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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....

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Michael......The terms by which you describe yourself is your biz....I really dont care how you describe yourself.  

But there is no reason to think that being a vendor (not you, of course) somehow implies that you give is strictly your biz if you give deals.....

Me I am an artist who is a vendor too......and I give deals....

I hate the term vendor, I think of the guy at the Mariners stadium selling "PEANUTS, PRETZELS, ICE COLD BEER"!  We're selling hand crafted items that are art, not buy/sell or food items.  As far as the economy, I really appreciate the perspective of the other artists here.  As for our experience this year, we've done 5 shows, the first 3 were WAY up from last year's shows, the next one was way down, then we tried a new show that I think has potential but wasn't great for us this year.  I'm finding that people have the disposable income to buy what they really want and sometimes it's just not the pieces we've made but pieces made by another artist.  We're artists, not vendors, selling items that will eventually be bought by those who decide they what we have is what they are willing to part with their hard earned money for, has that really changed?


Hey people! Get a grip. Nobody's that important.

I dislike the term also, but legally, whether we're selling popcorn, or fine art, we are vendors.

It's all semantics. We can call ourselves the Queen of England if we want. So what? I call myself an exhibitor. But I "vend" my work at the shows. Just like all the rest of you.

So Dave calls himself a vendor? So what??? Is it impacting your sales? It's not impacting mine.

Chris......I am looking to discuss things in a rational way......the only way to do this is for all who want to discuss an issue to define terms the same we are all on the same page and can discuss things without disagreeing on we can concentrate on the  how the economy affects art shows...I dont think you  or me or Nels or anyone else should define the terms.....really it is the dictionary (which often gives several related definitions of any term) that should be used to define any for example, "vendor".....a dictionary tends to give common definitions that have been used over time.....


Really it is silly to even discuss things here if some people want to use their own definitions......and not common dictionary definitions of any given term......

Gee Dave,  The whole purpose ofthis thread was that you were whining about making no great money at art shows, and how the economy and etc. really sucks.  AM I right?  Cause that was how you started this thread.

Guess what?  Most ARTISTS friends I know are out there making money at the shows now. Me included.  I am up 20% over last year.Meanwhile you are VENDING your way to poverty.  

Gee, maybe you need to come up with a new business model, because yours doesn't seem to be working very well.


OH well, continue to vend your little heart away.

The word "vendor" comes from the Latin vendo :meaning , "I sell."

We all are known by many names at the same time: woman, wife, mother, lover, friend, daughter.

I believe that what we think of ourself First or Highest, like SOUL vs JOCK shows how evolved we are emotionally.

I am an ARTIST.

when you get past the egocentric stuff isn't this just" you say tomaatoe and i say too mat toe" .  I'm hearing a lot of the same ,"it was ok" from various sources including myself and most show reports and blogs. I was really hoping after a definite uptick that we were through the worst of it.  You know right off the bat that when artists start blogs that concentrate on the non selling aspects of a show that it didn't work. 
Right on Linda--you rock!

As much as I fight the "its the economy" I find it really is the economy.  I do about 30 shows a year and so often I overhear people say quietly, "it is not a need" or "I cant justify the purchase"  Long gone are crowds of impulse buyers.  And hello to the people who say, "I don't want to go into that shop or to that art fair because I don't want to be tempted."


I have changed up my artwork, I dress to impress and I have a great attitude. I smile when someone says, "nice work, I just can't afford it right now." And there are only a select number of "rich" people with disposable incomes that we all try and attract.


To add to your list of artists who have "great" shows: Those who are retired, have retirement income and/or inheritance so selling art is just the icing on the cake.

Surviving long term as an ARTIST is all about knowing yourself, your art & basic marketing.  Attitude plays into success as well.  I refer to myself as an artist as that is what I am.  Perhaps a vendor to some - whatever.  I have great respect for what I do and my customers can feel it.  For three years I've heard whiners complain about the economy.  Yes, a large amount of folks are experiencing rough times..... tell me about it!  My husband's company was sold to France 2.5 years ago.  A top notch 64 year old engineer is not going to find a job when 98% of the Milwaukee area's engineering has moved to China.  Due to past severe health issues, I cannot obtain health insurance so all medical for me is out of pocket.  We have been living entirely on my artwork for nearly three years.  How do we get by & pay bills?  We work our butts off finding the shows and the areas of the country that totally suit my art.  We work it, I come up with fresh work, we market like crazy & use every internet tool and network like crazy to get the word out & get folks excited about the art.  When not on the road I'm working 12 to 14 hour days on adding new work and scheduling better events.  Course then, we will take the risks rather than stick to the safety of our neighborhood.  We learn quickly from our poor choices and never repeat them.  Sometimes we are on the edge but most of the time the educated risks prove themselves to be of great rewards.  I have not and will not use the economy for an excuse.  There are millions of buyers out there anxious to purchase from artists who don't sit on their butts relying on ways of the past.  Know your market.  Why haven't I posted as much in the last two years?  Too busy making money.  If any artist is having a tough time - it's time to do a reality check.  Either come up with fresh new artwork and put in the time to focus on your prime market or do the same-o same-o and whine about it.
I could not agree more.

"Geez, sick of words like recession, bad economy, etc. It's time to move on!  Just complaining about it it's going to make it worse and remind people to spend less and less even if they can afford it. They will just feel guilty and keep cutting expenses."

The facts are the facts. We are in a severe recession and unless something happens soon, half the country believes we will be in a depression within the next 12 months. We can't stick our heads in the sand and hope it will go away. We face it head on.

We can't depend on anything from Washington because everybody is in campaign mode and both parties will lie right to our faces to get our vote.

People are buyng flatscreens because China kept making them although there were no orders. The warehouses were overflowing with stock. So the price plummeted from over $500 to under $300 for a 32 inch model. People saw a bargain.  And tens of thousands of TVs die every day. And all you can get is a flatscreen, so that's a NEED, not a WANT. Ipads and the latest phones? It's the kids who are driving those sales. By "kids" I mean those under 30 years old.

Now many of us are doing the right thing in this situation. Reinventing ourselves, or finding another venue, or lowering prices.

As far as  "good shows", everybody has a different opinion of "good". Some make $1,000 at a show and think the economy is booming, while another makes $1,000 and asks "when will the misery end"? 


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