Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
Well, I have not blogged in a while. So here goes.
I gave up on the Ann Arbor Show after 30 years, it just was not worth it anymore.
So, two years ago, I tried the Cadillac show as a replacement.
Not that I expected to gross as much as AA. But the show is an hour plus from my Saugatuck casa. It is small, less than 100 exhibitors. It is held in a mellow downtown park right on the lake and it is easy-pezy to setup and teardown.
So last year I managed to pull $1500 out of it which was almost 10x the booth fee.
So I decided to do it again this year.
It was no way close to last year.
First, a little background on Cadillac.
It is about an hour north of Grand Rapids.
It is the gateway community to the Michigan north woods. Think, lakes, rivers, trails, fishing golfing amongst lots of big trees.
Cadillac has all this. But it is an old lumber town and it is mostly a blue collar community.
Crafts sell better here rather than 2-d art. And, they do not want to pay a lot for it.
A very enthusiastic committee treats the artists like they are really special people. It is quite refreshing.
It is a Friday and Saturday show and you can setup the afternoon before.
All spots are on grass with plenty of rear storage and room to display on the sides.
They have good food both mornings and they have small prize money.
What they lack is many enthusiastic patrons to sell to.
The first year I made a big sale to visiting women from Ann Arbor. This year I did meet any good shoes people from afar.
Seriously, I did meet many people, period.
On Friday I made $410 in sales. I know many others who barely sold $200.
The weather forecast for Saturday was not looking good, supposed to rain all day.
I took all the artwork out of my booth at Friday close. Dry in the van was my plan.
If things changed Saturday morn then the art would be rehung.
Saturday dawned, barely. Dark, gloomy, no sun, very foreboding.
I tore down the booth and left before 8am.
A jeweler friend who I highly respect did the show and gave a report on Facebook about Saturday.
I did not miss a thing.
So here is my advice to those of you who are thinking of doing it.
First, a crafter has a better chance at a reasonable return. 2-D artists stay away, there is a very slim market there for sales.
If you live close by it is worth a one-time risk. Do not travel great miles to do it unless you plan on treating this like a vacation.
I really like the people who run the show, they are the cat’s meow. Unfortunately the Cadillac community does not support the arts enough for us to earn a paycheck there.
So, my replacement for AA is still a mystery.
Hey, I can always play more golf since I am now semi-retired.
Later, gators. I have several other posts to write.