Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
I recently participated in the St. Louis Mock Jury this past January. Even though I was unable to attend in person, I participated through their webinar. As a newbie, I found quite a few take-aways from this experience. Even though I didn't really have a booth shot to submit, the biggest tips for me were on my future booth shots. Don't overcrowd your booth with too much artwork, make your displays look professional and inviting, don't have any signage or promotional banners showing in your shot, and don't be afraid to crop your shot - you don't need top of your tent showing, lol. The jurors favored those displays that appeared clean and organized. The artwork should be displayed with purpose, not randomly scattered throughout. Some artists had rugs or backdrops, and these were praised when they worked well, but they didn't always work well - so, I guess, when in doubt, leave it out!
On the artwork side, I learned that you need to carefully photograph your work. Have sharp images that are well cropped. I was surprised how many photos submitted looked faded or washed out - not displaying your true colors takes away from your artwork. And, again as with the booth shot, your name should not be showing on your pieces - so take jury photos before you sign your artwork, or photoshop your name out! Also important, submit pieces that show a consistency in your work. If you paint all kinds of subject matter, but have a very unique style that can be identified across all your paintings, that's ok. But there should be something consistent about the works submitted. Note - that doesn't mean they should all look exactly alike! Someone submitted three photos of their artwork that almost looked like the identical painting, and the jurors dinged it for being too similar.
Artist's statements ran the whole gambit! Some were very straight forward - this is what I do, and these are the materials I use. Others sought to explain the artist's motivation or philosophy, some just rambled on seemingly incoherently. The jurors didn't seem particularly biased one way or the other on statements, as long as your submissions seemed to fit with your statement.
Overall, I found the mock jury event to be worthwhile. Even though the jurors did not make many comments on my particular submission, I think I learned a lot in general watching the critique of others, and I would recommend participating in this process to anyone new to showing.