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Thread: Art Festivals vs. Craft Fairs, resources and markets

  1. #21
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Art Festivals vs. Craft Fairs, resources and markets

    Quote Originally Posted by John Layton View Post
    Bryan - your experience pretty much mimics mine these days. I have a sense that things are not getting better, and that this might reflect some overall cultural changes. But I also feel that all is not lost!
    John, thank you so much for chiming in. I was hoping you would. It is very interesting and informative to read about your experiences there.

    That is unfortunate about your latest drop in sales. I am also interested to see if I get any after-the-fact sales. Like other festivals, I gave out lots of cards, but previously I have not had anyone contact me later.

    I also need to make a website for my work. I have a business page for commercial work, but not my prints. In terms of social media, I have been playing with Instagram for a while now and am slowing building a base of followers. That is the "in" thing these days. Facebook is old news and not great from a business perspective. It's also generational so YMMV.

    I definitely like getting in front of people and talking about my work and my experiences. Most of my photos have a story I tell about them when people are interested in them. I am also a very good salesman, usually.

    Similar to your note cards idea, I am planning on 4x6 postcards for the future - I want to make 4x5 contact prints and use the bottom inch for wording. I'm thinking stencils using transparencies to put the city name or "Appalachian Trail" or whatever. I have used Ilford's postcard paper before to send friends and family photographs and they love them.

    Thanks for your kind words and encouragement!
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  2. #22

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    Re: Art Festivals vs. Craft Fairs, resources and markets

    The Schedule for some Art Shows Florida.
    Season in Florida usually ends at the end of April to early May, people head north. Starts to get hot and rains a lot, then you head north or shutdown till possible late October to early November.

    http://www.artfestivalbethel.com/
    January 27-29: ART FESTIVAL BETH-EL, held inside Temple Beth-El in St. Petersburg, FL.

    http://www.mountdoraartsfestival.org/
    February 3-4: MOUNT DORA ARTS FESTIVAL, held in downtown Mount Dora, FL. Booth #D-027 on Donnelly Street.

    http://wpsaf.org/
    March 16-18: WINTER PARK SIDEWALK ART FESTIVAL, held in Central Park and along Park Avenue in Winter Park, FL.

    http://tarponspringsfineartsfestival.com/
    March 24-25: TARPON SPRINGS FINE ARTS FESTIVAL, held in Craig Park by Spring Bayou in Tarpon Springs, FL.

    http://www.sfspringarts.org/
    April 7-8: SPRING ARTS FESTIVAL, held in the Northeast Gainesville Historic District on NE 1st St. in Gainesville, FL.

    https://www.mainsailart.org/
    April 21-22: MAINSAIL ART FESTIVAL, held in Vinoy Park in downtown St. Petersburg, FL. GOOD CROWDS, 43rd year last weekend

    http://www.melbournearts.org/
    April 28-29: MELBOURNE ART FESTIVAL, held in Wickham Park in Melbourne, FL.


    Artist/Photographers that do the rounds
    Jane Axman - Photographer, been around for a several of years, do a web search on the name for various websites
    Marius Moore - Photographer, mariusmoore.com , nice unique photos
    William T Underwood - Drawings, williamtunderwood.com
    Nels Johnson - Photographer does Florida in the summer and MI in the winter, www.nelsjohnsonphotographer.com
    Alann Jordon - Artist ironplanetstudios.com
    timothy hall - Photographer good work priced to sell, I do not think he charges enough for his work, timothyhallphotography.com


    Areas on the Gulf Cost of Florida that have the influx of Northern folks during season
    Sarasota
    Marco Island
    Tampa
    St Pete
    Cape Coral
    Venice
    Destin
    Questions and comments are always welcome

  3. #23

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    Re: Art Festivals vs. Craft Fairs, resources and markets

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    Forgive me but I see no links to a website on your profile...
    My bad. I updated my profile but here is a link.

    www.joshuadunnphotography.com

    -Joshua

  4. #24

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    Re: Art Festivals vs. Craft Fairs, resources and markets

    Landscape art is a tough and saturated market so you have to think broader about the shows. You are basically acting as a pop-up gallery for a weekend with an un-targeted audience. So you need to capture info about your visitors such as email, or provide them a compelling way to follow you. Give a way a free print at the end of the show but have people register for the drawing with their email address, occupation. Make the ticket they fill out have a tear off portion for them that has your web info so they can verify if they won. Then use those emails to thank them for stopping by at the fair, then announce new prints quarterly or new fairs you participate in.

    Do display your gear or pictures of it, and talk about your process with interested parties.
    Read some guerrilla marketing books too for ideas. "Have film will travel" Frisbee might be a great give away for interested parties with kids once they have forked over their email or cash. AT/scenic view beer coasters might sell better than hand printed postcards.

    I can help you with the website coding if you need it. Find a copy writer to help shape your message or tell your story.
    sell your experience not the art. We all know Ansel's story of Moonrise, or Clyde Butcher's chest deep swamp stories.
    Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ... Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. -- Amelia Earhart
    http://www.searing.photography

  5. #25

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    Re: Art Festivals vs. Craft Fairs, resources and markets

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    Just wrapped up another disappointing "art festival" that really trended towards being a "craft fair." There's nothing wrong with crafts, and they are often lumped together with "art," but inherently they have different markets, prices, and customers.

    I am wondering, for those who do art fairs (and specifically are making a significant amount of money in them, as opposed to just showing work for fun and maybe selling a print or two), where you look to find better art festivals that actually have buyers? Are they really uncommon? Are there some keywords or tells that signify a good location/event for this type of thing?

    I have been trending towards "juried" shows, but still often find myself surrounded by booths with birdhouses, garden whatsits, and other crafty items. The good news in my mind is that I seem to have better sales than any other photographers at these shows from what I can tell, talking with them or seeing buyers.

    I know this is a hard market to jump into, especially in this day and age, but I would love to start another discussion with those doing art festivals or selling prints outside of a gallery space, which is a different topic.
    Corran,

    I have been doing art fairs for nearly twenty years, and have been doing them as a means of supporting myself for the last eight. Is it easy, no. Can you make money, yes, but it is not easy. Here in the Midwest there are numerous shows throughout the summer. In the past, I did over twenty shows a season and now Iím down to twelve this year. Show fees range from $125 per single booth upwards to $1000 for a double booth (something I normally try to do.). In many respects, you get what you pay for. Small, inexpensive shows tend to draw more craft booths. I do a couple of local shows that draw more crafters, but because of location and a few other variables, I still do ok. My best shows are generally the more expensive ones.

    Something I learned quite awhile ago, trying one show a year isnít a good judge of whether or not one can be successful. Hate to say it, but if you are going to give this ago, you should really try 8 to 10 shows a season. Itís a commitment of time and money. Jurying is the big question mark in this endeavor. The last couple of years, I was not juried into two of my better shows and my show season was not as good as in the past. One year a show will be a bonanza, the next a disappointment. This year, I was juried into every show where I sent an application. Of course, who knows what the summer will portend. Do yourself a favor, check out zapplication. Itís free to join and the list of shows that uses this jurying system is huge and all over the country.

    There is so much to learn and absorb with the art fair scene. I know numerous photographers that are very successful selling their work, and of course, I know some that are not as successful. While difficult, it is not impossible to make money. At 66, Iím at the point where Iím starting to scale back and Iím seriously considering quitting the art fair scene. Would rather spend my ďretirement ď photographing, not selling.

    If I can answer any questions, donít hesitate to ask or send a pm. Iíve attached a photo of one of my booth setups. As you can see, it is very time consuming and necessitates a commitment.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 19D90ED7-9C52-4A51-83F7-0EFABAF442FE.jpg  

  6. #26
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Art Festivals vs. Craft Fairs, resources and markets

    Quote Originally Posted by esearing View Post
    Give a way a free print at the end of the show but have people register for the drawing with their email address, occupation. Make the ticket they fill out have a tear off portion for them that has your web info so they can verify if they won. Then use those emails to thank them for stopping by at the fair, then announce new prints quarterly or new fairs you participate in.
    This is a good idea Eric, thanks! I will also put together my thoughts on a website and ask you some questions when I have a chance, I appreciate it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becia View Post
    In many respects, you get what you pay for. Small, inexpensive shows tend to draw more craft booths. I do a couple of local shows that draw more crafters, but because of location and a few other variables, I still do ok. My best shows are generally the more expensive ones.
    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences Jim. Regarding cost, I have been looking at one of the biggest shows near me in Atlanta and have been thinking about going for broke in it as it is way more expensive than what I've done...so you've given me another good data point about cost of entry vs. sales. I'll probably do it. I saw some applications through Zapp so that's good to know, I'll look into their system more.

    I've started slow by getting my bearing at these somewhat local shows, but my wife and I have been talking about going all-in with some of the larger shows and regional shows, so your input and thoughts are really helpful. I am very lucky to have a supportive wife who is backing me in this endeavor. We moved up to this area first and foremost to further her career opportunities so she is helping me through this slow patch as a freelancer and experimentation with festivals and such. These few shows I've done were great to help me work out the kinks in my setup and now I think I'm confident enough to work further from home.

    Anyway, I need to absorb all of your thoughts and indeed I may message you with some questions pop up.
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  7. #27

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    Re: Art Festivals vs. Craft Fairs, resources and markets

    Do you mind if I ask you the sizes of the prints you offer, whether they are color or black and white, whether they are matted or framed, and what your asking prices are?

  8. #28
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Art Festivals vs. Craft Fairs, resources and markets

    I am only offering b&w silver gelatin prints, from 4x5 contact prints up to 16x20 enlargements. Everything I have had on offer was matted (usually to a "standard" frame size), though I had a couple of things framed just because they were already in a frame from an older show or exhibition.

    Prices are $40-$200 depending on size. But my pricing is reflective of a variety of factors including but not limited to my area (socioeconomic status), my notability (not very), and a healthy bit of "guessing" . I would love to price my work a bit higher but I was already had the most expensive photography by far (of course the other photographers at these shows had only digital prints). I also had one person, who bought two prints, haggle with me a bit. That's fine with me, I like haggling myself so we came to a mutual agreement at a slightly lower price.
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  9. #29

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    Re: Art Festivals vs. Craft Fairs, resources and markets

    I started showing my photographs in different visual art fairs in 2010. Since then, I sold 2 or 3 pictures.

    I remarked that visitors come to art fairs to see paintings. Not photographs. And even if they like my work (but mostly what they like is they are black & white), they won't buy.

    Maybe you'll think of me as stubborn, but the reason why I still showing in art fairs is not for selling my pictures, but my name (well, kind of...)

    See ya!!!!
    Jeff
    Last edited by Naej; 30-Apr-2018 at 17:22. Reason: Correcting my bad English

  10. #30
    Saratoga, CA
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    Re: Art Festivals vs. Craft Fairs, resources and markets

    If you are going to do art shows the first thing you need to do have a booth that is very professional, presentation is a key element in selling your work. Go to a website like Pinterest and do a search for "Art Show Booths" you will find a lot of examples of what I'm talking about. I've been doing art shows for over 30 years and now have cut back to only a few good shows a year (I'm 74). Unfortunately, selling photography has become much more difficult over the last 10 years and I'll predict is is going to get worse. Back in the 90's and early 2000's selling film based images was lucrative because most buyers knew what it cost to produce a print so were not afraid to spend money on an image. Today you can download a photo from your iPhone, take it to Costco and have a 30x40 canvas print made for what, $100. Everyone is a photographer!
    Can you make money selling images? Yes, if you have outstanding images that are presented better than the competition. The bad news is I've seen a lot of B&W photographers come and go over the years, art show buyers typically are looking for something that will match the color of their couch, drapes, whatever. I've had customers come in with wallpaper scraps, fabric swatches and even pillows.
    Below is a photo of my booth.
    Good luck,
    Mr,Gale
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails P9160102-2.jpg  

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