Join the Festivities


Do you attend art festivals? If you are an artist, do you participate? I've participated in quite a few (and still do, though not as many now that I have a gallery). Here is my take on what it takes to be a "show artist."

First, you have to be a production manager, making sure you have adequate inventory ready at the right time. Next, you become an expert moving company, packing all your tents, panels, tubs and precious cargo (art) into a van that was made to carry 9-year olds to soccer games.

After you arrive at the scene (park, field, parking lot, stadium, arena, venue), you then switch to construction worker and build a tiny gallery out of said tents, panels, etc.

Next comes the main act, entertainer, teacher, sales person. As you meet new prospects and explain and promote your wonderful art, the time you worry: About the weather. Will anyone come? Will they like your work? And, you NEVER forget you have invested weeks and months in preparation, let alone thousands of dollars

When the show is over you go back to expert mover, pack up and go home. Hopefully, with lots of cash in your bank account.

BUT ITS FUN! You meet fabulous artists. Serious collectors and it is very inexpensive advertising.

If you have guts and a strong back I would recommend it. A few caveats however.

1. Beware of a show's first year.
2. Talk to other artists who have attended (more than one).
3. Start slow. Small local shows first -- build up to the big shows.
4. Keep really tight control of expenses.
5. Collect names & email addresses. Build your database.
6. Put pictures on social media before & after.

Jacki Cates1 Comment