Art Fair Insiders

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

Art Fiesta, New Smyrna Beach— more fiesta than art

Sorry, I am way behind on my blogs— busy show schedule.

So I will blog about my most recent, last weekend in my home town.

This is more a craft show than an art show.

People walking their dogs vastly outnumbered any buyers.

I have yet, in 45 years, ever sell a piece of my art to a dog walking fair- goer.

Maybe it is just me.

The dog senses my intent and secretly alerts his master.  “This guy is trying to get you to part with hardwon cash.  Save it for my dog biscuits.”

Dog always wins.

I wish they were walking their cats.  I get along great with the felines.

Oh well.

Nels will you fricking tell us about the fiesta.  Were the piñatas easy to penetrate?

No, I could not find any piñatas or margaritas.

Boring Show.

If you have decorated toilet seats, carved tiki totems, colored food carrier bags or the usual art on the stick, you can make a lot of money here.

They just do not want to spend even $75 for art.

But, they will buy three carved totems at $250 each.

Go figure.

Last year, my first time here, I did almost $2K, in my own back yard.

This year I did not even break a thousand.

This Show is about one month after Images.  It is a lovely craft show. About 220 booths with a $225 booth fee.

It used to be an easy setup the day before.  They closed the streets off at noon and you could amble in.

This year they changed.  No setup til after 6pm.

Trouble was we had 20 mph plus winds.  Almost nobody setup.

Saturday morn it was tedious to get a van near the booth.

Saturday was a chilly, windy day.  The walls were shaking.  It was not fun and almost nobody was buying anything of significance.  Lots of art on the stick going by,

I did $300 worth of biz.  My neighbor with the tiki totems sold at least eight of them.

All I could sell was $30 photos.  Not my crowd.

I went home whipped that nite. Drank way too many Manhattens.  They were yummy at the time. But their was hell to pay the next day.

Sunday we had beautiful weather and moderate crowds, dogs still outnumbered buyers.

I saw maybe eight 2-D pieces go by the whole day.

They Just were buying cheap here.

I got out in an hour. I had Position A with my van.  Some day, after I retire, I will tell you how to get successful PA.  I have been perfecting it for 45 years.

Off to Gasparilla this weekend in my old hometown.  Sure could use a great art show.

So far this season, they have been very elusive.

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Comment by Nels johnson on February 27, 2020 at 7:06am

Yep, close to home works.

first time doing it.

No Margie’s suck.

Comment by Connie Mettler on February 26, 2020 at 3:13pm

I don't understand - a fiesta without margaritas and pinatas? Nels, had you done this show before you moved to New Smyrna? Does your relocation put you in a spot to try new close to home shows? 

My condolences to you and Chris. Nothing worse (well, arguably) than winds at an art fair. Exhausting. 

Comment by Nels johnson on February 25, 2020 at 8:11pm

I like your comments. Spot on.  Glad you made money.

Still, this is more a craft show, it is hard to sell art here not enough buyers.

Comment by Chris Carlson on February 25, 2020 at 8:43am

I was there - across from the bird houses and carved tikis - but I had a completely different experience.  I’ve done this show for most of the past 25 years. Yes, the setup time was changed but I think it was for this year only because of construction traffic in the immediate area. Can’t blame the show for wind gusts up to 49mph on Friday night. I did a Saturday 6am setup and had no problem getting my van in and off-loaded. I didn’t enjoy Saturday very much either because of the wind gusts - every time my neighbor’s wind chimes would start, I’d brace myself for possible disaster. Couldn’t display any big attention-grabbing necklaces on top of my glass showcases unless I was willing to sacrifice them to the wind. I was totally beat by the end of the day but when I added up the numbers at home, they weren’t bad.

Sunday the weather was perfect and this show does bring out a crowd - I think even more snowbirds in town than at Images. I had absolutely delightful customers - some “regulars” and some new ones - but I was crazy busy all day and had a great show - plus, there is a very relaxed “Fiesta” atmosphere that is kind of refreshing if you just go with it. Granted, it’s no Gasparilla but I had sales within $100 of my Images total and did it in 2 days instead of three.

This is the only “craft” show I do for all the reasons Nels mentioned because the “art on a stick” crowd doesn’t work for me either but it’s only 30 miles from home and it has the potential to be pretty good because the town really comes out for this one. If you’re local, don’t necessarily write this one off - just get your brain in Fiesta mode and go into it without high expectations and you may be pleasantly surprised.

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