Art Fair Insiders

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

Wendy Zumpano's Blog (30)

a little weekend reading

I have been a poor AFI contributor lately!  I took on some side work to supplement my portrait business and the late winter has been surprisingly hectic, unlike the arctic tundra I usually face this time of year.


I finally made time to write a blog post, and I hope you'll enjoy this story about my latest portrait subject, which is a subject that touches many of us.



Added by Wendy Zumpano on April 19, 2013 at 5:49pm — No Comments

Artistic Genes?

I wonder how many artists have artistic families? I get my hand to eye skills

from my father, who designed the moving walkways at airports during his days as

a Chief Mechanical Engineer. I wrote a blog entry about him and a wonderful

friend of his who supported me when I was first starting out as a full time

artist. …


Added by Wendy Zumpano on January 22, 2013 at 9:30am — 6 Comments

Applying to Art Shows gives me Agita

Why is it so hard every year to apply to art shows?  I feel so nervous about it, I find myself doubting everything... my work, my display, my show choices, the money.  My whole career!  Wouldn't it be easier just to go back to the corporate world and get a steady income? 


If any Chicago artists want to compare show choices with me (or tell me what to do!) I'd be so grateful.  It feels like such a crap shoot and facing all that cash out the door panics me.




Added by Wendy Zumpano on January 11, 2013 at 12:19pm — 11 Comments

A cautionary Christmas story

I am chained to my easel drawing dogs, grandkids, families, homes and the like to be discovered under my clients' trees, hopefully with much happiness. I promised myself I wouldn't goof around writing my blog until I was done! But I'm a born procrastinator. I hope you have a minute or two to enjoy and I wish you all a wonderful holiday season.…


Added by Wendy Zumpano on December 8, 2012 at 3:09pm — 5 Comments

Artwork on note cards?

Do you sell your 2D art on notecards?  I highly recommend it.  I think that art show patrons like to support the art that they appreciate, even if it is a small way.  Greeting card carousels are not expensive and card sales have made the difference from a miserable show and a decent one for me.  I print my cards myself, but would love to find an economical volume printer.


I wrote in my blog about the evolution of custom pencil portrait cards.  I cracked myself up writing it,…


Added by Wendy Zumpano on November 10, 2012 at 2:15pm — 6 Comments

Portrait story of friendship

We can all use a little help from our friends!  And old friends are the best.  I hope you all have dear friends like this one.


I need to get behind my drawing board!  My son had shoulder surgery this week and I think I'm using it as an excuse to constantly hover over him instead of working.  Hope you're…


Added by Wendy Zumpano on October 28, 2012 at 1:35pm — 1 Comment

Bad booth shot and finding time...

ALL YEAR I promised myself that I'd take an updated booth photo and I never managed to do it. So I painstakingly set up my tent in my driveway before my last INDOOR show, hung everything perfectly, and took dozens of photos. Then had to take the tent down, pack everything back up, only to immediately set it all up again. Finally just got a chance to review the photos and they are AWFUL. Grainy and crappy and I really should learn some basic photography or hire someone.  That's enough…


Added by Wendy Zumpano on October 17, 2012 at 1:59pm — 11 Comments

Very special clients

I've had my head down working hard for a few weeks and haven't written in my blog much. I finally took some time to write. I think we artistic types often have more than one area of interest. I draw for…


Added by Wendy Zumpano on September 10, 2012 at 6:27pm — 3 Comments

Recommendation for mats and plastic sleeves

I've been working with a company for mats that I think has been fantastic. They carry most of the same plastic sleeves that clearbags do but without the terrible shipping costs, their mat prices are…


Added by Wendy Zumpano on August 21, 2012 at 11:21am — 8 Comments

Reasons why I hate Facebook

Social media is a good place to market your artwork.  It's also a great place to waste time and find out more than you really wanted to know about your friends and acquaintances.  Overall, I think that the annoyances of Facebook are a small price to pay for the free exposure and connections you can make.  On the other hand, I spend WAY too much time on the computer. 


What are your thoughts on Facebook and other social media?  Obviously, the more specific it is to your area of…


Added by Wendy Zumpano on August 14, 2012 at 11:45am — 13 Comments

When to work for free

We were discussing pricing awhile back.  At least questions about price indicate getting PAID.  Everyone I know thinks of me when it comes to any kind of fundraising, whether it be church, school, athletic, animal rescue, on and on.  I usually donate prints for my closest friends, but for most I'll do a gift certificate for my least expensive portrait, knowing that most people will choose a larger size or more subjects.  I figure it is work I wouldn't have gotten anyway and some exposure. …


Added by Wendy Zumpano on July 30, 2012 at 9:58am — 2 Comments

Romance at art fairs?

I used to be a corporate person and I met my husband at work.  I wrote my blog this week about one of my coworkers who I used to flirt with.  I wonder if there is any new romances happening in the art fair world?  I hope so!  Work is a great place to meet wonderful people, even if you aren't seeing the same people every day like I used to.


If you're not busy getting ready for an art show, here's a story I hope you'll enjoy:



Added by Wendy Zumpano on July 20, 2012 at 12:28pm — 8 Comments

When to raise your prices

One of the hardest things for me being a full time artist is pricing work.  I try and look around and get an idea what everyone else is charging.  I listen to prospective clients to see how many are agreeable and how many put down my price sheet and walk away.  It's hard to know sometimes what the right price is.


I wrote my blog entry this week about a client who had an old price sheet.  Do you honor old prices or stick to the new?  I think it depends on the…


Added by Wendy Zumpano on July 12, 2012 at 9:49pm — 16 Comments

When your mother is in your business...

I think as creative people, most of us artists like to be in charge of our businesses because we know how we want things done.  I've heard many a couple packing up at the end of an art show, bickering about how things should be put away for next time.  The non-artist helping partner doesn't think it is a big deal, and the artist feels strongly about making sure it's done right and the helper is doing it wrong.


I get it.  Five years ago, my mother retired and offered to help…


Added by Wendy Zumpano on July 5, 2012 at 7:38pm — 8 Comments

Promenade of Art, Amdur Productions - Arlington Heights, IL

After the disaster of Custer's Last Stand two weeks ago, I had my hopes up for a decent show at Amy Amdur's Promenade of Art last weekend, and it didn't disappoint.  I'm newer to fine art shows than most of you, and it's only my third year.  Of the smaller Amdur shows, this one seems to be consistently good.  Downtown Arlington Heights is very nice, lots of upscale restaurants surrounded by neighborhoods where there seems to be lots of general walking around, art fair or not.  My sales were…


Added by Wendy Zumpano on June 29, 2012 at 9:48am — 3 Comments

Trying to stay positive at Custer's Last Stand in Evanston, IL

DO NOT ever exhibit at Custer's Last Stand.  You probably already know this.  In case you took one fellow artist's word for it like I did, you were probably as disappointed as the rest of us last weekend.  It's just a drunken street fair flea market.  My fault!  I should have researched it more.  (You warned me, Claudia!)


It inspired me to write about trying to stay positive at a bad show in my blog.  I'm sure some of you can relate to the stories I share about this…


Added by Wendy Zumpano on June 19, 2012 at 10:19pm — 8 Comments

Over-sensitive artists and the people who love them anyway

I am guessing that I am probably not the only creative soul who is over-sensitive.  I'm sensitive about my work, my life, everything.  When I was very young, it caused a lot of problems in my life, including one rather awful relationship that would have made for a very difficult life if things had ended differently.  Luckily, I had a happy ending and I am supported by a wonderful husband who encourages me in every way.  I hope you have a partner in your corner, too.  We artists can use all…


Added by Wendy Zumpano on June 13, 2012 at 8:00pm — 3 Comments

Adjusting other artists' work and ignoring your family for your craft

Have you ever been asked to fix another artist's work?  I've only done it a couple times.  My blog entry today is about adjusting another artist's work.  It's also about how I used to draw at all my kids' sports games.  Sometimes I worry that they'll look back and think of me being half there, distracted by my constant need to work work work.  Isn't it hard to balance art with family?



Added by Wendy Zumpano on June 7, 2012 at 5:04pm — 5 Comments

Fifty Shades of Procrastination

How disciplined (no pun intended) are you about your artwork?  Is it hard for you to resist distractions, or is your artwork a wonderful distraction from everything else you have to do?  Are you one of those wonderfully wholesome, green, hard working people who stay away from unsavory TV, movie and naughty books?


I'm grateful to have a nice pile of work to do right now, but other things, like exercise, talking on the phone, reading trashy books, or writing my silly blog about…


Added by Wendy Zumpano on May 29, 2012 at 3:22pm — 12 Comments

Did you study art?

I always wonder what would have happened if I went to college for art instead of advertising, which was my father's suggestion.  I think a lot of artists could use a strong business background to help them market their talents.  Did you study art, or did you take a long, winding road to your craft like I did?



Added by Wendy Zumpano on May 19, 2012 at 12:27pm — 12 Comments

Fiber artists -- use this resource to find new buyers:  Advertise with Reach over 60,000 fiber arts lovers.

Our 50 Best Art Fairs

Look Inside the 2018 Art Fair Survey:
Who Won and Why

Join the MasterMinds Group for personalized coaching on your Internet Lifestyle Business! 

60 Page Report - Best US Art Fairs

Click Here to
Learn More


  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2021   Created by Connie Mettler.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service