How to Get Started in Art Festivals With Your Photography

How to Get Started in Art Festivals With Your Photography

If you have considered diving into the entire world of art festivals, here’s a little glimpse of what to anticipate centered on individual experience. Spoiler alert, it’s not an simple road to vacation.

I remember my 1st art festival. It was in my hometown. I experienced used and been approved various months in progress, which is the norm, and instantly realized that I wanted a entire whole lot of items to transpire pretty quick to display my work there. I desired a cover, walls to exhibit my operate, a lot more do the job printed, and a way to get it all down to the park arrive the day of the competition set up.

The cover I picked up on Craigslist. It was a minimal older and heavier than the newer models but would do the position very well for a number of years to arrive as it turned out. Screen walls ended up yet another make a difference. I quickly identified out that the great-seeking kinds that I experienced witnessed in other booths have been really highly-priced to purchase, so I commenced making my individual out of wooden and indoor-out of doors carpeting from Property Depot. They finished up seeking not fifty percent negative.

Arrive the day of setup, I experienced borrowed a trailer from a mate to get my canopy and booth partitions down to the park. It was not an enclosed trailer, so fortunately, the Colorado sunshine arrived by way of, and I failed to have any problem with rain. All my artwork was piled in the back again of my car.

Looking again, there is so much that I do otherwise now. The cover functioned properly but was a agony to established up, and my do the job was a hodgepodge of diverse factors I had printed and shown in galleries and coffee shops over the a long time with a number of new pieces extra in. But I realized a large amount, and by my requirements at the time, marketed quite a little bit. About $1,500 worth of my work, which was definitely a lot more than I had produced in any gallery demonstrates or coffee outlets up to that place.

I was off and functioning, or so I assumed. So, immediately after acquiring invested the funds and energy to get the required elements jointly, and producing some income to boot, I thought to myself why not do some more exhibits that summertime. I hadn’t utilized to any other people up to that place, so I had to speedily uncover a couple much more that I could put myself into. This is the place I acquired my very first significant lesson.

Not All Festivals Are Developed Equal

The really up coming exhibit was a true back again down to earth minute. It was in a close by affluent group, and I figured it whould be a excellent marketplace. Unfortunately, it was a incredibly hot July weekend, and the demonstrate was established up on an asphalt parking lot with temperatures hovering close to 100 degrees, and to best it off, no clients were coming by means of. I assume I marketed probably one matted piece and a card all weekend.

I discovered in this expertise that most of the better artwork festivals have an application and acceptance process many months in progress. The shows that I could get myself into at the previous moment had been possibly not all that wonderful. There are exceptions, of training course, these types of as reveals with a final-moment cancellation. I also know of 1 promoter that keeps the application procedure open up until finally almost the very working day of the start. But for the most part, you ought to strategy in the spring to get your programs in for the summer season.

The only actual favourable that came out of that present was conference other artists who bought their function in that way, 1 of whom grew to become a good friend that I found could count on for suggestions about artwork festivals in standard.

Build Associations

That was the other lesson that I discovered from that initial summer time. Setting up associations and earning connections with other artists has assisted me uncover much better exhibits to do, having tips and opinions about my do the job and my show, and has made my journey so considerably much more pleasing. They have also supplied useful input on what displays to do and what reveals to steer clear of. And at the worst shows, they’ve supplied me another person to discuss to when no clients had been coming all over.

My good friend from that second present served me discover that there are specified promoters that he avoids. Just simply because the pageant isn’t really a excellent spot isn’t going to indicate it is very well run or is carrying out a excellent task of promotion. He also avoids reveals that are in their initial year or don’t have a reliable keep track of file. Even though he performs in a unique medium, his advice has been a must have.

Be Ready to Start Tiny

I assume one particular matter I could have done in a different way ended up I to start all more than once more would be to get started with more compact displays, these kinds of as 1-working day farmers’ marketplaces, and many others. I did a few compact demonstrates when I began, but I also jumped into some larger demonstrates that might’ve been a bit out of my league to start with.

About time, my operate and my show have continued to get improved and much more refined, and as it has, I have seen my typical revenue go up and develop into more constant, whilst the next issue is some thing that I normally have to preserve in head.

There Are No Ensures

It can be discouraging when people today about you are providing their work and you are not. But I discovered that I just have to bear in mind that in some cases, it’s just not my working day or my weekend. I can be at a show that’s in a terrific location and I’ve finished well ahead of and however have a flat day or weekend. If I do plenty of shows throughout the summertime, it just all averages out. And the clunkers get averaged out with the surprise hits. It’s very a little bit like gambling in a way. You lay down your income and acquire your space and take your likelihood. There are no assures anybody’s likely to appear by and buy your stuff. 

There Will Be Tons of Competitiveness

One factor I discovered quickly is that the artwork festival entire world can be competitive. The even larger demonstrates can be pretty tough to get into. And even if you do there could possibly be an additional photographer throughout from you or down the aisle that has a booth total of enormous, wonderful prints. I have learned to not enable that bother me far too a great deal. I try to acquire the perspective that if my get the job done is distinct more than enough, I’ll uncover my shopper. But it is a constant challenge to make my get the job done as good as I can and to produce my model.

Your Fortunes Can Adjust in an Fast

I really do not know how lots of moments it’s happened. I’ll be sitting there in the middle of the afternoon on a working day or a weekend in which I haven’t completed pretty well nonetheless. Just when I’m acquiring discouraged and commencing to consider I’ll just have to lick my wounds following this just one and move on to the future display, another person walks up out of the blue and would make a large order, and the full day or the complete show is turned close to. You just hardly ever know.

So, there you have it, some of my experiences and observations from the past 10 years of selling my operate at artwork exhibits. If this is anything you are contemplating about carrying out I wish you all the luck in the entire world. And maybe I’ll see you out there.