Art Fair Insiders

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

When shows ask your sales totals are you OK with it?  I've heard the reasoning that they use it for their advertising. Then I wonder if they use it to invite you back (or not)?  Personally, I am offended when asked to share my sales dollar totals.  Would anyone go into a gallery and ask the owner his sales for the week?  Or would you ask your doctor how much he made today?  I know some artist like telling everyone how much they sold, but for me it is personal.  And I'd like to keep it that way!

Views: 1296

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I've always taken sales amounts with more than a few grains of salt. My first experience with reported sales figures was back around 1988-1990 or so when doing St. James. Back then it was a commission show, except no one told me if the figures were too low, you weren't invited back. I found out later that many locals were inflating their figures and paying a heavier percentage just so they would get invited back and retain the prestige factor. It didn't know that until I was assigned one of the outskirts shows and stuck between a guy making hand made brooms and another making rustic pottery jars that looked at home next to a moonshine still. It was a good twenty years before I applied to that show again.
As long as the figures are in broad ranges, I don't remind reporting them. But I won't give precise figures.
I absolutely will not report exact sales, quite frankly it's no ones business but mine and my accountant lol. Asking in the first place is rude IMO. If I am doing a show review or something like that, I will say either low sales, paycheck show, good sales or great sales. I think that is enough.

Thanks Robert and Elle!  I'm glad I'm not the only one that feels that way.  Just the fact that they think it is OK to ask is surprising.

Yes, I am ok with it if the show is a year to year winner and participating artists for the most part are smiling. I can see the show management point of view on this and in most cases for me this is a local arts or town organizations that wants good art to please the patrons but also art that sells for tax revenue. Why would a show want to jury back in art that the public didn't buy and apparantly in that demographic didn't like? There are lots of artists around to select from for the next year and maybe the new artists will be a winner for them. Just being the devils advocate for a bit here.
But Richard, do you think artists who do not sell will want to come back time and again?
I wouldn't, but from this site it sure seems like a lot of eastern artists go back to a show where they struggled to make booth fee, based upon prestige of the show. At least that is my impression from what people post.
I asked that question because you stated "why would a show want to jury back in art that the public didn't buy and apparently in that demographic didn't like?" My point is shows don't need our sales figures. Those artists who don't sell won't reapply. They will eliminate themselves from the jury pool as you would.
I'll ask around at some of the shows just to check on how things are going, just to be able to do a reasonable show report. All I'm after is the "made booth fee or not", "made expenses", "did okay", "did really well"' and of course all are subjective. Last summer it was a struggle for many of the artists around me to hit the first two categories. I know I was in the same boat and there a bunch of those shows I'm not doing or won't apply to this year.
Robert, this is about shows asking specific dollar mounts. I don't mind saying I did good, OK or whatever.

Oh, I understood that part. This was supposed to tag on after you responded to Elle and myself. This system doesn't give as smooth a flow as it should and it messes with the context when things are out of sync. It's one thing for the show to ask specific amounts, another for broader ranges. Occasionally another artist will ask how I did, and I answer with those 4 categories I mentioned. Specific amounts are almost like asking what religion you belong to ;-)

Totally agree, Nancy. Some things are better left unsaid! Elle

Nancy, Good point! I never thought of it that way.


Fiber artists -- use this resource to find new buyers:  Advertise with Reach over 60,000 fiber arts lovers.

Our 50 Best Art Fairs

Look Inside the 2018 Art Fair Survey:
Who Won and Why

Join the MasterMinds Group for personalized coaching on your Internet Lifestyle Business! 

60 Page Report - Best US Art Fairs

Click Here to
Learn More


  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2021   Created by Connie Mettler.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service