at (18)

November 4 & 5
Elmhurst, Illinois
Wilder Mansion
Fri. 4-9 pm; Sat. 10 am-4 pm
Sponsored by Elmhurst Park District
Presented by RGL Marketing for the Arts
Over 60 Artists & gourmet food vendors
Deadline: August 1

Holiday Market is located inside the stunning landmark Wilder Mansion which is completely renovated with over 9,000 square feet. The Mansion is located on the grounds of Wilder Park where the 21st Annual Art in the Park is in May, also the Elmhurst Art Museum, and the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Arts. Elmhurst City Centre shopping district is two blocks away. Elmhurst's residents are very involved with the Arts with a median income of $90,000 plus; new homes are valued at $900,000-$3 million dollars.

6th Annual Holiday Market includes one-of-a-kind arts, crafts, and seasonal gifts. Sixty vendors will be selling jewelry, fiber, glass, ceramics, paper, painting, mixed-media, home décor, holiday gifts, and gourmet food vendors. Many of the artist's work can be seen in galleries around the U.S. Holiday Market is considered the top Holiday Market in the Chicagoland area.

For more info: Roz Long,
(630) 712-6541
Read more…

New CEO of Cherry Creek Arts Festival

Lots of us have been waiting to hear this. Who will (or possibly even can) replace Terry Adams as the CEO of the Cherry Creek Arts Festival in Denver? When Terry took over 14 years ago the organization was in very rough financial shape. An event of this scope needs a strong fiscally smart and responsible manager.

We were wondering if the job would go to Tara Brickell, the Associate Director, who has been acting CEO since Terry left a few months ago, but the new CEO, Chris Stevens seems to fit the bill very well for the event.

He has been a banker, a juror for the show, owned an art gallery, managed the arts and culture program at the Denver airport (I've seen some pretty great stuff there). He has lived in the community for two years which is probably important in order to continue the well-developed relationships between the festival and the community.

He joins the staff just a few weeks before the festival - a big job looms ahead for him.   

Welcome to Art Fair World, Chris! 

Even if you don't do "top tier" events the art festival business needs blockbuster events like Cherry Creek to keep the level of art on the streets high. A high tide raises all boats.

Read more…
ea1e66a6-af26-4cf8-9ed1-6f2dc224f782.jpgSeptember 12 & 13
Springfield, Illinois
Presented by the Rees Carillon Society
50 Artists
Deadline: March 31

Why you want to be here:

  • Art Spectacular is included in Sunshine Artist's Best 100 Art Shows in the United States in 2014! 
  • With up to 50 artists, Art Spectacular also includes patron bucks' drawings, demos, kids' art sale, kids' activities, music, silent auction, basket raffle, and food vendors. 
  • We also provide the BEST artist treatment and amenities, including FREE water and time-of-day appropriate snacks throughout the event - both in the Artist/VIP tent and provided by refreshments-on-wheels at your tent;
  • booth sitters, load-in assistance, and artists' awards dinner at 6 pm on Saturday. At least 3' between booths. Set-up on Friday from noon-6 pm. Overnight security is provided. 
  • The promoter is on-site, visible, and available throughout the event. 
  • Free on-site camping space for a limited number of fully-contained RVs.

About our show:
Held outdoors in beautiful Washington Park around the Botanical Gardens and the 67-bell carillon, one of the largest in the world, in an affluent city neighborhood. Springfield is an art-loving, art-buying community with 3 colleges, a medical school, extensive medical presence, the IL state capitol.

Who we are:

Art Spectacular is a fundraiser for the Rees Memorial Carillon by presenting one of the best 'little' art fairs in Central Illinois by presenting high quality. original artwork in a balance of mediums. 

Extensive advertising includes TV, radio, newspapers, billboards, websites, mailings, e-mail, signs, posters, flyers, newsletters, sponsors, and invitations to artists' top ten patrons and
previous attendees.
1c22955e-2161-463d-b7d9-f3f86d4ebfc3.jpgApplication fee: $35
Booth fee:$200 - 10'wx15'd; $250 - corner/end; $400 - double.

Visit and click on the Art Spectacular tab to get access to the 2-page application and see pictures. Apply right now!
Find more art fairs looking for artists around the
Read more…

need advice on weights for ez up tent

After retiring from teaching art for 32 years i have had the chance to get back into the studio. Last year I did three shows. Two were inside and the one outdoor show provided a tent for "emerging artists". So this June will be the first outdoor show on my own.  I purchased an eze up 10x10 tent last fall when eCanopy had some great sales. Used it Winterfair Columbus, an indoor show, worked great.  But I have not yet purchased/made weights that I will need for the June show.  This show is on parking lot surface so the tent can not be staked, just weights. I need some advice on weights to secure the tent. How many pounds? How to best tie to the tent? do I purchase the weights? Do I make something of my own? Would appreciate any advice.

Read more…

1782.jpg?width=200 September 13 & 14
Deer Park, Illinois
Deer Park Town Center
Sat. 10am-5pm; Sun. 11pm-5pm
80 Exhibitors maximum
Deadline: June 1

This juried fine art festival takes place in the thriving Deer Park Town Center.  The festival is held around a charming gazebo in the center of everything.  The average home value in Deer Park and the surrounding areas is $850,000!  There are, on average, 40,000 visitors to this lifestyle center every weekend.

The Village of Deer Park and DDR Corp are thrilled to host this 3rd year, artist focused festival and are committed to its success. Deer Park Town Center is a high end lifestyle center. In addition to the amazing shopping experience, the center offers a spa, book store, restaurants, high end retailers and electronics store. 

Our commitment to artists includes:

  • Aggressive marketing campaigns-print, radio, posters and internet
  • Shows located in areas of high income and traffic
  • Best of Show and First Place Awards
  • Professional jury and judging with enforcement of all Standards and Rules
  • Overnight Security-contracted through a professional security company
  • End of show feedback survey to help us continually improve the artist experience
  • Discounted hotel options
  • Drive to spaces for easy load in and out
  • Free day and overnight parking, booth sitters, cold bottled water delivered to your booth, indoor restroom facilities
  • Continental breakfast both days plus afternoon snacks
  • Jury fee: $35, Booth fee: $300 (10x10) 

8869136496?profile=originalLearn more:

Apply on line:

or: paper application

Read more…

Our Tradition continues...The Art League of Lincoln has renamed the former clay art show and competition held annually at the Gladding McBean Clay company as AMERICA’S CLAYFEST at Gladding McBean”  This show is celebrating 25 years of clay competition at the historic Gladding McBean Clay Manufacturing Company in Lincoln, California. Our juror, world renowned ceramic artist, Richard Shaw, will be selecting the works that will be shown on site at the Gladding McBean property, inside one of the historic beehive kilns and in the historic architectural design studio. This prestigious show has traditionally had entries from all over the United States, Canada, Mexico and Asia. All clay artists are invited to submit entries. Deadline is February 4th 2013...See our web page for a Prospectus and Entry

Read more…

April 20-May 27
Lincoln, California

"A clay art show and competition"
1038.png?width=410Presented by the Art League of Lincoln, CA, a non-profit corporation

Gladding McBean Clay Manufacturing Company
601 7th Street, Lincoln, California
Deadline: Feb. 4, 2013

Our 2013 "America's ClayFest at Gladding McBean" is celebrating 25 years of clay competition in this famous location.  Where better than a clay manufacturing company as the setting for a clay art show and competition!!  In its past life as the "Feats of Clay," the show has seen entries from all over the world and has a very prestigious, international flavor.  "America's ClayFest at Gladding McBean" will continue that tradition.

We have had entry requests from all over America, the UK, Mexico and Asia and all clay artists are welcome to submit their work.  Our juror this year is world renowned ceramic artist Richard Shaw from UC Berkeley who will be selecting the 85 pieces that will be shown inside one of the historic beehive kilns and in the historic architectural design studio.

In addition, we will be awarding over $3,500 in prize money.  The Art League of Lincoln's America's ClayFest committee will be offering daily tours of the Gladding McBean Clay Factory for a nominal fee. This once a year tour is something you will not forget! Please join us in our celebration.

See our website for Prospectus and Entry:
Mike Daley, Administrator/Assistant Curator
America's ClayFest at Gladding McBean
384 Daylily Lane, Lincoln, CA 95648


Find even more fairs looking for you:
Read more…

Ann Arbor 2012

Finally got there. I was like getting to the grand buffet and finding only a few slivers of beat up melon.  

For example: 

Ann Arbor State Street.  

Tuesday night an artists' dinner is held, we had the "privilege" of sitting with the Mayor and the show organizer. Tom, the show organizer, boosted that his was the only show that would allow stores to have street booths and that Urban Outfitters would do more than $250,000 during the four days of the show. That is $1/4 million that wasn't spent on art. That was only one vendor.

Consideration should be given to renaming the event the Ann Arbor Flea and Art Market.

Read more…

Sunday took us to Appleton, WI's Art at the Park. A couple of years ago, they moved the show from being on the park grass, to being on the street around the park. This was done because of wet grounds from a lot of rain that year. They have continued to keep the exhibitors on the street, which works out very well. For some strange reason, last year was a rough year in sales at this show for many artists. I am glad to report that this year, our sales were up 300% over last years sales. The crowd is very engaged in art. And this year, they were back to buying art. In addition, the Trout Museum has a new Director. She has only been "on the job" for 10 weeks. She personally came into our booth and thanked us for providing an item in the auction. That was very nice. We love the Appleton Show and look forward to returning next year for our seventh year.

Read more…

All of you who love the Ann Arbor Art Fair, here is your last chance to visit with and collect the photography of stalwart original Guild members Ruth and Walter Pinkus at this month's Ann Arbor Art Fair. They've been in the business longer than many of us and as the Ann Arbor media roll out their stories about the fairs they've included a wonderful article about Ruth and Walter in the Ann Arbor Journal.

Couple to sell their photography for last year at Ann Arbor Art Fairs

This is an excellent capsule of the art fair life. Walt, who was employed at the University's Physics Lab, and loved photography, grabbed a booth in those early days and he and Ruth (both active in the Ann Arbor Camera Club) became fixtures at the show, as well as instrumental in the development of The Guild of Artists (formerly the Michigan Guild.)

Read the article and experience some of the adventures they've had as they battled weather, the economy, credit card fraud, vehicle breakdowns, belly dancers, famous politicians and so much more. A great summation for their career: "We'll miss the stimulation, but not the crises."

See you on the road Ruth and Walt. It's been a great trip!

Read more…

Art Doesn't Belong In Black Trash Bags.

Art Doesn't Belong In Black Trash Bags.


Welcome to the Cooper studio, Jefferson, Iowa, where once again, I have a tip for all the art fair artists out there.  And if you are an art fair artist, I hope I am not writing this for you....

I just came from reading a blog post at Artist Daily.  The title of the post is Getting Trashed.  And of course it's not really to be taken literally.   It's an article about backing off the stress level of painting for framing, otherwise known as "each and every painting I paint MUST be PERFECT!"  The interviewed artist, says the exercises she recommends are literally to paint for the trash can.  Kind of like get off your high-horse and play a little.

The article caused my mind to wander back to the art fair I was at earlier this month.  The very art fair, where yet again, some clever (???!!!!) artist used an ever-so-convenient black plastic garbage bag to package their art to send home with their patron.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong!

And I mean that!  People, people --artists:  Is your art really garbage?  Primed for the trash can?  Ready for the garbage guys to pickup on Monday morning?  Then why on earth are you putting it in a package that is universally recognized as a garbage receptacle?

Surely you know there are clear bags available out there?  Clear bags that are clean and fresh and make your customers proud to carry their new art home in?  Pristine, clear plastic bags that protect the art in transport, yet display your exceptional work to all the other admiring art fair patrons, who will of course, then come running to your booth to get something equally as lovely??

Figure it out folks.  If you can't find them on the shelf, then go to your local hardware store and put in an order.  Yes, it will take an extra bit of effort on your part.  But isn't your art worth it?  Surely!

Okay, if I'm wrong, and it's not, then just revert back to the black plastic.....

Enough said.  Have a lovely rest of the day.

Later, Cooper

Surely after reading all of that you are ready for something enjoyable to look upon?  Here you go, then:


4555_884841l.jpg?cv=201111102017  Soaking It In, an acrylic painting on a perfectly sized 24 x 24 inch canvas.  Available for your viewing pleasure with "zoom capabilities" at my website portfolio.

Related Posts:
I Thought You Knew. Art Fair Etiquette.

Read more…

Congratulations to John Costin**, winner of the $10,000 Best of Show Prize at the Winter Park Sidewalk 8871907085?profile=originalArt Festival. Best of show is awarded for the artist's whole body of work. Here is a representative Big Bird Drawing by John Costin.

Also to John and Shirl Parmentier for the Morse Museum Award for a Distinguished Work of Art, $2500.

At Winter Park the judges make the rounds of the booths and choose pieces to be removed from the booth to be judged altogether in a gallery space.

Winter Park is generous with awards and there are lots of winners. Here are the rest:

Painting - Matthew Cornell, Orlando, FL
Jewelry - Lauran Sundin, Concord, NH
Wood - Thomas Dumke**, Oconomowoc, WI
Fiber - Amos Amit** Los Angeles, CA
Clay - Becky Lloyd & Steve Lloyd Clyde, NC
Wood - Matthew Hatala** Danielsville, GA
Glass - Scott Amrhein** Sherwood, WI
Photography - Mark Mackinnon** Millbrook, NY
Fiber - Sandy D'Andrade Red Hook, NY
Fiber -  Xiao Xia Zhang Minich & Patrick Minich, Cleveland, OH

Sculpture - John Whipple Winter Park, FL
Photography - Cali Hobgood** Urbana, IL 8871907260?profile=original
Jewelry - Patricia Karnes** Winter Park, FL
Painting - Charles Gatewood** Phenix City, AL
Jewelry - Kim Koch Oshkosh, WI
Clay - William Kidd Miramar, FL
Jewelry - Pam Fox** Sarasota , FL
Mixed Media - Rasa Pranckunaite & Algis Keburys Astoria, NY
Glass - Mark Sudduth Cleveland Hts., OH
Wood - Don Carter Longwood, FL
Drawings & Graphics - Jody Depew Mcleane Eagle River, WI
Fiber - Jill Wagoner Fuquay-Varina, NC
Fiber - Candiss Cole**-Footitt & Rodger Footitt Sedona, AZ
Clay - Brian Beam Fulton, MI
Jewelry - Sana Doumet & Munir Doumet Clearwater, FL
Glass - Chris McCarthy St. Louis, MO
Wood - Donald Boudreau Hollywood, FL Ebony
Clay - Michael Kahn & Mieko Kahn Greenbush, MI
Mixed Media - Paul Andrews Charlotte, NC
Clay - Shadow May Chattanooga, TN

Jim & Shirl Parmentier - Winners of the Morse Museum Award

Mixed Media - David McKirdy Tampa, FL
Mixed Media - Jeff League Winter Park, FL
Mixed Media - Joe Decamillis** Birmingham, AL
Wood - Larry Roofner Windermere, FL
Sculpture - Kostas Ulevicius St. Petersburg, FL
Drawings & Graphics - Helen Gotlib Ann Arbor, MI
Jewelry - Jonathon Stopper Sarasota, FL
Watercolor - Russell Yerkes** Tarboro, NC
Wood - John Mascoll Safety Harbor, FL
Glass - Duncan McClellan** St. Petersburg, FL
Photography - Emerson Matabele New Orleans, LA
Photography - Robert Clibbon New Smyrna Beach, FL
Sculpture - Bill Secunda Butler, PA
Fiber - Miriam Carter Dublin, NH
Jewelry - Christian Butera Apopka, FL
Clay - Mark Knott Suwanee, GA
Painting - Jon D Smith Naples, FL
Sculpture - Trent Manning Winter Haven, FL
Jewelry - Rick Austin Inverness, FL
Drawings & Graphics - Edson Campos Winter Park, FL
Leather - Horace Thomas** & Shawn Thomas Belton, TX
Jewelry - John Ruff & Carolyn Ruff Springfield, MO
Watercolor - Randy Eckard Blue Hill, ME
Painting - Bruce Peeso Monson, MA
Drawings & Graphics - Ron Hoyle Lees Summit, MO
Clay - Michael Schwegmann** Champaign, IL
Fiber - Mary Sly & Dan Wyatt Friday Harbor, WA
Clay - Marti Mocahbee Staunton, VA
Clay - Vadim Malkin Orlando, FL
Drawings & Graphics -Heinrich Toh Kansas City, MO 

**Members of AFI - including Best of Show! Woo hoo!

Read more…

The Summer Art Fair. Would I Be An Artist There?



Welcome to the Cooper studio, where we've predetermined to talk again about the summer art fair. 


 Aaaah, sunny days, the green grass of the park scattered with cute little white tents, happy artists selling their fine art....


Oh wait.  How much of that line is fiction?  Imaginary?  Delusional? A sham?


I've spent quite a bit of research time lately on the topic of the "fine art fair".  Some of them have a heck of a history.


4555_713089m.jpg  4555_713090m.jpg  4555_713092m.jpg


Every time I looked up one of the grandaddy art fairs, and was able to find their mission statement, they all seemed to have something in common.  Some examples for you to peruse:


---Wanting to create an event where local artists could showcase their work to the community, Womer established the first 57th Street Art Fair in 1948


---The Annual Edmonds Arts Festival began in 1957.  The mission then as now, was to celebrate and promote the arts with a lively and pleasurable presentation of local and national work.


---It all began one hot Chicago summer in the early 80's when four neighborhood artists (Bob Smeltzer, Joe Kotzman, Tony Cachapero and Rodney Patterson) decided to have an art fair--a picnic in the park.  Rodney suggested that it might be a good opportunity for local artists to show and share their work to each other and to their neighbors. 


Did you catch the commonality?  They are all working to showcase the art, to friends, neighbors, community.  To "celebrate and promote the arts".  So how did we get from that, to this:


---Art Fair has become both tired and tiresome.  It's held in the absolute hottest part of the summer.  The prices are ridiculous and most of the so-called art is schlock.  How many times can you mill through the crowds viewing the same old fare every year?


--Taken from a news article about parking garage revenue during the AnnArbor Art Fair, but certainly not a unique thought amongst art fair patrons.


What jumps out at you from that comment?   Maybe the SO-CALLED ART IS SCHLOCK?


Shortly before reading the comment, I read another--this one a discussion at ArtFairInsiders regarding (of course) lackluster art fair sales, and various artists comments about if they would be exhibiting at art fairs next year.  One artist said even with poor sales, she was not quitting.  She would "cobble together" something that would sell. 


What happened to celebrating the arts?  Showing our work to the community?  If the purpose of an art fair is to showcase our work to the community, shouldn't we be showing our best? 


(here comes the politically incorrect part)  Are you an artist, or not?  Are you being delusional in calling what you exhibit at an art fair ART? Ouch.  I suggest if you are cobbling something together that you think will sell, adding to the patron impression that the "so-called art is schlock", then maybe it's time to re-think your game plan. 


There's always a discussion out there somewhere about "what art is" and there are a bazillion different answers.  I suggest that "schlock" is not one of them.  I also suggest that if you are cobbling together something to coax a twenty dollar bill out of some art fair patron's pocket, that something is not art either.  The summer art fair is not dead, but it has been seriously injured.  Injured by artists who have put grabbing a buck, in front of creating their art.  Yes, we all have to make a living, but we'll do it best by keeping our priorities straight.  Art fairs were created to showcase and celebrate art, not schlock.


If you are an artist planning on exhibiting at an art fair next summer, I'm asking you to bring your art.  Bring your BEST art.


Later, Cooper

Read more…

What has the world come to-robbing artists?

The past few months I've become more aware of a disturbing trend that seems to be on the rise-breaking into artists' booths at night.  I'm dwelling on this now by the cozy light of a campfire in nowhere, Rhode Island and a cold one in hand, and I'm...puzzled? vicariously violated? utterly astounded? all of the above? -by the fact that people are desperate enough to steal from the starving.  OK, most of us here debunk the myth of the starving artist (I hope) but, let's face it, society in general does not view us as the movers and shakers.  Our work doesn't command that much on the resale market, if you can call it that.  So what are these lowlives looking for when they invade booths at night?

I was in Setauket, Long Island last weekend- a nice little village on the North Shore of stately historical registry homes, estates- your typical upper middle class neighborhood.  This was a show in its 46th year, no fly-by-night venue.  Out of all the cities I've been in over the past 3 months, this was the last place I would have expected to encounter such an egregious violation of one's hard work.  Hell, when I grew up here, we didn't lock our doors at night.  Call me naive, but I never thought of artwork as inherently stealable unless it's a Thomas Crowne Affair.  Let me clarify, I know I'm walking a thin line here.  I know jewelers who have been stalked and robbed at gunpoint, but what I'm talking about is non-precious metal/jewel art that can't be melted down or resold to a pawn shop.  My paintings really don't have much value to the average scumbag, and I'm ok with that.  I'm really disturbed that this happened in an upscale village to the extent that it did.

Many artists arrived Saturday morning to find that, at the very least, their booths had been violated and work had been moved around.  The worst was a painter who had $4000 worth of work stolen.  What was appalling was the show's response to her, which was to brush her off and refuse her request to pack up and leave.  Show security?  I didn't give it much thought before this show, but Framer Dude (who missed his calling as a detective or bounty hunter) has always done a late night walk through to test security and deemed this patrol as lacking, along with several others we have done.  I realize that shows have only a certain amount of dollars to divide up, and perhaps they too are guilty of the same naivety and complacency that I am-that art shows are not big on the hit list.  But this show's layout was a prankster's or a thief's field day- one older gent for security, a dark street, and a row of booths that twisted around through the woods, with a bar in the middle.

My point here is not to lament the evils of the world.  I'm not that much of a rube or a whiner.

I want to pass on a tip that may thwart would-be thieves- who are probably low tech and seeking easy, unsecured targets.  Framer Dude and I take out stock in zipties, also known as cable ties at Home Depot, for setting up the booth.  These have a multitude of uses and we discovered a new one when we sat down and thought about how to make the booth less accessible at night.  When we close the zippers down, we now use a zipties in the four corners and four side zippers, through the holes in the zipper toggles, and attach them to the legs and bottom poles.  I think most thieves are counting on easy access, quick in and out and won't waste the extra time or thought (if they have any after letting off their crackpipes) to tackle a booth that requires a pair of wire cutters to get into.  

Not a fail-safe, but at least it makes it a bit more difficult, rather than just unzippering the tent.  Of course, if they're crackheads, they might carry razor blades and slash their way through the sides, but I haven't thought of a way around that.  Perhaps I should leave my huge German shepherd in the booth at night?

Read more…

Who would ever have thought that with thirty years of promoting fine art and crafts shows, we would have a new weather experience: - nickel sized hail and over three inches of rain in less than two hours. Rain and wind, yes, many times, but a deluge that just didn’t move away - not when we were on site for set up. 


There we were at Brookdale Park in Bloomfield/Montclair, New Jersey. It was Friday afternoon with 90 out of 145 exhibitors checked in and set up.

By 3:30, as exhibitors arrived, we warned them of unstable weather in the area. The sun was still shining but there was constant thunder. Pretty spooky actually.

It was 4 pm when we ran for the truck when the lightening, thunder and wind kicked up; and saw on the radar that there was a large intense area of storms heading our way. We moved the truck behind the booth to help protect our Show Off canopy from the winds, but as we watched, one of the bars on the top moved and a dip in the roof occurred. A pool of water was created that kept growing and growing.


Howard braved the storm with an umbrella, hoping to push the pooling water over the side but it was too heavy. Ever the boy scout, he took out his knife and cringed as he cut a three inch slit in the roof, near a seam, to allow the water to drain. It was that or lose the legs of the canopy which were bowing inward.


Finally, some time after 6 pm, we were able to start inspecting the show site for damage. For the first time, I truly understood the term “flash flood” as we viewed one exhibitors booth isolated like an island in the middle of a lake with water rushing across the path creating another lake opposite the stranded booth. 

We spent the next two hours assessing the damage and were pleasantly surprised that by the time we got back to the first booths we checked, the water levels had receded remarkably and knew that by morning, all the booths would be fine.


We called the "island in the lake" exhibitor to tell her to be there early and that we would have employees on hand to help move her canopy and display. By morning though, all was fine except for a water line 12” up on the stranded exhibitor’s display cloths. Her new badge of survival from Friday’s deluge.


Mulch (thirty bags worth and three employees later) took care of tidying up the show site by the 10 am opening. We knew just how fortunate we were that Brookdale park drains amazingly quickly and well.


Two exhibitors lost their E-Z Up canopies due to the weight of the water on the roof. One important trick that many but not all E-Z up owners know about it using pool “noodles” or hula hoops in the corners of the canopy to create a more rounded roof thus fending off the water pooling that bends the frame. Fortunately, neither exhibitor had their work in the booth and the displays were unharmed. They were both appreciative of our 8 pm phone calls advising them of the damage so they could make arrangements to get alternate canopies for the morning.


The sun was out all weekend, with a warm and humid day on Saturday and a less humid day on Sunday. The crowds came in force and started to build by 10:30 on Saturday morning. 

Throughout the show, we kept reminding each other just how lucky we all were that the “deluge” came late Friday and not over the weekend.

Read more…

How To Take Your Art Career To The Next Level

Being an artist is a tricky career, and one that is constantly fluctuating. So how in the world do you not only make a sustainable living at it but actually thrive?

Ariane Goodwin of says it’s all about diversification. (Sounds like “vacation,” lol!)

So, I’ve invited Ariane Goodwin, Ed.D., art career coach and host of the only professional development conference for visual fine artists online or off, to come talk with me about how selling your art is joined at the hip to multiple streams of income.

Join me on November 30 at 7pm Eastern (4pm Pacific) for this open telecall.

And bring your questions, because Ariane is a wealth of knowledge just waiting to be tapped.

Click here to sign up >

See you there!
Read more…

Exude Success

Exude Success After putting some finishing touches on a art/craft business presentation I realized an overall theme occurring - exude success. Since the economic down turn (and even before that) I have seen countless craft artists get caught up in lively discussions in aisles at shows about the economy and how shows aren't what they used to be. I have noticed more and more craft artists are neglecting how important it is to obtain a "professional" appearance of their booth to attract customers - from new people just getting their feet wet to the seasoned vet who does the same display year after year selling the same thing year after year to boot. Tell me, have you seen those who just look like they threw in the towel before the doors open to the event? Maybe these people fall into a habit of doing Sudoku puzzles, or better yet ready to pounce on the next unsuspecting customer praying this is the person who will buy something expensive. I don't want to burst anyones bubble, but we are in control of our own success when it comes to our own art/craft business. If people are experiencing lulls in sales - of course it could be the economy and many other reasons, however if you are not putting your best foot forward then you are not exuding success. Why Exude Success? When it comes down to it people will buy from those who are successful or appear to be successful. It is almost like a popularity contest without the drama. When you see people in ones booth it is usually because there is something going on there that no one else is offering. Next time you go to a show observe the dynamics of what is going on in each and every booth around you. Notice who has something unique, what makes some displays attract a lot of people while others don't, and what are each booth owners attitude like. It shouldn't take long before you see it - the dividing line - booths with energy and booths without energy. Creating a happy vibe will in fact attract people who then pick up on that positivity which builds and builds where before long one person starts to buy something and the more follow. So, in a sense, if each craft artist would take the time to exude success using their time wisely at shows they too will find sales and others wondering what does he/she have that I don't. How to exude success: 1. Be positive. If your day starts off bad, let it go, take a deep breath, move on. You don't need to be super perky as if you had 5 cups of coffee, but doing something like smiling, WELCOMING people into your booth, offering suggestions or help, all goes a long way in winning a customers confidence and trust. 2. Dress for success. First impressions means the world of difference when it comes to customer shopping. The way you dress directly affects the way people perceive your work. The little things like trimming beards or shave, putting on a bit of make-up can go a long way especially with a great shade of lipstick, and of course dress casually and for comfort all goes a long way. It scares me when I have see some sweaty men putting up a booth and then start selling with major b.o. and sweat stains. I have observed women with the most messiest of hair dos and no make-up complaining about how their sales are so poor OR question "why are so many people trying to barter with me?". 3. Make your booth pop! Are you selling at an art fair or at a flea market? Think of all the things that makes one show more elite than the other and you'll see it is all about the way the art work and craft is displayed and merchandised. Find a happy medium where you don't get people commenting more on how beautiful your booth is than your work. And on the other side of the spectrum that if the booth is too plain where items are just sitting on one table with no style or class you also will loose customers attention. Just think - your booth is much like a mini boutique and when people shop at boutiques and nice retail shops - they want that experience. When store names like a Godiva Chocolates, Crate and Barrel, or The Gap you automatically think about what they sell and how it is presented - the same should go for your work/business. Using good lighting, a styled theme, organized merchandising where your products are on different eye levels and more should be everyone's goal. The one thing that can make or break ones booth is to have it look like all the rest at the show - think about ways to make it memorable and you will surely find buyers verses passersby. 4. Use positive language. I usually get customers and other craft artists, when I do shows, ask, so how are sales today? I usually say "its too early to tell" or "I have made some sales, but I won't know until the end of the day". Whenever someone asks a question they are testing you to see if you are more successful than the others they have encountered that day. If the weather is at least nice (and sales aren't) mention how you can't remember such a good day as today and to thank customers for coming out in such nice or bad weather too - changing a situation to a positive one. If someone shrieks about something they think is over priced, calm the situation and explain what makes the piece unique and why people buy it, never giving into their opinions. Just as there are many situations that could result in negative responses, figure out ways to make a negative situation good. 5. Have realistic expectations. I am referring to setting the the bar too high regarding expectations that could result in loosing focus on the prize. Set simple and realistic goals when doing shows or in handling business decisions. The more you are able to complete simple goals the better you will feel when it comes to your overall businesses success. You can't expect every customer who enters your booth to buy, every show can't be successful (even if past shows were always good), and every show can't always be just right for your product. The sooner people realize nothing in life is guaranteed and each person holds the key to their own success, the more likely you are achieve any goal you have your mind set on. I am a big advocate of good customer service because you want people to have a good time, have a memorable experience to want to come back, don't you? There are so many times I see a snowball effect when one upset customer or artist rants to another thus creating and uninviting aura, an almost a dead zone where no customer would venture into. The sad thing is many don't even notice it happening and blame it on other factors when the most obvious answer is right in front of them - how their inability to exude success hinders their own success. As we move forward in our art/craft show seasons, don't let the economy or other factors greatly affect how your shows will go as you can exude a positive successful business in times of uncertainty. Please think about some of these ideas and try to apply just one to your own craft business. You may be surprised to see that if you do exude success you will find success. Check out more topics like this on my own blog - ! Thanks - Michelle

Read more…