Quarter Master Marketing
March 14, 2020
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Making A Living As An Artist - Art Shows And Festivals

Author: Administrator
Assuming you are a competent fine artist or fine crafter, and that you create your art with an intention to communicate to others, art shows may be a way you can actually quit your day job and make a living as an artist.

You have to pay the bills, support your family, and make enough money for new art materials. Many artists have found a way to do that by doing weekend art festivals. You travel from show to show, see new cities, meet thousands of people, some of whom buy your art. Sounds ideal.

But don't get carried away. It really is hard work. Traveling can take its toll and setting up a tent and display and tearing it down after the show is just plain slave labor. The trick is to make enough money to pay the bills, buy new art materials, pay for the shows and expenses of the road and still have time in between shows to create your art.

Getting started without vast expense spent on show fees and displays is the trick. We will be doing a series of articles with tips on how to start, and how to find and do a few shows as a test run - if you like it, then you can continue. If not, you won't be out a fortune.

If you know an artist who makes a living doing shows, apprentice yourself to him or her. That's the easiest way to start. Propose to help that artist set up and sell and take down in exchange for showing you the ropes. You'll learn that it is a business - you keep records and pay sales tax and get licenses, etc. You'll get a feel for everything involved.

If you do not know an artist you can apprentice with, visit some art shows, talk to the artists who are doing the show and gather information from them. Most artists are very friendly and willing to talk to someone who is just beginning. And that way you can also see what kinds of artwork is selling and get the feel what an art show is like. Are you willing to stay outside for 2, 3 or 4 days in a crowd of people?

Compare what is selling at the art shows you attend to the art you create. Will the public who attend art shows be the right public for your art? Can you sell your artwork for a price that people at art shows will pay? Three or four years ago people were buying original art for a thousand or more dollars, but during the current recession, that is rare. Do you produce any prints or jewelry or whatever you create that could sell for $20 or less? Can you produce enough of them to sell a quantity that will make an art show profitable?

While visiting art shows and apprenticing, read some more about art shows. Www.zapplication.org has a listing of hundreds of shows, and shows you how to apply, with lots of information about fees and locations. There are magazines written for art show artists - such as Where It's At and Sunshine Artist. Most art shows have their own websites - look up local shows, and read the websites.

This is your beginning. In articles to come we will cover how to chose a first show, get accepted and actually do the show. This is the beginning of your new career.

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