Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
A gentleman asked me once in a very aggressive tone if the lack of features on my figure's faces meant I didn't have any opinions of my own. Ouch.
I overheard this conversation between an artist who did paintings of dogs and a potential customer at a very big show:
Customer: " If you had pictures of (a certain breed - I forget which one), I'd buy one."
Artist: "Here's one."
Customer: "If you had one that was white with brown spots, I'd take it."
Artist: Here's one.
Customer: "If you had one with lighter colored eyes, I'd take it."
Artist: "I have one! Here it is."
Customer: "Why, you have just what I want! Do you have a card?"
I just LOVE your outfit!
Is it for SALE?
Well, how much do you want for it?
You mean you won't sell it to me?
I mean, I am serious here, honey!
You've got to sell that...everything here is for sale!
WELL, WHY NOT!!!?
Where did you buy it? I can't go out to Arizona.
I'll give you three times what you paid for it!
NOW, WHY NOT?
I said, " I DON'T HAVE ANY OTHER CLOTHES TO WEAR. SORRY!"
Guess what she said?
I make quilted wall hangings that are on the average 25" by 25", and I HEAVILY quilt them. They range in price from about $125 to $300. I mean they are HEAVILY quilted. I keep getting people asking me if I HAND-quilted them. DUH!!! If I hand-quilted them, they would be in the $1,000's of dollars range. Unbelievable.
I really had to laugh at this one, "I don't mean to offend you, I love your work....(big smile) would you take $20 for this one?"
Sitting at Fountain Square in my booth full of fused glass I overheard a woman at the front of my booth say to her friend "This is that Italian glass but they are selling it for too much, I can buy the same thing for a lot less". I stepped over and said as politely as I could manage "I made everything in this booth, nothing is imported and everything at this show is hand made". She looked at me like I was from Mars.
I don't know whether to be amused, disgusted or complimented. By the way, if you have ever seen Venetian glass - it is generally not fused, looks very distinct and looks nothing like what I make.
To add insult to injury when I went for a stroll later I found the evil Mistura folks so I lied to the costumer by accident!
Amy, I am alsways amazed at the fact that many art show attendees are unaware that every thing at the show is made by the artists. My 2 favorite comments are:
From one woman who said that she thought there were some exhibitors there who didn't get that memo.
At 3 Rivers Art Festival, an attendee asked if my jewelry was from Mexico. I said no I make it here in the US. She said - you're kidding, you make it yourself. Yes, I said, everyone here makes the products that they sell. She replied - Hmm, imagine that. I never knew.
Diane I get that ALL the time (the woman who never knew thinking it was all imported, made in China etc).... ah well, good to know customers are the same regardless of what side of the world they're on!
That explains a lot. People think it's a cheap import from China and expect the same kind of pricing.
Just read this. Meant to say that some people think the merchandise at shows is buy/sell from China and expect prices to reflect that. Didn't mean that your work looks cheap. Sorry!
I didn't take it that way - no worries :)