Time to decide – May Shows - Go South or Stay Home? The rainy season has definitely started in Seattle and we are thinking we really wanted to cut the rainy season short with a road trip to Northern CA. Earlier this year we decided that staying in the Pacific NW for all of our shows didn’t make sense, too many months with marginal shows, too many gloomy months, time to head south and enjoy some sunshine while working!!
After lots of research using this site, Art Fair Calendars, AFSB, FNO, etc. we’re more undecided than ever before. We keep hearing that California shows are not worth the drive (over 1000 miles from Seattle), Arizona is still economically depressed, Nevada has few good shows, so what do we do for May and September? We’re tired of setting up for rainy Seattle shows, but we don’t want to waste our time or energy heading to Northern CA only to be disappointed and feel like we’ve wasted our time.
Here’s our dilemma, I’m still working that “corporate job” while trying to help my husband as much as possible establish his niche in the art show markets. I have quite a bit of vacation leave, but it's quickly used up with travel to shows. He’s the primary artist, I’m the “class A” personality with a few pieces of art, but my contribution is more in the bookkeeping, organizing, business planning, etc. BTW, did I mention my corporate jobs have been in finance, accounting, process re-engineering and sales support? So no, I’m not a full time artist, but totally supportive of my artist husband and trying to do everything possible to make his art career a success.
We started doing community art shows / art walks in late 2005, graduated to a few fine art shows in 2007 after we spent a few frustrating months realizing the community events were NOT our market. We have a reasonably predictable schedule in the Pacific NW after the past 5 years of participating in fine art shows, but have a few months a year with few or no show opportunities, hence our idea to expand our market and try a few shows in Northern CA. We’re a bit tired of the “gloom and gray” of Seattle and the thought of an extra month or two (May and September) of sunshine was worth the travel.
Are California shows really as bad as I’m hearing from other artists in this area? Do we take the risk? How much vacation time am I willing to burn on this experiment? Or do we decide to use our airline miles and just have fun on a quick getaway to the sunshine?
Trying to decide if we need to try a different direction for 2012 and would appreciate any feedback or insight.