Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
Photographer of abandoned places here and EVERY show I get asked at least once, "Do you know where you were when you took this"? - Nope, someone hit me over the head, dragged me inside this abandoned church and when I came to, I snapped this gorgeous photograph.
My actual reply now is, "repeat what you just said really slowly and listen to yourself". The close runner-up terrible question is, "are these real places"? - nope, figments of my imagination and you're dreaming right now too.
LOL People can be so funny without realizing it.
I just found this - so funny. I get a lot of the same comments (especially "did you make all this?" and "how long did it take you?")
As a fiber artist who often spins in my booth during the show, I think my favorite is an aside from a person who tells his companion, kids, whomever, "They used to do this."
My dear friend Bill Coleman who lived in Amish country in PA and had images of that countryside and the Amish also would regularly get the question, "where did you get these photos?" He started saying, "I order them from Taiwan."
Yes, pretty funny, but then Bill was a good seller and I heard from more than one "artist" that Coleman wasn't legit because he wasn't taking the photos he was selling ...
Okay...I have been laughing hysterically and frankly really needed it. I like probably everyone else on here is all over FB with associated groups. I have worked in my medium for 42 years, have a degree, started 50 years ago...like mostly everyone here, I have paid my dues...over and over and over...and then I post some photos of a brand new technique I have been developing for the last three years...to get it to the point it's at, and is how I make an income on a good day once in a great while...but not often enough that I could ever retire...and I am bombarded with demands of "how I did it"...of course for free...I mean one person wrote me 5 PM's on Facebook if I printed them off would be 5 pages of single spaced lines on 8.5 X 11 pages...seriously? And one - was a very unpleasant customer that should have been fired who was downright vicious to me for not selling her something at wholesale a few years back...and she has demanded over and over on a public group with 24,000 members that I tell ALL. WHAT GIVES anymore? Geesh...I give up...And I still will not give it out. And with that......I said it. Not at an Art Fair...because this brand new line hasn't been there yet...but will be this coming weekend...whew.
I read through the better part of this thread over the course of a few days and got a good laugh. I'll be doing my first shows this summer so I'm glad to know what kinds of questions I'll be getting! Hopefully my 14+ years of customer service experience will help me take it all in stride!
This is really a great discussion, Kristy. You can learn and laugh at the same time! We look forward to hearing about your experiences on this ...
As a photographer, I like when they ask, "What type of camera do your use?" I answer differently, depending on my mood and how I read them... "I wonder if people asked Da Vinci, what type of paint brush he used" or "I don't use a camera... I have a photographic memory, but I'm out of film".
I use my sewing machine to create my textile art. Always: "what kind of sewing machine do you use?" As if they could buy one and push a button and print this out. But most often: "That looks tedious. How long does it take"
I read somewhere recently, maybe where the subject was art vs craft. can't remember where. If someone asks you "how" you made it, they look at your work as craft. If they ask you "why" you made it, they are looking at art.
So, I just got back from Brookside which was, I must say, a disappointment after a great show in Fort Worth. I missed my favorite booth neighbor Jeri Vitello and her hysterically funny husband, and sales were just average or a bit below, and then I saw on AFI the resurrection of this old thread about dumb questions that patrons ask. I’ve been asked my share of whoppers, but I always remember that we exhibit at street fairs— not galleries or art museums. We show our work beside beer trucks and turkey leg tents so I never expect that patrons will be sophisticated. And why should they be? I make decorative ceramic pots. Last year an especially burley guy asked me what you do with them. He seemed skeptical. I asked if he’d heard of the old phrase about not having a pot to piss in and suggested he could solve that problem by buying one of my pieces and we both had a good laugh. He left empty handed. On the other hand, Saturday night at Brookside a couple came into my booth and the man looked at one of my pots that was bellied out and then tightened in with a very narrow neck. It’s a nice form and one that potters do to show off their skill at controlling clay. Or so I thought. He hated it apparently. “You can’t even stick a rose in it”, he said. “what good is it?” There was something about the way he said it and the twinkle in his eye that made me burst out laughing. What followed, between the couple and my wife and I, was one of the funniest, most interesting conversations I’ve had at a fair. He bought one of my high end pieces, turning a bad day into a bearable one. You never know.
Got to love both of these stories. Thank you, Al.