rooms, that is such a great option. Did you check this section of the site: Hotel Tips, Room sharing, etc. Click on Discussions to see all topics. There are some good ideas there and maybe someone to share with. I especially liked the idea of going on a cruise between shows!!!

Hi Marge,

       I would try airbnb.com, many friends have had great luck with that sight.You have alot of options, a room in someone's house or condo, and a huge price range to chose from. Have you tried priceline.com? We sometimes wait until the last minute and score with a great hotel. Please do not stay at the Days Inn, i do not care how desperate you are, especially the one near Mount Dora, it was beyond creepy. I hope this helps! I agree with Connie, times are tough and sharing a room would be a great service to another artist and who knows, you may make a new friend. I travel with my husband or i would offer to share. I will see you in Mount Dora!

                                                                                  Peace, Maureen

Thank you, Thank you , Thank you- AirB&B is such a great site!!!!

You need to consider also if is more economical to fly back home Monday morning and come back to Thursday afternoon. Check Stay, Park and Flight or something like that. I know that Florida artist do that during the summer when they come to the Midwest.

One thing I learned is plan to spend the least amount of money bc you never know how the show will go. So plan for the worst case as well as the best case.

Most people I know own campers.  Check the price of renting one in lieu of renting a room.  They are so nice to have near by.

I am doing a combo of Air BnB and cruise in January.  Also make sure to grab the discount coupon Hotel books at the border or on the toll.  They have great walk in rates.   You can call them ahead of time (day of) and make sure they have a room at the advertised rate.  I have only had one night when it was really hard to find a last minute rate.  The cruise is a great option, you can even book it the day you want to leave if you want.  From what I found Miami was a beter port for a Mon. to Fri cruise over Fort Lauderdale.  To do one in January it is only $64 a day, just have to watch the bar bill :) 

I have done the craigslist thing a couple of times. Once I had a room lined up and then didn't get in the show. And another time I stayed in an extra bedroom at a couples house. ASK FOR PICTURES. Also I have asked volunteers if they know of a woman who would rent out a bedroom for like 35 a night. I only stay with couples or other women. And Last year I stayed at a campground for 15 bucks a night. IT had warm clean showers and nice bathrooms. I will do the show again because the camping was close, clean and cheap!

Looked into the Cruise idea Melanie- sounded great- but all the really good deals are only available for 2 in a room. How did you get around that one?

I did St. Stephens several years ago and the artists around me who stayed near the airport got the best deal.  It's apparently a 45 minute drive back to the hotel but it was a lot cheaper than where I stayed right in Miami.  I also talked to an artist who got a cabin in one of the parks nearby.  Sorry I don't have any information about that one.  No phone service but running water and more space than in the van.

I lived in Coral Springs for a while and still have a place there but it's rented at this time. I visited the Boca show itself and was not real impressed and wondered why an artist would travel to such an expensive area in the first place and show their work there. Over on the other side of Florida near Punta Gorda and Ft. Meyers might be more lucrative. A popular show area and affordable is South Beach in Miami.

Hi Vincent, There are so many shows in Florida sometimes, even with extensive research, you just don't know. This seems to be a well regarded show and the next weekend was Coconut Grove-thought it was a natural progression. Actually, got into one in the Fort Meyers area-but I thought this one was a better show, since it was put on by the Museum and my work is very contemporary. I swear, you never know from one year to the next. All I can hope for now is that it is good. Thank you for your reply.

Boca Museum is an originals only show (or is suppose to be) and most of the patrons know that.  For me it is a good thing because I only do originals. 

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