I didn’t mean to take until the end of the week to blog about the Riverside Art Market that I did last Saturday, but I’ve been a busy bee, and frankly was having a hard time wanting to blog about this show. So I’m going to be short and sweet about it: the organizers did a great job organizing and helping, but they expanded this show greatly from last year, and I feel that it now isn’t a show I’d like to do again. They had lots of artists inside the beautiful museum, and last year they had about 10 artists in tents outside on their front lawn. This year they added another 15 artists tents and put us on the sidewalk and in a parking lot across a very busy street from the musuem. Most of the folks who stopped by the booth were the folks from the Museum that either work their or were a volunteer for their Art Alliance, and these were great people to talk with and sell to. However, the rest of the folks were mostly people who seemed to be walking down the street and were happy to stop in my booth while waiting for the light to change, but I don’t think I need to tell you that those folks aren’t usually prepared to stop and learn and possibly purchase art! I’m glad I did the show as I’ve made some new contacts in a new city at a new museum, and that’s great. But this show emphasizes to me how important the surroundings are to me! (Usually the shows I participate in are in a pretty green park or park-like setting).
In the end, I made a fair amount of sales (not proportionate to what the booth fee was, but still it wasn’t a total loss) and was happy to put my feet up at the end of the day!
Oh darn! Those fairs involve such a lot of of effort – for the preparation of products and then a day or two of your valuable time, it is disheartening when they don’t live up to expectations.
I have friends who run a fibre art product business and they have decreased the number of fairs they are going to. Quite frankly, some of the organisers get greedy and either cram too many stalls into the space, or change where they had agreed stalls would be. If there’s not a reasonable profit in it, you have to be making good contacts you wouldn’t otherwise be able to, to justify it.
I have stopped doing outside shows.. getting a bit older for all the work.. Last time it was in the dirt, knowing this I bought some painters canvas, samples of house paint and threw paint at the canvas. then the only thing I had to make sure of is that people did not trip. Everyone liked my “floor Cloth” so much, I was sorry I did not buy more and do the same thing and put them for sale. I could have cut pieces of the painted canvas and sold them and made some money that day… however, it did keep the dust and dirt down… but that was the last outdoor show I participated in. As I tell the artists at the gallery it is not our art, it is the lack of people coming thru the door..with intentions to buy.