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 .....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 much......it will be a while before things return to profitablilty for us artists....
Barbara.....expert economics people are saying that spending by the lower, middle and upper classes is way down. People are holding on to their money....many are very concerned about the future economy of this country.
Nels.....if I ever sell cars.....Ill have a cream puff for you.....and Ill sell to artists, vendors and vendor artists, etc....lol
Nels.....you stated that there are dozens that do the type of art I do....this is true.....but I only rarely see them at art fairs......maybe one every 3 art fairs I do.......I am a sports portrait artist.....and we are much much rarer than you convey in your posting.
I think that's point of all this dialogue David.
When it comes to art shows, people that participate in them are either artists, or they are not. The artists will let the world know they are artists, the non-artists, well, they will use some other label or tag or description.
Some people are not artists, but tell the world they are. Fine. Whatever. They are a dime-a-dozen and we have both seen, read, and heard from them here and at the shows.
Now, me - I'm not an artist and I am not very insightful, knowledgeable, or helpful. But then, I don't do shows.
In your case, you may very well be an artist and a good one . . . why not tell the world what you are when you are standing in the middle of an art show selling your work that you made in your studio for people to collect and place in their homes and workplaces?
I am an artist....and really one would have to see my visual art to understand it...just like any other visual artist.....talking about any visual art without looking at it.....does not work...
I am also a vendor of this art....
If our customers equate us with the vendors (like food vendors), here's what will happen. At the end of a show, the food vendors often reduce their prices cause they have to get rid of their products, right? Last indoor show I did, I got some cheap pre-made sandwiches and cake at 5:15 cause they were packing up and didn't want to take it home.
My last outdoor show, someone stopped by my booth on Friday and then came back Saturday interested in one of my pieces of art work. He asked me 'what will the price be Sunday when you are packing up', like I'm the hot dog guy who can't or doesn't want to pack up his 'product'. I told him same price as now because if I don't sell it at this show, I'll sell it at my next show. So he bought it. I had someone else ask me 'is this your best price' - like I'm buying this art work and reselling it like I think a vendor would. I sold that piece later that day and really, really wanted the first guy to come back so he could see the work was fairly priced.
That's why I don't want to be called a vendor - I don't want people thinking I'll make deals at the end of the day on Sunday or they can bargain with me on my prices.
I'm a juried member of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, so I think we agree on that. At PA Guild shows, they don't refer to us as 'Crafters'. They have on their site, the list of 'Exhibitors' since there are 'Artists' and 'Craftsmen' in the guild.
That said, I think in most venues, Printmaking would be an art, not a craft. I am specifically excluded from the Germantown Friends School Juried Craft Show (I asked, they said my work would not be considered) and I am able to do the Rittenhouse Square Fine Arts show (no craft allowed). So if you had to say is printmaking craft or art, at least those two shows that make a distinction, have said art.
I didnt' persue it. I looked at the list of exhibitors for the last 3 years- I guess the only category a print maker could be hidden in would be 'mixed media' - they had 4 or 5 each year over the last 3 years and I recognized one who is a paper cutter (she is fantastic!). BTW, they list them as 'Participating Artists'! I don't know every print maker, but I didn't recognize any as print makers.
To recap, you can call me an artist or a craftsman or an exhibitor, but not a vendor or a crafter. I can participate in art shows, art and craft shows and some (but not all) craft shows.