Art Fair Insiders

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

Choosing between commercial appeal or your passion

This is a Christmas gift for everyone who got into this business because they want to live their life as an artist but then found out that your most artistic work wasn't selling like you wished. You looked around at what was selling and then made one of 3 choices:

  1. create work like others whose work was selling so you could stay in the game
  2. quit doing art fairs because the work you wanted to create was not finding its fans or
  3. tried to find the middle ground where you could fulfill your artistic inclinations and that was still accessible to a large enough body of people so you could sustain an art fair career. Which one are you?

Here's a great article aimed at photographers, but equally applicable to the other creative people in this room, exploring that topic: "Photographs are about stories, not gigabytes."

Practice and exposure help refine the art of storytelling through photographs. Photographers often have to choose or balance between “commercial and passion photography”, Mithun explains. In that sense, success comes not just from commercial sales but audience’s artistic appreciation as well.

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Comment by Larry Sohn on December 19, 2019 at 8:46pm

Can I claim "tenacious" instead? :-)

Comment by Connie Mettler on December 19, 2019 at 2:14pm

There is always that choice, Larry, and I know some who have chosen that one ... sad to see, but there are people seem unable to change, or unable to enact that concept. Stubborn -- an old fashioned word. What what a mental health professional would say about that?

Comment by Larry Sohn on December 18, 2019 at 11:05pm

You forgot choice number 4.

4. Be a stubborn old coot. Don't change. Keep to your values. Only do the great art that you believe in. By not selling you are able to keep alive that belief in the "starving artist".

Do so long enough and you will look the part.

Do it much longer and you will pass on, possibly from malnutrition.

Then, your art will sell for big bucks.

So in the end, you achieve all your goals.

Art that is meaningful, sells well and commands big money :-)  ;-)

Hmm, as a photographer, should I change my ways ?

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