In the depths of a freezing cold winter evening in Western New York, I decided to apply to several art shows in the surrounding area. I figured it would increase my chances of getting accepted into one or two if I cast my net wide. Well out of the 9 I applied for I was accepted into 8! (I was not accepted into one because I didn’t have a booth shot- which at this point I am grateful for).

When the letters of acceptance started flying in, I was THRILLED not actually realizing the amount of work that goes in to preparing for a festival. What I have learned so far-

  • People are in general pretty amazing.
    • The stories and conversations I have had, have been really interesting and I’ve even learned new facts about the subjects I’ve painted. I’ve only had one person say my work was “too expensive” and no one has ever insulted it (to my face). The “Your work is beautiful” comments really are such a confidence boost. I prefer to say hello, and let them browse my work in peace. It seems to work well, I am getting a good idea of “lookers” vs “buyers”
  • It’s HOT!
    • I just did the Roycroft Arts & Antiques Show and it was 90 degrees. I had a little mister and two small hand fans and was even under a giant oak tree and none of that helped much. I just invested in 4 battery powered fans for my booth to get some air flow for myself and the people that wander in. I have 2 shows this fall that should be much more comfortable. (I am sooooo excited for them!)
  • It’s not about the money, but it is, but it’s not.
    • I am brand new, no one knows my name, so I realize I am not going to be making 5k a weekend, but so far I have been able to make a fairly decent amount to keep this whole dream of mine on track and rolling forward. Most of the money I make goes right back into investing in supplies, and purchasing equipment for my booth (fans, a cart) to make life easier.
  • My family and friends are LIFESAVERS!!
    • I am a perfectionist and I know I am not easy to be around when things don’t turn out exactly as I envisioned. So shout out to my “helpers” who have been there done the grunt work with me and didn’t kill me on the spot! And to my rock, Alan who I have to yell at for trying to constantly give me “enough change”. And my visitors- for their comic relief. My daughter comes to show her support and very loudly will say “I LOVE IT ALL, HOW MUCH FOR THE WHOLE BOOTH” of course people look and it just never get old! ha ha and my nephew who is 5 and buys some art and keeps me company at each show. I love them all!

I’m glad to have a really big show and then a smaller show under my belt because for the rest of the summer/fall I can ease into it and not be so worried about the unknown.

Next stop:

Booth Number: 12-098 here I come! (With FOUR battery powered fans and LOTS of change)