Art Fair Insiders

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

Let's do it as a top ten: My number 1 is


"Did j'all make this"?

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Hahaha!  Kinda like, "Where would you wear this?"....Duuuuh.

Yes, I know this one has been said before probably. My friend, photographer Bill Coleman, whose genre was photos of the Amish that he took near where he lives in Central Pennsylvania, often got the question, "where did you get these photos?" Bill, not revealing his sources, said, "in China." Must have said this many times over the years...he sold very well -- pretty soon you'd hear around the art fairs, "don't buy from Coleman he got his photos in China." ???!!?

The beginning of the buy/sell operators.

A women and her children came into my booth and  she started taking pictures on her phone of my glass jewelry.  I asked her cordially, "Please don't take photos of my original creations."  She pointed at her children, "These are my creations and I am taking pictures of them." LOL, yea SURE!!!

I would have praised her clever and beautiful creations and told her to get the hell out of my booth to immortalize them.

How many times as an artist have you heard, "You know what you should do/make?"  Nine times out of ten, it's so far removed from what you do as an artist.  A recent experience:  A gentleman walked into my booth, looked at my wares and said, " You know what you should do?"  I braced myself for the inevitable jump from point A to point Q and smiled.   "You should sell paintings of Elvis in here.  They'd sell real good".  ???  Should I consider a career change?  What's next, black velvet paintings of dogs playing poker? 

Dogs playing poker...!

Recently a friend was teasing me. He said what I needed in my gallery was photographs of dogs playing poker. I bought a huge poster of dogs playing poker on line and put it in a gigantic gaudy gold frame I found at a garage sale.

I then asked him to come over to the gallery where I had it sitting center stage with his name on it.

I told him as punishment he had to take it home and hang it on his wall.

He did turn the tables a little bit. He took it home to his girlfriend and said "happy birthday from the kids"!  I'm guessing I'm not allowed in her house any more!   ;-)

can you make me one of Elvis playing poker with dogs? on velvet?

Dogs?  No, you have it all wrong.  I woodburn and carve large colorful ethnic masks (feathers, beads, fabric, etc) out of gourds.  Last show a woman came in and asked if I wanted to know how to make a lot of money?  Before I could answer she said "Cats.  Make cat masks.  People love anything with cats."  She continued "My friend is a really good painter and couldn't sell her paintings until she started painting cats and now she sells everything she makes.  If you would make cat masks I already know a lot of people who would buy them."  And then she looked around, saw no whiskers and left.  So, fellow artists, please don't steal my secret of instant wealth.  Meow.

Cats would certainly match my sofa . . . :-p

Dang it!  That would have been my next choice.  After of course, the obligatory Elvis and Jesus portrait complete with terrifying lifelike illuminated eyes that follow you everywhere. 

Hey, that lady is right!  I make quilted wall hangings and my cat quilts sell like mad! 

They can be tasteful.  I had a group of women stop in my booth and look at a cat quilt of mine.  The cat in the center was black, and her friends started screaming "That's Patricia".. "That's Patricia", pointing to the black cat in the center.  I was so happy that her friends convinced her that the cat in the center was Patricia.  As she was writing me a big fat check, I agreed with her.  "That IS Patricia", bless her heart.

I cringe everytime I hear someone suggest I do something different than what I'm already doing.


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