Art Fair Insiders

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

Ive done a few shows this past May......and oh oh.....the economy is so bad!....everyone is saying, no the weather was bad......but really I can tell....there were a couple of nice Saturdays and no crowd.......


Face it will be a long year.......and I will enter less shows.....and do shows close to home.....hope the recession will be over soon.....but really with the goofy politics in this country and the electorate electing the bad guys way to will be a while before things return to profitablilty for us artists....

Views: 1224

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion


I agree. Maine is a tourist State- and with gas prices so high, our tourist economy is going to take a hard hit.

I know I am re-evaluating what, when, where, in regards to shows this year. And looking into alternatives. 

And yes, we are angry, and tired of the political games. I guess "We, the people" need to make it clear to our future elected officials that the idiocy needs to stop. 


If you looked at this world from a foreigners a Japanese citizen, a Russian, an Egyptian, a Yemenese, a Pakastainee, a Haitain......what would they say?

Two years ago my beloved niece married a wonderful man who was raised in America but born in Turkey. We have come to know how the world looks at Americans. This "Recession" has hit the planet years ago. Europeans wonder how we can use so much petrol? My friends in Turkey wonder why we do not use solar and wind power as they do? Americans are spoiled.

We think nothing of driving cross country a number of times a month to sell our art.

Times are not changing, they have changed!

How will we cope?

Are Art Fairs a dying experience?

Tell me.

I intend to push on with my plans, the “Economy be damned.” I don’t care if I have to set up my tramp booth on the side of some desert highway, fending off rattlesnakes and buzzards.


I’ve waited all of my life to do what I’m doing now. When the “bust” hit out here in 2007, my 27 year surveying career basically vanished into the ether. After taking two years (and three broken fingers) to finally figure out that I was waaay too old to be an oil-field roughneck, the only thing left that I felt suited for was what I have dreamed about doing since I was a child, and that was finally losing my amateur standing in painting.  So far, I’ve made it through two Wyoming winters bartering portraits of motorcycles, dead people and raunchy tattoos for firewood and living off of beans, rice and the occasional antelope. The sweet old lady that runs the bar down the road lets me use her wireless internet when I go down there to help out with the cleaning and plumbing repairs, and thanks to a couple of hefty commissions (vain rich folks), and the faith and investment from good friends and family, I’ve been able to afford to get booths in some promising shows in affluent areas of Wyoming.


I’m determined to make the best use of these opportunities, not only by producing artwork at a rate that would make Van Gogh look like a slacker, but also checking this site as often as possible to learn as much as I can about the ‘art’ of selling and other social graces for which frankly, I've never had much talent.


I’m not trying to portray myself as some tired cliché’.  Hell, I eat better than most people I know. I’m counting myself as a professional artist, and as with all professions; you have to do your suffering and struggling on your own time.


I’m about the same age as my Grandfather was when the last great depression hit, and all he ever had to say about it is “What Depression?” I can almost hear him telling me now, “Quit crying, take off the dress, and grow the hell up. Suffer for your art? Hell, I've sold blood to buy art supplies, who hasn't?” (Grandpa was a notorious liar).


I don’t know what to expect from this venture. Maybe I’ll go bust… maybe I’ll strike it rich (more likely after I’m long gone). All I’m hoping for at this point is to be enabled to keep doing what I’m doing regardless of what a bunch of traitorous politicians and the money-addicted psychopaths on Wall Street are managing to pull off.  At least I can draw more than just a paycheck.


‎"Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves, not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires."  -John Steinbeck

Great writing Leslie. After his note, there's no need for anything from me other than to admonish everyone to either be an artist, or go home. Quit blaming the economy, if people know so much about the economy, then maybe they should go be an economist rather than an artist. Not selling enough? Improve your work. Grow, develop, change, and evolve. Who's ball is it? There's money for smartphones, flatscreens, yoga, ipads, and gourmet doggie treats. Look around folks. They'll buy your work if it's good and priced right.
Amen! Thank you Munks for saying it soooo eloquently ;-)
Here here!  People are making money - a lot on the internet from internet advertising to the next best gimmick.  Look at the people buying "junk" at garage sales but re-selling them on ebay to collectors and making good money.  People are making money and we can't cry over people who aren't able to afford art, but find better ways to find those who can afford it.  Artists need to adapt verses expect everyone else - customer for example - to conform to the old ways of buying art.  People are buying art on etsy, and other online resources and let's not forget those who find success selling their work as wholesale too.  There are more options out there and we can't blame the economy for sucky show turn outs.  I am not saying you are saying this Munks, but if I hear one more person complain about how it is the economy's fault, I will scream.   - Michelle

Michelle, it is  the economy, like it or not. We can't stick our head in the sand and say things are good. They are not.  And the economy will not improve anytime soon.

The people you mention who get things at garage sales and reselling them are few and far between.

I look at Etsy and see only a handful of people making real money.

Statistics show only the top 2% of people on Ebay and places like Etsy are making any money. By that I mean enough to live on.

In 2010 10.6 million people declared personal bankruptcy. Up over 10% from 2009.  And 2011 is ahead of 2010 at this point. I'm not including corporations like GM, I mean individuals. Here in Vermont with a little over 500,000 people, over 10,000 have declared so far this year. Unemployment went up again to 9.1%. And if you include those who gave up looking, it's 13%. More Americans are on Food Stamps than any time in our history.

Wholesale? Shows like Valley Forge are down. Shop owners are not buying like they were because they don't know what's going to happen with their taxes.

People are not using their credit cards like they used to. Instead they're paying them down. Dave Ramsey is the new economic guru in the USA. I cut up all my cards.. If I don't have the cash, I'm not buying it. And millions of Americans are doing the same thing.

With rare exception, everything we sell is an impulse purchase. There's not one thing anybody on this forun has that people need. Collectively, yes, the people need art, but not our art.  

We just have to ride this out. Things will get better, I guarantee it. We're Americans. We will see better times. But it won't happen for about 2 years. Everybody who is seeking election, or reelection, is going to lie to our collective faces until a year from November.


For the next 16 months we're going to be bombarded with politics, and the people are going to close their wallets even more until it's over.

Having a string a of bad shows can put me in a pretty sour mood. So I vented my frustrations. But finally I had a great show this past weekend! It was like old times, both in enjoyment and sales.  It felt good to have a line in my booth again! And money in my cash bag.

That is great!!  I have had a string of vey bad spring shows which I will cross off my list for the future.  I agree that all it takes to put us in a better mood is a good show.  Here's hoping that the summer shows are good for all.  Yes, the economy is bad and we don't sell anything needed but most of us are in the business of emotional rather than rational sales.  If someone loves what they see and have a modicum of income, they will purchase. 

I'll have to read the other posts but .. the electorate electing the bad guys way to much... you mean this time when the president won and had the popular vote too you think they got it wrong????? 



We elected 4 presidents who didn't get the popular vote. The Constitution works.

2011 has been great for me.  With each show I have entered I have made at least 4X my booth fee.  One show, I had sales 11 times my booth fee.  I don't make fine art and I am sure many AFI readers won't "respect" my craft.   Fortunately, attendees of the shows I do do.  (And that matters a lot more!)


Customers tell me that my things are so "unique" and "different" and like "nothing they have ever seen before."  If something isn't working, maybe it is time for a change;  that is what the folks walking around shows are looking for.




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 our latest Art Fair Survey:
Who Won and Why

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

Video Website Reviews

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