Wednesday, January 15, 2014

carefree fine art & wine festival, november 1-3, 2013

This was my third juried art festival ever, as well as my third one in 2013.  I had heard good things about this one and was super excited to get in.

Set up was either the evening before or early the morning of the first day of the event.  I liked the idea of going a day before to familiarize myself with the layout of the art fair without the pressure of having to be ready by opening time.  When I arrived, I was so glad for that decision.  It seemed that the organizers are used to so many returning artists that they assumed everyone knew where to go and where to park.  What I longed for was a map of the festival layout with the booth numbers on it.  It took asking several people to figure out where my booth location was and how to get my vehicle there, since the streets were closed for set up.  I felt like such a newbie!

There were three rows of booths and most of us were trying to set up at once.

Once we got to the time when we were allowed to bring our vehicles in and start setting up, it was a little insane.  Some artists were a bit tense, but I enjoyed watching some of the seasoned artists and their relaxed attitude about the whole thing.  Just be patient, help direct the other artists as they positioned their vehicles, and have a smile on your face.

My booth location was right by one of the main roads, so I was able to load my paintings in each day pretty easily and then go park my van in the artists' parking area and walk back to my booth.

The back wall in my booth, with the new sign I made just in time for this art fair.

I admit I had really high expectations for this art fair.  I forgot the admonitions of experienced art fair artists who told me earlier that year that you have to really give it several art fairs before you can really decide how you're going to do.  Besides that, at this particular art fair, the artists around me were quite disappointed by the lower numbers of patrons and the lower amount of sales they were making compared with previous years at the same event.  I think it took into the second or third day before most of them made their expenses.

The beautiful view I had when I peeked out of my booth. :)

I, on the other hand, didn't make my booth fee.  I did sell two of my small original paintings and that is pretty exciting.  The one lady asked if she could take the painting off the wall to look at it more closely, and once I put it into her hands, I knew she was in love with it and was going to buy it.  So that was pretty cool, it really was. :)

An in-the-booth selfie.  It was a little slow...
Overall, I was disappointed with how I did at this art fair.  In retrospect, though, I had much too high expectations for what this art fair was going to do with my art career.  I just need to keep at it.  Paint, paint, paint.  Always painting.  And I continue to explore other ways to get my art in front of people who would like to own it.  I am taking a break from the spring shows in the Valley and will take a look at trying for some again here this fall.

A booth shot from day three.

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