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Let's get everyone's best advice.  Here's my thoughts-

First thing- Don’t Panic. 


It won’t help and it’s not necessary.


I have started this conversation so that we can support each other in a time of worry.   Many of you have survived down turns of various kinds.  Please share your advice.  All of us have worries and questions, let’s address them here and get through this together.


First off, some good news.

Most of us will survive this and in a short time, the world will be familiar again.


We are not confined to our rooms.  Even city folk can still go for a walk in the park.


No matter what you do for a living, you are in this. Factory workers dread both going to work and getting laid off.  Factory owners are worried about their workers and their ability to make payments and avoid bankruptcy.  Health care workers know they are likely to get overtime but do they really want to go in?


We are all in this together.


There is enough food and resources in the US for all of us in the US. There still will be tomorrow.


Let’s all make the most of our time.

Every artist has said at one time or another that there is not enough time to make art.  Problem solved.  You are most likely to have some time now.  


While others are hoarding hand sanitizer pick up your extra paint and glazes. Get started, don’t let worry be in control.


Why make art if you’re not sure if there will be a place to sell or an audience to buy?  The easy answer is that most of us don’t have a choice.  We need to follow our passions.  The reality is that “this too shall pass”.  We may come out of our cocoons in a few weeks to a world that feels very different, but for most of us, that difference will not be life-changing.


Art lovers will still need beauty in their lives.  Maybe even more than before.


People will still want to get out and have experiences.


Maybe work a bit smaller so you can hit a lower price point in case people are afraid to spend money. 

Maybe we’ll all have to work a little harder than we wanted to feed our families.


We just don’t know for sure.


Should you change your life based on this new virus?  Not unless you were planning to do so anyway.  The world still wants artists.


Should you cancel your summer shows?  Can you afford to?  Check the cancellation policies, communicate with the show directors and make the choices that are best for you.

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If any of your shows are cancelled, are you going to refund the booth fees?

Your kumbaya moment is all fine except that most of us are going to be economically impacted greatly by this. The ACC Atlanta show was just canceled as people were setting up. This is today's, right now right this second, reality. What do you say to this. The Atlanta booth fee, travel to get there, hotels, food, etc. add up to thousands. What do you think of this?

Whoops, I just read your post about refunds. Your shows are far enough into the future that the issue of cancellation will be resolved in the next 60 days, which is long before we reach the 3 week buffer. I just hope other shows follow suit.

I expect all of us, and most of the country and beyond will have some pain from this. It would not surprise me if I had to cancel some of my shows, and I am working to minimize the damage to artists.  I believe that when this is over people will want to come out and much of the season can be saved.   We'll see.  

None of my shows start until May 2 and the first little one day show at church is not a big deal. The weekend shows do not start until Memorial Day. It’s a snow melt thing in Colorado. Two things I will throw out there about surviving the current “crisis” which may not help now but might down the road.  The first is Diversify your income streams. If you count only on sales from summer/winter shows and they are canceled, you are screwed. Do your research and see what is out there for those times when there are no shows, i.e. consignments, online, private trunk shows etc. For my studio, I have four income streams: summer art shows, new saddle sales, antique restorations and repairs, and custom orders (belts, gun leathers and just about everything else in art show inventory). Within each income stream there is diversification. For example, although I only build trick saddles now, I build a PeeWee for little kids, Intermediate for the pre-teens and Adult, all in plain leather and quilted leathers. Besides the saddles there are a whole raft of specialized straps that trick riders use. My art show inventory consists of belts, gun leathers, equine tack, dog gear, and gun leathers. Restoration and repairs are usually antique saddles, chaps and tack, but there is always some weird stuff like biplane landing gear boots and pool table pockets.

     The second thing is having a Plan B. I look at what I could do productively if a weekend show was canceled, and I would have the 4 workdays for studio or household work. I might not make as much as I would at a show but attacking the backlog of work on order would at least replace some of the income. I could also do some of those studio task put off, but which would increase my efficiency. And oh yes, all that stuff Jean wants done around the house.

     I just got word today that my church will not have services for the month of March. We already lost two days to snowstorms in February. Now, that has been and will be a big financial impact from folks who give, but do not give electronically. Our big donor/investors are taking it in the shorts with the market too. Everyone is going to be faced with financial problems and we are going to have to look for creative solutions to get through it.

The safest place to be now is it your home. Its may be good they are cancelling plays, concerts, basketball games,craft shows, and even places like skiing in Vail. Otherwise I would be right there first in line. Being older over 60 its best for me. It all forces me to be on the safe side. There will be many shows for me when this all passes and I will have my best inventory ever 

I'm in line with Richard's Plan B.

I'm a little jealous of the people who don't know what to do with themselves and are already bored. Good grief! Most of us work at home (and then on the road) and despite economic hardship there is still plenty to do. Right?

Me today: work on the taxes ...


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