Art Fair Insiders

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

Like you I sit here at my computer and use it as an important tool in my life. You may only be here for fun or finding information that answers questions or further your career, but you may also be using it to earn your living. How and when did life online take over life offline?

Every time you visit Facebook, other artist's websites, follow online conversations, see who got into that show you coveted, see where you aren't, does it lead to a negative mood or lower self esteem? Is someone else having more fun? getting into better shows? making more money?

The great thing about the Internet is that it is a wonderful resource that puts a lot of your informational needs at your fingertips, literally.

The bad thing is you can see what is going on with your peer group who seem to be having a more successful life. Someone out there IS getting into all the good shows (not me), someone out there has money in the bank to pay those booth fees whose deadlines are near (not me), someone out there has just landed a nice commission (not me), my neighbor nearly sold out at that last art fair (not me).

What do we do with this fear? We are always on the alert to make sure we're going to be okay -- but now there it is staring at us when we are online! Fear, jealousy, disappointment pouring from that glowing monitor (FoMo)*.

From marketing guru Seth Godin:

The lizard brain is on high alert to make sure that everything is okay. The lizard brain can't rest until it knows that everyone likes us, that no one is offended, that all graphs are ticking up and to the right and the future is assured. But of course, the future (and the present) isn't perfect. It can't be.

The combination of the two, the reverse schadenfreude of FOMO (the pain we may feel from others having good fortune) and the insatiable yet unreachable need for everything to be fine, conspire to make us distracted, unhappy and most of all, somewhere else.

What is your answer? Where is joy? How do you keep yourself going and away from the dissatisfaction with your life? Who is in charge here anyway?

*Fear of Missing out

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Comment by Richard L. Sherer on November 22, 2013 at 12:31pm
It is supposed to get up to 32 here today so I am waiting for the fire die strains to heat up the studio a bit. I don't know whether to hold my Brest or grit my teeth but Windows 8.1 seems to be working ok. A few programs had to be reinstalled and rebooted. So far so good, but at least 50 hours to download is insane.
Comment by Richard L. Sherer on November 22, 2013 at 9:19am
Windows 8.1 finished downloading sometime last night. That was started on Monday morning.
Comment by Barry Bernstein on November 22, 2013 at 7:28am

Connie, I have not abandoned you. I just haven't had the time to post or tell a story. The whole "blackball" reference was to make fun of the rumor that people get blackballed from shows by posting comments and criticism online. If that was true I would never get back in to Coconut Grove. It does make me wonder though about some shows because after writing a critical review of that Tampa show several years ago, I have not gotten back in, even though I never went more than one year without being accepted, previous to that article. I love to laugh at my own weird perceptions of things.

Last night I was having a conversation with a friend of mine on Skype and he was telling his son to do his upgrade overnight because it was taking too much bandwidth. I wonder if he was doing the Windows 8.1 upgrade? I have a couple of friends in the computer business and I will ask them if they had the same trouble. Spinrite is the premier data recovery program for hard drives that fail. It is written by Steve Gibson the foremost authority on computer security issues. He has a weekly podcast called "Security Now" that I listen to once in a while.

I will write the story of "Barry Goes Back to School" over the Thanksgiving weekend. I got a lot out of it, even though the whole experience had land mines that I had to tip-toe through to get something out of it. I was determined to not let a college education get in the way of learning something.

Comment by Richard L. Sherer on November 21, 2013 at 11:22pm
Robert, I had a similar experience with a stained glass class I took in Las Vegas when I was about 35. It wasn't that difficult and I was always looking for something else (more challenging ) to do in class. The woman instructor felt threatened as I guess I was making it look too easy. When I brought in some forged copper to incorporate in a project she let her TA deal with me. He was a nice guy and interested in what I was doing.
Comment by Robert Wallis on November 21, 2013 at 9:14pm

Barry, I'm waiting to hear the story behind going back to school ;-) I was thinking about taking a class just for the hell of it in the hopes of becoming a little more contemporary. My experience of going to art school as a mid 40's guy was interesting enough with ticking off the department head and getting into shouting matches with her (she started it) because I was asking questions that too deep for the rest of the class. I finally figured out she was threatened and thought I was undermining her authority, so she settled down after that was figured out. So let's hear the story; you tell yours and I'll tell mine ;-)

Comment by Richard L. Sherer on November 21, 2013 at 11:50am
I use my iPad for AFI and FB, everything else when on road. I don't want to pay another fee for the computer for wandering wireless.
Comment by Connie Mettler on November 21, 2013 at 11:12am

Really, Barry? Is it all about you? Well, yes, it is partly. I miss the old gang who hung out here, but I do know how to make new friends. But why would an old friend like you abandon me? Do you realize you haven't won any post of the week awards in 2013? Time is a wastin'. Do you really think that your posts kept you out of shows? I beg to differ. Everyone likes the attention they get from the posts, and most show organizers don't live or die or even blackball because of an Internet discussion. At least back in the day I wouldn't have blackballed you. The only guy I ever did that too was the one who stood in back of his booth and ___________ looking at his ______. And the guy who showed up and signed in and skedaddled to another show leaving the minions behind. And .... but I digress.

It has to be a breath of fresh air for you to mix it up with those kids and make a whole new body of work. That is the post I want from you. It should be even more illustrative of the artists life than a show review. Thanks for today's laugh.

Thinking of you, Dick, snowed in and watching your computer crawl through the upload/download. I can't even imagine how annoying that is. Time for a Mac? How are you connecting here, phone or tablet? 

Comment by Richard L. Sherer on November 21, 2013 at 10:51am
I read all of the Windows 8.1 download instructions, backed up on external hard drive, turned off Norton Antivirus. My computer is only a year old, and why I got stuck with Windows 8 in the first place. Thursday morning 39% downloaded after running during day since Monday,and overnight last night. I'm Lucky if I get 1%/ hour. My wireless ISP is Century link and although we don't have the super fast connection they offer in metro Denver, I have the best they offer out here. What choice do you have when you go to add an app and it says "windows 8.1 required"? I am doomed! At least we have snow and icy snow packed roads here in Colorado today. That is the good news.
Comment by Barry Bernstein on November 20, 2013 at 6:18pm

Windows 8.1. Lolololo!!!! HaHaHa!! Oh, excuse me. Where's the start button. It shouldn't take that long. Turn off Norton and the firewall, etc. For the reading challenged, it does say to back up all your data before you attempt this. Every month Norton used to bug me to do this every day until I did it. It was totally annoying until I turned off that function. I showed them. If you mess everything up, there is always Spinrite. Don't ask me about it. Just know that there is a last resort available if you lose everything and it really works.

Connie, it only seems like you are whining because I haven't posted lately. You have nothing to compare your whining to. Meanwhile, not posting has had its good points in that all the directors have forgot about me. I'm getting into every show for next year. I guess they are concentrating on blackballing a new list of troublemakers. If I get a haircut and shave my mustache, they might ask who the new guy is instead of asking how did this guy slip into our show. I wonder if they will notice that I'll be showing work that only vaguely resembles what I juried in with?

As you may or may not know, I have been busy reinventing myself in a college ceramics class.  If I have time I will write about the experience. I'll give you a teaser. Last week I was called into the Dean of Students office to answer some charges by a few of the female students in the ceramics studio who's only goal it seems was to get me kicked out of there. After the meeting, the Dean asked me if she should call in the offenders and tell them to stop harassing me. My very existence has polarized the class into the 2/3rds who thank me every day for helping them and showing them things and the 1/3rd who think that the only reason why an old guy would take a clay class would be to hit on the young girls. Believe me, if I was attracted to any of them, I would quickly lose my appetite once they opened their mouths. If this is who is going to lead the US in the future, we are destined to become a third world country.

Comment by Richard L. Sherer on November 20, 2013 at 4:41pm
8 hours into download and 20% done. One restart, one Norton security repair and one call to grandson "operating systems take a long time".

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