Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
Art fairs are a lot of hard work. They’re also expensive to participate in and attend. They’re stressful and full of physical challenges. Below are some tips I’ve created to help me not just get through the next show, but have fun doing so without taxing my system unduly. Each of these tips has been hard won through many years of experience. Take the ones you like, invent and share other tips that help you. Please. I’m ever open to hearing how you, my fellow art fair artists, sail through your shows!
1. Believe the show is awesome – NO MATTER WHAT. Some of my most amazing shows have seemed slow – only to blossom weeks later with an offer or an order I never would have garnered otherwise.
2. Pack wonderful tasty snacks to get you hydrated and fed – body and soul – throughout the day. Treat yourself, make it high quality everything. Include soul food. Soul Food = chocolate et al – stuff you love. In moderation.
3. Don’t complain. Not no way. Not no how. Not during the event. That vibe is sticky and will cling to all your good intentions in your work. If you have suggestions for improvements – thoughtfully provide those to the appropriate audience after the show.
4. A slow show does not mean your work isn’t worthy. Never forget that.
5. An awesome show doesn’t necessarily mean you’re an awesome artist either – see #6.
6. What defines you as an artist is YOU. Not your sales. I have had amazingly profitable shows, and crazily horrible shows. The work is the work. These externals might distract you from your Vision. Stay mindful of that.
7. That said – note trends in your sales and adjustwhat you sell accordingly! That’s not prostituting your Vision – that’s sharing it in ways The Public is ready to accept at the moment.
8. Never forget that you are creatively educating people in all of this amazing effort of yours.
9. Give yourself a present after every show. You deserve it. It doesn’t have to be extravagant but it should be a pat on your own back for a job well done.
10. You are an amazing example for others!
11. Go YOU! You are Brave, Hard-working, Persevering, Dedicated, Patient, a Visionary par excellence! Not many people can stake a claim in this many wonderful traits.
Do you hear people say “I wish I was as lucky as you, getting to do what you love?”. I do, too. A ton. I usually chuckle and state “Luck has nothing to do with it!”. I work hard at making this dream come true. You do too. Those folks could too – we have made this a choice we’re willing to work – and work hard – for.
We deserve every good opportunity that comes our way from putting our work out there for all the world to see and react to right in front of us! We can minimize whatever negative challenges that come our way by alway, always treating ourselves as a treasured employee – because we most certainly are! Without us this business would literally disappear over night!