Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
For me, this is the best show in the nation for sales.
It is a five figure show for the majority of artists.
They get about 1400 applications and only 250 are picked.
Luckily, I have been in five out of the last seven years. For whatever reason, I jury really well here. And, I have gotten in with 2different bodies of work.
Here are some of the basics about the show.
FW is a high rollers town. Lots of dinero from oil and gas. People here celebrate their cowboy heritage, big time. You will see patrons sporting $500 belt buckles and walking in thousand dollar cowhide boots.
This Show is consistently my best show of the year whenever I get in. The bulk of my sales come in the $30-$150 range. I am a photographer who has done outdoor shows for 45 years. I am no spring chicken. But I can roar. I love it when I have three people at once trying to give me money.
Ok, OK. Enough of that, you can always read my past blogs, which are many.
So Nels how did this year go?
I thought you would never ask.
First off, I am going to do a Tequila Report. Most of you newbies do not know what a Tequila Report is, so I will explain. For many years when I have an interesting experience at a restaurant/bar I make TQ Report. Most Times They are humorous.
NELS will you get on with it!
OK, do not get so huffy.
I woke up Saturday morn and hustled more work into my booth. Usually Saturday is the best day of this show. It can be a $5-10K for many.
A friend walked by and yelled,”Nels, they cancelled the show today, lots of bad weather coming our way.” WTF! I was pissed.
So I made a plan B. I would sleep in at the hotel. At noon hustle over to Mi Cocina and consume tequilas and cervezas while watching the Masters Golf Tourney, Then take a nice long nap, get up and watch a movie on Netflix and go have dinner. A reasonable plan.
Mind you. The whole show was closed down. No exhibitor tents open, no food booths open. Around 3pm I noticed a sliver of sunshine peak thru the dark clouds. It lasted about five minutes then back to darkness. Well, fueled by agave visions and peppered tacos I decided I would open up my booth and see what came along.
There were a few people walking the street. So I peeled back my front tarps and pegged them to the corners. That way, in my figuring, an acquiring patron could get a glimpse at greatness. That is agave visions at their best when you do not have any magic mushrooms. Mind you, I was the only guy open.
Twenty minutes later, a father and son walked in. They glimpsed and bought. Shazam! A $150 sale. By then,I had attracted a fair crowd of fellow artists. They asked, “Nels are you having any luck?” I replied, “Took care of my Tequila bill and now I am working on dinner.” Minutes later the dinner bill got took care of. Sold another. I closed up and hustled back to Mi Cocina for more tequila and watched Tiger work his magic.
So How is that for a truly, true Tequila Report?
How I did at FW and maybe tell you about some of my experiences.
*FW is a long 20 hour drive for me. This year I took two and one half days to get there. I timed it so I got there early Tuesday morn so I could get a Prime parking spot in the garage. I was able to cart everything from van to my spot about 200 yards away. Got the booth up in gusty winds and went to bed.
Early Wednesday, I finished stocking the booth and got the lights up. That day we had 30mph gusts, it was a battle to secure things. The preshow dinner was a real hit. They had rare beef sliders and lobster rolls along with other fixings. Also a killer red Cabernet.
Thursday morn and we opened up to chilly weather with very mild winds. People bought at lunch and dinner time. If you make $1500 that day you are doing good.
Friday, it got fricking chilly. Opened up the booth in 48 degree weather, I think it barely got to 64 that day. I am just glad I brought a heavy jacket with a warm liner. Mind you, I had four layers on, and a lot of the locals were waltzing around in Cotten tee shirts, just a Texas spring day to them.
Friday sales were very steady all day. I stayed open til 9pm. It was worth it. All along, we had seen the weather reports. We knew it was predicted that on Saturday there was a 90 per cent chance of storms. Damn! They were right.
So Saturday I did what I told you in my TR. I was not going to have zero Saturday at FW. So far, I had observed a few salient things. First, the crowd was buying much more Lowend. Did not see a lot of big purchases go by. Second, most of them were carrying very little cash. Rare for FW. Everything was on plastic. That said, I knew Sunday would be momentous day.
This is not a Monday Show. So I awoke, Sunday hoping for a truly great day, and hoping that Tiger would win the Masters. Don’t you love it when a plan comes to true fruition? Sunday was sunny and chilly, and people were out buying. I sold all days. Had some flurries, with people lined up to give me money, This only happens at the best shows. You have to be prepared.
Heck, I was an Eagle Scout with 55 merit badges, I have always been prepared. Most artists had a great FW in spite of losing Saturday. It is just a great show to do.
I hope one day, all of you get to do it. It will take your breath away.
Aloha, I am on to Mainsail tomorrow, gonna do some serious red wine drinking with my buddy Richard who l have known since we played Little League back in 1955.