Art Fair Insiders

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

Worried about no money for future booth fees...

Well, since this has been a very slow year for me, I cannot apply for any shows for the next season since the money I made went to bills so now I have to wait until something comes in and call the last minute to see if I can get in a show when I have the money. This economy is really taking a toll on me and everyone including the buyers. Will we be extinct within 10 years? I'm not quitting, this is the only thing I know how to do. Also, I hurt myself very badly on my back setting up my booth. I travel myself, and set up myself with a show-off canopy so it is no picnic. My worry is also if I can set up my booth by myself. I'm having a rough day.....Here is one of my new pieces:

Views: 56

Comment by Linda Tenukas on July 21, 2010 at 12:04pm
I hear you, sister. I'm in the same boat. I think a lot of us are. But my two repeat shows this year, were up from the previous (and awful) year, although modestly. I think the tide is slowly turning, at least here on the northeast coast.

By the way, your work is awesome.
Comment by Debbie Sampson on July 21, 2010 at 2:02pm
Thanks Linda, Cathy, I'm in South Florida and most of the co-ops are in Miami, they want cutting edge or cuban art. I don't even show in Miami. Selling art here in South Florida is very hard. I have to travel up north to sell my work and it is starting to take a toll on me. I lost everything last year due to bankrupcy, my house, IRA, savings, I'm penniless and don't qualify for anything. I have lowered my prices so I can make my bills. I have a great boyfriend that I live with that helps me as much as he can when he doesn't have gigs (he's a musician) so I am grateful for him. I just keep plugging away. It's the only thing I know, I'm self-taught. I am going back up to Kentucky for the Equestrian festival in September. After that, I don't know.....
Comment by Richard P Sullivan on July 21, 2010 at 3:27pm
We have established very liberal policies on our events. If you apply to one of our events and are accepted we email you to tell you when booth fees are deposited if for any reason you need us to hold checks we do so. We will hold all fees as long as is necessary. We do require at least 30% to 50% one month prior to the event and ask that balance be paid on arrival at the event. We will continue to do so for the future. check out
Comment by Debbie Sampson on July 21, 2010 at 3:50pm
Thanks Richard. I am going to wait until after my Kentucky show for any future events. I want to be able to have traveling expenses and such. Last year I had to cancel alot of shows due to not having the travel expenses to go to them. I did go on your site and see some interesting shows I would like to attend if possible.
Comment by Bruce Meyer on July 21, 2010 at 4:36pm
Do you have a policy that returns the booth fee to any artist who cancels, at any time, for any reason if you fill that space with another artist?
If you do, then you are doing the right thing and are a very critical part of the solution. All artists thank you.
If you do not, then you are continuing a paradigm that will eventually be the death of the venue.
Comment by Debbie Sampson on July 21, 2010 at 4:41pm
Yes, so true B. When I cancelled I didn't get my fee back. Even when it was medical and an emergency situation. I'm just tired of the whole thing. The traveling, setting up, empty pockets and when you do this yourself it gets very discouraging.
Comment by Lee Hill on July 22, 2010 at 11:01am
Your work is fantastic... and you may have another venue available to you to supplement your art fair income (or lack thereof). I'm struggling myself to sell any painting over $100, but there are rich folks out there, willing to spend money. They may just not be coming to street art fairs. I can see your work as a mural in some teen's bedroom or in a rec room of a Miami McMansion. This sort of commission might help you weather the poor economy. Best of luck!!
Comment by Debbie Sampson on July 22, 2010 at 11:46am
Due to medical issues I cannot do a regular 9 to 5 job and I don't sit around and eat bon bons, I watch my diet(I weigh 114 pounds) and don't eat sweets. I paint and draw everyday and work off my website, have commissions now and then and sell small stuff on ebay. I'm not going to work at a job for min wage when I have to be building inventory for future shows., murals I won't do, can't go up and down a ladder. I have tried every outlet, I'm in a few galleries/ Michelle, Im not waiting for something to happen, I make things happen, just going to take time. I have arrangements for my insurance.
Comment by Debbie Sampson on July 22, 2010 at 12:48pm
thanks everyone for your thoughts and concern. As they say....this too shall pass....
Comment by Debbie Sampson on July 22, 2010 at 4:22pm
Nancy, appriciate the thought but I'm a fine artist, not a crafter (no insult intended, just stating a fact). I have alot of prints that sell for less then 50 so thats my bread and butter at the shows these days along with an original or two. I stick with one subject, I am known for that and I paint what I want to paint not what the public thinks they want. I have been doing this for over 30 years and traveled all over the country. I stick to were my type of work will sell, I have very high end clients as you call people with more then one home. They have been hit hard also with the economy, they are watching their money just like we are and not digging deep yet. Don't forget, they have alot of real estate that are losing value, stock market, get the picture and they are being hit as well but in a bigger scale then we are. I believe in my work, it will pick up and then we can all wright or type up comments like I have soo many commissions I need help! Meantime, just plugging along. And I can only do a minimal amount of shows a year since it is killer to do for me and I travel alone.


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