Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
I think it’s more about knowing your market. If you know you tend to sell well where SOS is popular, you will seek those venues out. I know that my contemporary jewelry does not sell well at country craft venues. I know, I’ve tried. Years back – maybe 15 - I tried Amish Acres, based on how highly rated it was in Sunshine Artist. Buying was frenzied and constant: just not at my booth. It was humbling to see my neighbor with painted clothing sell out…and she’d brought a trailer full. I even won an award…but could not be persuaded to return. I learned then that knowing what market attends the show you are considering is the most important thing. Later I saw her at a show that was more mixed in character, mostly FA/FC. She was not selling nearly as well, and I was doing pretty well.
To a person who can make good money at those shows, country crafts are not dreaded. Looking down on work that is not to your taste is pointless. It’s best to look dispassionately at where YOUR kind of work sells best.
It’s funny…I was at a show 2 weeks ago. I overheard 2 artists talking. When one said, “So…what do you have?” The other replied, “We’ve got stuff on a stick.” That was the first time I have ever heard a maker of same using that term for their own work. I’ve only heard it (or another similar 1 syllable term) used by others as an insult.
I am new to this site. It has been recommended to me by several people. I have to say that this has made me wonder if, indeed, this is the group for me.
I do what I feel you consider the "dreaded county crafts". I crochet. It is an art form passed down to me from my grandmother. Though I most certainly can do what many consider "grandmother's crochet", I specialize in more modern things. One of which is amigurumi. I design most of my own work.
I would most likely fit at the Yellow Daisy show well I suppose. But then again I fit into Comic Cons well, too.
I am not ashamed of working in such an old tradition or passing this down to others. And I put a huge amount of effort into my work, my booth display and the image I want to project.
I don't think that traditional craft is "dreaded" :) The challenge for those of us that market work best described as craft is finding the right fit. For me, a show that is heavy on traditional craft doesn't work. I don't know why exactly. The trickiest part of this business, to me, is finding your audience. I tank at Christmas in the Country. What I make (hand bound journals, paper collage) is not what people are looking for at that show. It is unfortunate because it is 20 minutes from home but that is how it is. Doesn't mean I don't respect the work that does sell there. Sounds like you would kill there. Happily, there are enough shows around that most of us can eventually find enough good ones to make a season. Takes time. I would love to see your work.
Pat do you sell at Renaissance Faires? I bought the loveliest Journal cover at one a few years back. The diversity of all the handmade things I can find at events make them enjoyable to me as both a vendor and a patron.
I may have been in a sensitive mood when I posted this morning. Who knows.
And I will do my best to get some pictures uploaded of my work after the weekend. I am preparing for a Friday night and Saturday events.
Today at Broad Ripple a person told that been rank high is important. I told him that ranking in this days does mean nothing.
A ranking only means potential sales for you. That ranking could base on sales from a painter or sculpture. I believe a good sample is Port Clinton. It is very good show for painting & sculpture you can not said that about photography.
To me best way to rank a show it should be by field not as a group.
Another thing higher traffic means better odds of sales but what you want is buyers not lookers.