Art Fair Insiders

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

Im new here and trying to learn how to use and  negotiate this site.  I read a lot of the  pages and see some brilliant things and some really dumb things and comments.   Then again after 35 years exhibiting at art and craft shows thats normal. 


To any newbes to the exhibiting world. , There are things I do and things I dont do to make my display life easier.  I will rent you  by $/sq. ft  any part of my booth that you encroch on.  No pay and I remove your stuff.  Also dont take the gap between our two booths.  You have half and no more.   I will match inch by inch  beside you if you encroach into the isle.  You  absolutely will not make people veer away from my exhibit to get around your junk.   If you have loud noise coming over some speakers in your booth I will not complain to the promoter.  You will find the cords cut next morning.  I dont want to hear your music. I want to talk with my customers and earn a living.  Its not a flea market.  Dont ask me to watch your booth while you go to the restroom.   If three things get stolen I dont want the responsibility.  Do what I do.  Hire some kid  for $5 to sit in your chair for a few minutes.


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Very astute.  Its great to see that people still exist  that always see the positive side of things  and not the negetive.  Not many of you left these days.

I thought I would be making pots today because I thought I could worm my way into a small show this weekend.  After all, I'm the "Great Bareee" and no doubt they would roll out the red carpet and throw flowers at my feet just because I would honor them with my presence. After all, they could kick out any one of the myriad of buy/sell merchants who seem to be fixtures at all the Michigan shows and let in a real arteest.  Amazingly, they are actually following their own rules and are not allowing me have a spot. See if I donate to their fundraiser, again, like I do every year.

So...this leads me to the AFI site where I come across this little back and forth between my two favorite people--Holly and Munks.  Is life good or what? 

For the record, I think I know this guy and he would not cut anyone's wires or pay anyone $5 to sit in his booth. While I agree with Holly on the issues, I, also, think he was just blowing off steam.  Just this past weekend, I was next to Louis and Eric, a couple of Peruvian kids from Miami selling their cheap manufactured earrings and they were playing some crap that was driving me crazy.  After about 10 minutes I politely asked them to "turn off that effing s__t."  They then put on some reggae and all was well again with the world.

Thanks, Barry. That is sort of what I was thinking. I don't know Larry, but figured it must have been one awful show last weekend for him.

Whenever I ask anyone to watch my booth for a few minutes I always add, "...and don't let 'em steal anything larger than a 16x20." 

Gesh, I think I just went through some of this with a neighbor next to our rental house.  My hubby moved a limb that fell from the neighbors tree and placed it on their yard so he could mow.  The guy came out of his house yelling at my hubby for placing that limb in his yard.  It fell out of his tree!  My hubby picked it up and placed it at the curb and the guy said he was tired of this s*&t.  We were stunned.  I hate to have a neighbor that I can't get along with, but it is a two way street.  He seemed to know the limb was in our yard and it seems like the thing would have been to apologize for the limb dropping in our yard if anything.  He would have gotten farther with us just by talking nicely instead of yelling at us.

Hi Jacki.        I would never yell at you.    Actually everything I have said was a last resort thing not a initial effort.  Some was also meant to be confrontational.  Its also things over 30 years not just last month.   No I didnt have a bad show or was I blowing off steam.  Its very rare to have a conflict and not resolve it with a little talk.  There are however some  real jerks in this business and worthless committees or promoters who will not do a thing for you.  You can put up with the nonsense or solve it.


It was nice to learn  what a blog is.  Im not a computer person. I see it as you make a few comments , then you get an immediate response by an  unofficial committee that I would guess has  spare time and  there inventory at 100%.  You then get some comments on the comments,  then nothing.   For a strange reason a lot of comments were from Michigan.


I was surprised that one person thought it no big deal to watch a booth for a complete stranger.  Was she going to confront some bad looking character that she saw slip a wood turning bowl in their bag?  I wouldnt want to be in this position..   At least once a year I do give some kid $5 to sit in my chair for ten minutes.  I dont want to put anyone in that position.


Some bloggers seem to  get upset and nasty real fast and some see thru everything.  ie, never believe anything on the internet.  I do think new people should learn to be professional  quickly and  never to intrude on your neighbors space thinking oh well , they wont mind.  Never intrude on their air space, which means blowing smoke from a cigarette, noise from a radio , or wind chimes clatter into their space.   Never intrude on their privacy which means come prepaired for everything such as enough cash for change  enough bags, and a break plan.   


 So thats a blog.  I am next going to learn what twitter, face book and these other social sites are.  A this point I dont see their attraction..



People on this site are generally helpful, and generally opinionated. You'll find a few people with significant experience and a lot of newbies asking questions. Just like your neighbors at shows, most are friendly and willing to lend a hand. A few are bristly, and one or two are downright nasty. Social sites such as this one let people who spend most of their time cloistered away from the world interact with others with similar interests. So when a stranger walks in with both guns blazing, it's bound to cause some interesting reactions. Google "social network etiquette" or "netiquette" for examples of what works, what doesn't.

A blog is slightly different than a public forum, although this site has both. A forum allows anyone, pretty much, to post and to comment on others posts. A blog is short for "Web Log", which started out as a way for people to post journal-like thoughts and musings, more of an opinion-piece. Both allow others to comment and add to the stream. Just as this thread has diverged, so do many other threads, or conversations. We've gone "off-topic"

If you think of the whole universe of social media as many streams, with fish, leaves, bugs and other detritus, all flowing past the point of the observer, it's a little easier to understand why a specific item soon gets lost from public view. Older items fall lower in the stream, and get less visible. Those who monitor the stream consistently will see most big fish go by, and may try to hook it. Those who only come down at sunset will not see every fish, but they may catch the occasional trout. You get my drift, I hope.

Twitter is essentially a micro-blogging site. 140 characters limits what you can say to a great degree. The streams are fast, the rivers are deep. 

Facebook is more like the watercooler, as is this site. Facebook has a much greater audience than this site, which is largely industry-specific. Facebook has a large number of participants, some of whom may be interested in what you specifically do. The power of both Twitter and Facebook is not in who you personally know, but who your friends know, and who your friends friends know. Your network can expand exponentially, but it takes time to grow it. 

As a start, here's a link to one article on marketing via Facebook. 

Thanks for taking the time to write this.  Very brillant , helpful ,and insightful.   I will copy this for reference for when I have time to look into this social network thing this winter.  As for the friends of friends  concept , I would have to discuss that over a few Molsons, not on a plastic rectangle. 

It's fairly common for the next door art neigbors to ask me to watch the booth while they run off for a potty break. Most I have never met before.


Theft has never been a problem in 24 years, having only been hit twice, and the first was at a show about 20 years ago that was a disaster with virtually no one attending. I went away from the booth for almost a half hour one time. I didn't notice the flip bin piece being gone until the next show. I figured whoever got it waited around a while and when I didn't show must have figured it was free. Just someone sitting there is enough deterrent to keep items from sprouting legs and walking off.

^^  well now you did it.  Munks is liable to put a bug in your bowl.  

I take MOST people's blog's seriously...with classic exceptions from our beloved far-fetched raconteurs and despised would-be misogynists (I never name names being a civil gal.)

Larry, I believe in blowing off steam


WHAT you suggested ( destruction of another person's property with aforethought and malice ) can actually be a felony in some states. Hey, I'm no lawyer...I just talked to one.

I've been working on my road rage but I think you have a serious case of Fair Rage. Think about seeing someone, would you?



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