Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
I have been on the road for 10 days doing this show plus St. Louis.
So I will start with a blog about LF. St. Louis later.
This is a long-standing show on the lake north of Chicago.
Very wealthy people live here, and many attend the show which is on Sunday and Labor Day Monday.
It has an early morn setup, no night before. There are more than 200 artists. There is a smaller show going on by them at the same time.
Held right downtown right by the commuter railroad tracks, it is a perfect magnet to attract buyers.
And they come.
People are dressed quite fashionably, many are escorting their expensive pets.
Lots of loud barking going on by little perky pups. Everybody is out showing off their expensive pets.
And some actually take the time to look in the booths and buy something.
Not many zombie-walkers here.
I have done this show about seven times, it is always steady but not great.
St. Louis is great, LF is ok.
I had a memorable moment happen to me this year.
It is one of the many reasons why I still love doing the show circuit for more than 47 years.
So, this nicely coiffed young kid waltzed into my booth.
He sported long Curley blond locks. He was dressed in white linen shorts and wore neat pressed blue buttoned shirt.
He eyed my images carefully, taking about five minutes to give all the walls a good inspection.
Then he spoke to me.
”Are these photographs photo-edited?”
I naturally replied, “Of course, you are not going to get a great photo produced from a raw image. You have to edit.”
He looked a little closer.
”So you do not push the slider bar up to embellish the saturation.”
At this point I was about to ask him if his name was Mr. Epson. (That is the name of one of the best selling inkjet printers in the biz.)
Instead I asked him to pick out his favorite.
And he did. He liked one of my hand-colored iconic figures.
I said, “It is yours,free. I like your questions.”
Then the kid did an amazing act.
He walked up to me, photo in hand, and wrapped his arms around my waist. He gave me a big hug like I was this steely Sequoia tree. He said, “Thank you.”
He made my day.
The shows to me are not just about selling. If I can inspire the next generation to appreciate good art then I feel I have truly done something good.
Labor Day Monday was a lot slower. Sales were minemil.
Teardown was very humid and wrenchingly hot.
I took water breaks every twenty minutes. After open heart surgery I have learned to take my sweet time.
I am probably one of the last of artists who still bungees his metal racks to the roof of his van.
I used to take two racks at a time on my shoulders up the six foot ladder. Repeat fours times and bungee them down.
Folks have been taking a poll on me, wagering when I will fall off the ladder and crack my head.
They can wait, I ain’t falling.
Now, I am smarter.
I stack all the racks against the van. Then I climb up the ladder and grab a rack, one at a time, and hoist it to the roof. My workouts at the local gym keep me able. Then I tie them down.
My buddy Steve Baldourf says I am an inspiration to others.
Me, I call it a way of life that I have doing since my twenties. I plan on doing into my eighties.
Next, I will tell you about Saint Louis.
It was killer show, only wish all shows were like it.