Art Fair Insiders

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

No drama this time. I need advice from all. From those people I have come to revere: Nels, Connie, Larry, Annette, Barry, Phil, Amy, Geoff,Amy Amdur and staff, Jim, SMB, Diane, Carla, Michele, Lexi, Mike, Barb and, oh Gosh, so many more.

I am not entering this post for sympathy. I need forthright opinions, the best you have in your pockets, please.

Facts: I have been hospitalized for numerous blood clots of unknown etiology. I am on warfarin which is suppose to prevent the formation of any new clots. The first clot is in my chest near my heart. The best doctors believe my body will in time absorb this blockage and that with limited activity at this time it is unlikely to travel, damaging anything like my heart, lungs or brain. End of medical journal.

This precluded me from sending any submissions to any Art Shows this year.

Other than the initial hospitalization, testing and bother, I now feel great.

This is where the serious advice enters. I have ruminated over several options and I know your minds contain many more. Please, help me sort out a solution?

1) I could take Master Courses to improve my trade. Con: $$$
2) I am a Master at fiber. I design, architect and invent with it. I have a patent pending on wearable fiber jewelry that I sold thousands of dollars to customers before I had to be juried. Should I go back and polish this. Pay to finish the patent. But how do I get a jury to place it in the jewelry category. Or would they create another?
3) In studying the world, there is a movement in music, literature and daily living which calls back simpler times and appreciation for doing it yourself. I believe this will benefit the Arts. Dare I say it, but some highly skilled crafts may be more in demand in our continuing and unabating economic conditions? Can Art Fair producers see this huge trend and respond? Yes, even the wealthy are loosing their pensions, portfolios and pomp. Should I follow?
4) Is it time to do "home jewelry parties" and find a gallery or two? Stop traveling.
5) I miss the circuit. We finally bought the best darn tent with 400 lb weights. Our booth gets raves and we enclosed in glass a section we were to premiere this season. We bought a Lexus V-8 that pulls anything in grand comfort. We have a great account with everyone. I was even redoing my website and had the instructions ( thanks to Diane Ferguson ) for a Facebook page. My growing repeat and loyal clients were increasing. And I owe so much to Amy Amdur personally and professionally. Can I just jump back next year with fresh and daring jewelry?

I am counting on you.
My computer comes home from the repair shop tonight. I entered this by iPhone. Desperation is the mother of Invention......I just can't do that to Herodotus! He said, " Haste is the mother of failure. "

So don't be hasty!

All my thanks,

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Comment by Linnea Lahlum on February 25, 2013 at 11:58pm

I would do whatever creates the least stress and provides time for healing. You might think you are ready for something that is challenging: but having been in such a situation myself, you should allow your body to call the shots for a while. Give it time. I remember thinking, “I can’t lose a season,” when all I did was delay my healing (AND lose the fees for shows I should not have applied to).


Remember that art can heal. Do we as artists forget about this? Try a different medium, one that is not tied to sales or needing to be sold. Keep a journal. Don’t think, “I have to use this time”, let the time unfold and see what happens.


The new vehicle, tent, and display will still  be there next year.

Comment by Nels Johnson on February 25, 2013 at 10:23pm

Amy, you just gotta carry a bunch of band-aids in your pockets--I am on it too, and nick and cut myself all the time.  But I survive, no problem, Nels.

Comment by Amy Ikenn on February 25, 2013 at 7:51pm

Linda,  I would take the time off and be creative.  Another note, warfarin will make you bruise easily and the slightest paper cut will bleed like crazy.  When I am at shows I am always getting little bruises and scrapes and I cannot imagine how awful they would be in that situation.  My husband had blood clots and actually had to use an electric razor until the blood thinners were over.

Good Luck!

Comment by Larry Berman on February 25, 2013 at 7:31pm

Sorry to hear of your health issues.

I like the idea of having new work. But as for applying to shows, I'd recommend sticking with promoters you are on a first name basis with so you stand a better chance of a refund if the health issues persist.

Larry Berman

Comment by Jacki Bilsborrow on February 25, 2013 at 4:17pm

LInda, we seem to have had several members here that have had to endure set backs this past year.  You will survive.  Why are you getting blood clots?  It does seem that I have heard of several people getting them.  I know it is serious. 

Personally, maybe you should spend time working on a fabulous new line of fiber art.  There is no reason you can't jump back in when you are able.  How long do you have to take it easy?  Get well soon.

Comment by Elle Heiligenstein on February 25, 2013 at 4:07pm
I think you can jump back in next year with fesh jewelry and pick up where you left off, why not? Will you be able to travel and do fall/early winter shows? If so, start applying to those now. In the meantime I would contact as many galleries as I could and high end boutiques to do small trunk shows that you can safely handle. I have survived much more serious trauma. I almost died four years ago in a horrible domestic violence incident. What I did was allow my body and mind to heal and then slowly got back into everything I was doing before, sans the fiancé from hell. I started anew with a completely different prospective on life. I think you will be just fine with your art, just take it slow and only do what you can safely handle. If yo have the time take some of those classes too.
Comment by Nels Johnson on February 25, 2013 at 4:05pm

Jump back in fresh jewelry.  Take the leap off the cliff.

That is what I did with my new work last fall.  Best wishes, Nels.

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