Art Fair Insiders

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

I've been slowly trying to change mediums from photography to mixed media (encaustic). I recently applied in both categories to a local show where I typically have done well as a photographer. And I got accepted into both. 

Here's the question: Would I be crazy to try to do both in a pair of tents side by side? I'm thinking yes ... but another part of me thinks: why not? (I mean, other than the fact that I'd have twice the set-up and have to find another tent!)

Advice from my more experienced art fair insiders? 

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Both in the same tent with clear separation would be a less expensive alternative. And you wouldn't be running back and forth answering questions.

Larry Berman

Words of veteran, Larry! I don't think I could do it alone. I'd have to have an assistant (which means I'd have to bribe my wife!). 

I bribe my husband into helping me... I promise to feed him!  LOL We always go for a nice dinner at the end of the day.  The food usually includes a steak dinner one night.

Sounds nuts to me but would depend on how much traffic you have at one time. Get help. Jean has been my helper for over 20 years. Eight hours to set up ($50K of merchandise including 600 belts on the walls) and about 4 hours knock down. Sometimes she is working with 2-3 clients on one side of the booth and I am closing a deal on the other.  I reward her with excellent accommodations at condos or houses with hot tub ..... I like that too. I cook too! Latest best dish were my home made chili rellenos in corn meal batter. 

Similarly, but not, I'm trying to change mediums from photography to drawing (smaller pieces). While I haven't applied to a show yet in my new medium, I'm trying to figure out what to do/where to sell all my existing photography inventory. I have several framed and matted images that are still in great shape, but I'm not going to try to sell them in the art fair circuit anymore. I've also sold my panels and trailer, so doing a Garage Sale type show isn't an option anymore, either. Any suggestions? 

That's a toughie. I'm in the same situation. I have enough framed photography - and bin prints - to easily stock a tent. And I love photography - bought by first camera more than 40 years ago with $$ from mowing lawns. But photography is difficult to sell right now both online and in person. At least I find it is.

I decided NOT to do both tents for this show. I'm going strictly with encaustic for this one and I just got accepted into another one with encaustic. I may still double apply to a few shows and - if I don't get in for encaustic - go do a show with photography just to move it. I need the space!

If the show's decent, it would still be worth my time. But right now I'm sitting on about 20 years of Christmas gifts.

Good luck!

Thanks anyway! I know of another couple of shooters in the same situation, and it's not a fun one. And agree with having enough inventory right now to stock a tent. Alas.

Good luck to you!!


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