I live in upstate New York and I'm looking for a gently used light dome tent.
I live in upstate New York and I'm looking for a gently used light dome tent.
Carroll has never had a job! She has earned her living selling art at art fairs since she was 14! One of my favorite podcasts was with Carroll a few years ago where she shared her methods of keeping going: Fewer Shows, More Money.
Whether you are "old" or new to ArtFairInsiders.com you are so welcome here. Since we were forced to "update" the website earlier this year there have been lots of changes -- and -- it has brought us lots of new members. (Yes, and lots of talk about selling tents, but we are here to do so much more for you ... and not just buying tents.) We're pleased to see so many of the new members adding a photo of themselves to "My Page". How about the rest of you ... so easy to upload an image to the site. We also encourage you to add a larger background image to your page so we all can see what work you do or what is important to you.
We've found many people making connectons at the in-person art fairs as a result of their presence here. This is a network and we are here to learn from one another and to get help.
Best tip if you are new:
What do you think is the most helpful asset of this site?
A must visit if you have the time and it comes to a city near you. A friend and I visited on Friday morning and it was an amazing experience. I posted about 20 pictures on my Facebook timeline but here's a sampling. I used the iphone 13 Pro which did an great job.
Now I can't say for sure about the XXX? Festival, but this we do know, this pandemic nearly killed off the art fair business, the art festival treasuries and the floating income of artists who must float with the economy, let alone the art buyers.
I am hearing of fairs and festivals with empty coffers laying off staff. I am hearing of artists who are hanging it up. I'm hearing of artists at least semi-successfully doing many fewer shows because they have been able to transition online at etsy, virtual events, etc. I also heard them saying, "wow, look how much less money I have to make when I just stay home!"
Are you hearing glimmerings though of really decent sales at the real events that have occurred in the last six months? Are we all emerging stronger afrer the quarantines made us reevaluate? Where do you stand on this? Inquiring minds want to know.
Death? Resurgence? Hanging on by your teeth? Getting a "real job"? Selling your tent on ArtFairInsiders.com? What about you? (Me, hanging in with all my might).
In the photo above, that is me at my first art show in Hawaii in the 1970's while in the Army. Only made $25 but I was hooked for life. I am the one with the camera,
Yesterday, was a whirlwind of medical activity for-me. I got "nuked" and "pinned."
I have a new heart doctor now that Ilive in New Smyrna Beach. She had me undergo a nuclear stress test to see the condition of my heart. Remember nine years ago I had open heart surgery with four valve activity.
In this test, you are injected with a nuclear isotope which ends up stressing your blood vessels and your heart, makes them get dilated. It is no biggy if you can withstand a minute or more of shortness of breath, mild nausea and a little dizziness. Four minutes later your body is back to its normal rhythms.
Later I-went to Walgreens to pick up two prescriptions. I casually asked if they were giving booster shots yet.
I got my two Moderna vacs back in the spring. The clerk said they had the Phizer booster. So I got it in my right arm and my annual flu shot in my left arm. Did not even feel the prick of the needle. I was lightheaded for about 10 minutes. That was all the side effects I got. Slept well all night and I have a slight soreness in my right arm ( the booster one.)
So, you are probably asking what does this have to do with show biz.
I would say,"a lot."
Will feel safer now with the booster at shows. Will wear a mask if mandated at a show, otherwise, will keep my distance. After all, we are outside in moving air, and nobody is standing around in your face for a long time.
After 46 years I am finally starting to cut back on the number of shows I do. For years, I routinely did 27-33 shows a year. This year I did 21. For 2022, I hope to do 18. We will see how the jurying goes.
What helped me this year was getting into three of the biggest, Winter Park, Des Moines and Kansa City Plaza.
Sales from these shows equal three or better of the routine shows we do, where you are grinding it out to make 3-4K$. I did well enough at the Plaza that I cancelled my two October shows. I will do three in November and take December off.
I have three in Florida in January, will probably do 2-3 in Feb, see how the jurying goes.
I love doing the outdoor shows. I find it so much more rewarding talking directly to my customers. Sales online, and galleries are nice, but not nearly as rewarding, plus they will not pay the bills.
As I age, the only part of the biz I do not like is the show setup. At my age the setup wears me out big time. Usually it takes three and half hours to setup, that is erecting the booth with all tarps and awnings and then stocking it. I usually need a solid one hour nap, or more, to recuperate.
TEARDOWNS are better, only one hour and a half. I still am exhausted. I will drive home if I can make it in two hours or less. Otherwise I am staying in the hotel. I always get a good meal, good sleep and a early start the next morning.
For you younger ones, you do not have to deal with failing night vision yet. It is a serious factor when driving.
I had cataract surgery in my left eye last year. Plus I get a shot monthly in that same eye to combat macular degeneration, the wet one.
Oncoming car lights create a hard spherical glow. It is difficult to see clearly the middle road line. So I keep my eyes on the road sideline. An old trick I learned in Drivers Education back in 1962.
For the first time in my career I paid a tent guy to setup a Lightdome with Propanels, did it at Winter Park last May.
The $300 for the rental was money well spent. For a biggy shows where you sell $5K or better, the cost is neglible.
I just bring the art and hang it. Teardown is easy-peasie . Put the art in the van, then take the money and run.
I plan on doing this the rest of my career.
We are in difficult times with rising expenses in every category--show fees, jury fees, fuel,cost of goods.
Only the good and smart will survive. I plan to be one of them.
I still get the thrill of making a sale, no matter how much it is. It takes me back to my first show in Hawaii in 1975. By a waterfall, only made $25 that day, but I was hooked for life.
Still feel that same spirit. I am a lucky man.
Aloha, look forward to seeing you all in the upcoming months.
Stay safe, stay focused and make great art.
This show used to be put on by local artists but has more recently been administered by the SAACA group that does other shows in Tucson. Patagonia is a great place to visit this time of year (Oct) as the weather has turned to cool nights and warm days. The location of the park in the middle of town was a great place for a show. Total number of "vendors" for this show was reduced as a COVID precaution so most booths were well spaced with about half having a large space behind for storage. There was buy/sell evident at this show and, in fact, multiple "media" in several booths. The range of quality was wide from "hand-painted" sun glasses to fine art and hand made silver jewelry of high quality. There was ample accommodation for those that had trailers to park near the show. There are limited hotel accommodations nearby and several BnB type accommodations can be had, otherwise you'd have to stay in Nogales! (20 miles away). There was a steady stream of people who came to see the show but limited buying energy on higher end items. There are a lot of people who come to this area in the fall for bird watching activities or those with second homes that "fly" south for the winter themselves. This was a typical Arizona crowd, Snow Bird older couples in the AM and mid age and younger later in the day. Booth fees are reasonable. There were plenty of snacks and water brought around by show personnel a couple times during the day. This is not a show I would do again as it was way too far to travel with a limited return. Maybe in Sedona, the same weekend, I might have fared better. If I lived in the Tucson area I might do it again as Patagonia is a nice place to visit!
Well I did the Plaza two weeks ago, it is always on the last weekend in Sept.
This has always been one of my biggies. I only get in once in seven years.
In 1999, this was the best art show I had ever done. Made thousands.
It still is a major show for most artists. It is hard to get in, you compete against the best in the circuit.
For me the sheen has fallen off it, for reasons I will explain.
One and most important, this has turned into a giant drinkfest with lots of loud music which gets in the way of talking to customers.
This used to be about great show for selling originaL art. Now, we are secondary to booze and music.
Show starts at 5pm on Friday with a morning setup. Goes til 10pm, on Saturday, 10am to 10 pm. Sunday, 11am to 5pm.
They gave us 12 foot square spaces, so your rear neighbor is two foot behind, close quarters.
They gave us one hour to unload and start to setup. Then go park and come back.
We bucked 20 mph winds setting up. The temps were in the 70's the first two days, then on Sunday it jumped to 92 degrees.
Just our luck, on Sunday, the NFL team had a home game starting at noon.
We had about one third the crowd of Saturday.
Friday night I mostly sold Lowend, did not clear $1500.
Saturday, was my big day. Made sales all day, but none were over $175. I also saw very few big pieces go by. Most customers had two fishbowl size cocktails in each hand. Not a lot of room for art.
Customers were mostly on the young size. Adorned in fancy shoes and outfitted with expensive satchels.
The crowd was polite and attentive. They appreciated the great art that was there.
A glass blower behind me was wrapping big pieces all show long. Winner,winner, chicken dinner.
Most people around me sold steadily. One great photographer I know, set a personal record record on Saturday. He was heading for the islands afterwards. Golden margaritas coming!
This is still a great show, but it is no longer in my top five.
This was my last time here. The setup is too hard on me. Four and half hour setups, no good.
Also this is a hard eleven hour drive. I am done with this.
For you newbies, aspire for the show, and make lots of moola.
Heading home to Florida tomorrow. Canceled my two shows for October.
So I guess I did pretty good in Kansa City.
This is the 8th year for this show. I had done the show in its inaugural year and this is the first time I've been invited back. The show was another in a long line of shows pushed back from their customary date (July) to later in the year (Oct) as a result of COVID. Did people turn out? Yes, a steady stream of people flowed through the show nearly all day Sat and Sun. This show seemed to have a greater representation of the younger crowd 30 - 40ish with baby strollers and one or more babies in them, as-well-as lots of dogs! There were a fair amount of the older demographic as well. The show was held in Denver's Cheesman Park which was a great location for a show and the Oct weather was perfect. Liz Gore King (of the Rio Grande Balloon Fiesta Show dynasty) did an excellent job of organizing this show ad banners were evident on the street which may have captured some passing traffic. Amenities included only water and morning coffee. Artists parked at an off-site location and were shuttled to the show. I'm always concerned that I'll be left behind or too late for the shuttle but hours for the shuttle were ample and they were always there! Most booths located in the park had ample storage behind and booths were laid out in such a way that there was little congestion for the crowd. Several food trucks were there which is a good way to keep the crowd in attendance! Although there were lots of people at the show sales for me were off from the first time I participated and were slow in coming.
For sale are two Flourish Black Softwalls that includes the StaBars for a Pop-up Tent with Square Legs. Also includes carrying bag. These were only used twice, so they are in like-new condition (no stains, rips, tears, etc) and includes all parts for use. I had purchased them for a second booth but am no longer using. My setup was to leave the back open, and put the two walls on the sides of the tent.
These two panels are $600 new, plus $45 for carrying bag, asking $475.
I am located in the Detroit area, anyone in Michigan/Ohio/Chicago area have option to pick up. If you are looking to have them shipped, message me your mailing address and I can get a quote for you.
Any questions please comment below or message me. Thanks!
Alanna St Laurent
Roughly one billion people use Instagram every month, making it one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. But in an age of fast-paced trends, ten-second videos, and virtual realities, it can be hard to see where tangible works of art can fit in.
Your art has the potential to disrupt the noise of social media and connect with people in unique ways. ACT Insurance has gathered their top 10 tips for small business creatives to reach new customers and grow their presence on Instagram.
1. Set Up A Business Account
Before you can start conquering the Instagram algorithm, you will need to make sure you are set up with a business account. This helps you have access to certain insights and analytics a normal account would not offer, as well as access to the paid ads feature.
Once your account is set up, you will want to make sure your name matches your business name. You can set your profile photo as your logo to make your page more recognizable. Be sure to have relevant information in your bio. Specify what you do, add some branded hashtags, put your location, and be sure to have a link to your website.
2. Build A Content Calendar
One of the trickiest parts of running a social media page for your business is figuring out what to post. Start by brainstorming a list of ideas, like tutorials, sneak peeks, product photos, quotes relevant to your brand, photos of you at events, customer reviews, and more. You will then want to organize your content ideas into a calendar.
Having a schedule helps you know what content you need to prepare for your upcoming posts. Try mixing up the types of posts you are doing. Do a video one day, a product photo the next, then a quote, and so on. This helps break up your content to keep your audience engaged. You can have fun with your feed by designing a personal brand—like making a pattern with colors or content type to give your page a unique feel.
3. Research Hashtags
Having relevant hashtags in your posts is key to getting recognized by new customers. You know your target audience best, so you know what other interests they may have that could lead them to see your posts. Capitalize on those categories through hashtags.
To help you tag your posts quicker, you can keep a list of relevant hashtags on hand. These tags can be for daily post types, like #StudioSunday or #FeatureFriday; community based tags, like #CreativesOfInstagram or #NationalArtistsSociety; and tags for specific events you are attending. You can make your hashtags a focal point in your caption, or hide them in the comments section.
4.Use A Scheduling Tool
Running your Instagram page can take a lot of work. You may not be able to set aside time every day to post—after all, your main focus is going to be on creating your products. This is where a scheduling tool, like Hootsuite or Planoly, can come in handy. We recommend using Later for all of the features offered and ease of use.
Take some time every few weeks to plan out an upcoming series of content, spanning as far in advance as you can manage. Once you have your images and captions ready, upload them into these platforms and schedule them to be automatically posted for you. Look at your page’s analytics to see what time your followers are most likely to be online. This will be the most ideal time to post so you can maximize your engagement.
5. Create Video Content With Reels
In a recent announcement, Instagram said the platform would be shifting to becoming a video platform. What does this mean for you? Now is the time to get into creating video content for your page. Reels, Stories, in-feed videos, IGTV, and Live videos should be a huge area of focus for you.
Reels is the newest, and arguably the most popular, video content on Instagram. You can create a Reel directly in the app, or shoot, edit, and upload in another platform and upload the finished product to Reels. You can turn an old Story you save into a Reel, demonstrate a tutorial, film a timelapse of you creating a piece, and more.
6. Add Alt Tags To Posts
Something often overlooked when uploading a post is the alt text. This is a small descriptive paragraph that explains what the photo is so reading devices can recite it to the visually imparied. Not only does this help your posts be more accessible, Instagram reads this information to make them more searchable.
You can also make your posts more discoverable by adding the location of the photo. If someone searches a specific location, your post can appear in the list of tagged images, broadening your reach.
7. Go Live With Other Creatives
Do you have any friends or acquaintances who are creatives? Plan to go Live together on Instagram. By going Live with other creatives, you can reach a broader audience and tap into their followers as potential customers. This is a great opportunity to host a virtual class or tutorial, and share some of your products.
You can promote your Live in the days leading up to it with a post on your page and daily posts on your Stories. You can even add a countdown sticker to your Stories where users can “subscribe” to it and be notified when the countdown ends. After the Live, you can save it to your page as an IGTV post so others can watch it later on. Plan to go Live based on when your analytics tell you most of your followers are active to reach the most users possible.
8. Make Interactive Stories
One of the best ways to connect with your followers daily is to post on Instagram Stories. It can be hard to come up with perfectly curated daily posts or feel like you are always trying to sell to your followers. Stories allow you to take a more personal and relatable approach to your content.
Give viewers a behind the scenes look into your everyday life as an artist. Try using some of the interactive stickers, like polls or submission boxes, to better interact with viewers. If you ever highlight a unique event or experience, or do a series of Q&A’s in your Stories, you can keep this content on your page with Highlights.
9. Start Conversations On Posts
Getting comments on a post is a good indicator that your followers like your content. It also helps to push your post out to more users. By engaging with the comments on your post, you are fostering valuable relationships with your followers and inviting new users to participate and follow your page.
To help increase your engagement with comments, you can try asking questions in your captions, or share a compelling story that invites readers to chime in. Do your best to reply to comments, even the negative ones. This shows you care about your followers and your business. If you don’t get many comments, you can try commenting on other artist’s posts or your follower’s posts.
10. Promote Your Work
It can sometimes be frustrating to grow your Instagram following organically. It is not always easy to get sales on social media. If you feel like you need some help getting your content seen, you can try boosting your posts or buying ad space on Instagram.
Advertising on Instagram allows you to pick your budget, timeline, placement, content, audience, and more. You can boost an existing post for a small fee you choose to get onto new users' newsfeeds. You might want to build an ad for your website that pops up in Stories. You can even utilize the shopping feature on posts so viewers can buy directly from a post. Don’t be afraid to give your content a little extra boost to get discovered.
Protect Yourself When Selling Online
Trying to manage a social media presence for your business is a lot of work—it can be easy to overlook the risks that come with online selling. Afterall, your main focus should be on running your business and not on insurance claims. With ACT Insurance, you can be confident in your coverage and continue doing what you love, worry-free.
We hope these 10 tips help you grow your business on Instagram. Do you have a tip or trick for running your social media? Share it with us in the comments below!
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