A few of you have expressed an interest in selling at art festivals, and the questions usually are: Which ones? Is it worth it?
I don’t think I can answer those questions exactly🙂
I’ve put together a very quick list of resources that you can check out when you have the time to read them. This is a good way for you to get a bit of info faster than I could type everything here. These are resources we’ve used in lining up our event schedule; I’ve also included links to sites where tips and advice are given (none of which are set in stone, so keep that in mind!)
Granted, most of the spring & summer event deadlines have passed, but you can make a note of the ones you’re curious about and walk the shows – Because that is definitely something I recommend and that you’ll need to do before you plunk down your hard earned dough.
Unfortunately, I can’t speak for any events that would be considered ‘indie’ as we have never applied to any – So if any one in the team has participated in Depart-ment, Renegade, Art Brigade @ Fizz, or the Handmade Market @ the Empty Bottle, please share your thoughts!
The resources below are helpful and informative to all, and if you know of any others, feel free to drop us a line or post’em in the comments.
Websites that list art & craft fairs
http://midwestartfairs.com/ This is a huge compendium of events going on in all the midwestern states. By clicking on the calendar of events, you’ll be faced with a listing of events by date, not by state or type of fair or festival. Fantastic site for grabbing a name and Googling.
http://www.caconline.org/ This is the Chicago Artists’ Coalition’s site, and they have the Illinois Art Council’s Fairs & Festivals book here. Most contact info is listed, but more than likely you’ll have to do a search on the name of the event to read more about it.
http://www.indiecraftshows.com/ This is, so far, the only place online that I’ve seen that actually lists shows that are considered indie (and they have some show tips here too!)
http://www.arts.state.wi.us/static/fairs/directory.htm Oh yes. Wisconsin has some choice events over the summer: Art Fair on the Square being one of them.
http://www.craftsreport.com/ This is a great magazine, and they put some of their printed articles online. They have a show finder link on their site.
http://www.sunshineartist.com/ Only good for the occasional show search in my opinion; but you can read some of the featured articles current & archived.
Websites with tips and how tos
http://artsandcrafts.about.com/ You’ll be clicking on a lot of links, but there is a bit of everything here, from tips to starting out, to lists & liks to organizations that deal with your medium. A lite read, but much to read – Redundant to some, but worth a look.
http://www.indiecraftshows.com/index.php As mentioned before, they even give tips. Worth a read.
http://www.theswitchboards.com/switchboards_home.html Really great site, from articles on how tos to forums which are very active!
I think this is good for now :)
And really quick, for many of the events we jury for, we need 3 things:
– Great looking slides for applications (preferably shot by a professional who has experience & a portfolio, because you need to see samples). If JPEGs are asked for, we get our slides on a disc.
– A white tent (I don’t care WHO has said get the blue/green/red one; you need lots of natural light, not casts of colour!)
– A clean, interesting way of presenting your work (meaning your booth setup).
For us, selling our ware at fairs & festivals is a great way to go; plus, we like knowing who’s buying our stuff! We get a kick out of watching people’s faces when they see our booth and listening to all the comments – these reactions are the gauge we go by to see if a show will be profitable, and if we’re on the right track with our shapes & designs for that season.