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Art Fairs, Craft Shows, Music Festivals, and More
Festival Network Online Newsletter Artist/Crafter Edition -  May 2007
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How to be your Own Booking Agent
By Jeri Goldstein

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Hello FNO Artists and Craftspeople,

Steve Popkin of The Thriving Artist shares an informative article about art shows versus gallery sales.  Check him out online, he has great artist resources: The Thriving Artist.

This month's Featured Artist is John R. Kamerer.

One last thing before I sign off, please rate the shows that you know in our database.  Everyone wants to see the experiences of other vendors.  Let us know if you need help doing that.

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Art Shows vs. Gallery Sales

by Steve Popkin

Art Shows allow you to call the shots for the most part. You decide what you will sell, how much you will sell it for and the language you will use to sell it. This gives you a lot of flexibility in making the sale. What I mean by this is that you can decide on the spot at the art show what will work for you to make the most profit at that particular moment. For instance, the show gets less traffic than expected...create show specials and bonuses to increase traffic and sales. The show is extremely busy...take orders for additional work and commission work.

Art shows also give you immediate cash into your pocket as opposed to sales made at galleries. Galleries may make you wait several weeks to possibly several months or longer to get your money after a sale. This is determined by the contract you have with the gallery. If you are well known in the art field this contract can fall into your favor but for the most part newer artists will make whatever deal they can get to be shown in a gallery. This alone will work against you.

Also keep in mind that the gallery owner is making money from your piece. Typically this could be as much as 50% or more. They will also be showing other artists' work and trying to sell that as well. The gallery owner is interested in one thing and one thing only...making sales. They figure if not your work than another artist's work in their gallery. A sale is a sale. This is the cold hard truth but it is the truth.

The money you generate at an art show is yours and yours alone. Yes, you do have costs but for the amount you could make in a relatively short time, they are negligible. Your costs usually are booth or vendor space, travel costs, time away from the studio, meals, lodging (if away from home) and miscellaneous supplies.

One thing I can definitely tell you is that there is a right way and wrong way to maximize your art show sales. In my advance course I give you all the ammunition to explode your profits at an art show. I also give you the right way to handle gallery sales should you decide to go that route. The point is...knowledge is power. Educate yourself and then you could make an informed decision as to what is best for your circumstance.

Steve Popkin, a veteran glass artist, makes it easy for artists to become successful. Learn the secrets most artists and craftsmen will never know about selling artwork in his complimentary e-course just visit

Featured Artist - John R. Kamerer of Monumental Photography

John KamererJohn Kamerer of Monumental Photography has been a member of FNO for over 2 years and in 2007 his work will appear at 30 festivals.  His photographs of flowers are stunning and vibrant.  He captures color and texture exquisitely.  I particularly enjoy the use of space and depth in his compositions.   Printing his photographs on canvas gives them a painterly quality and, in many cases, also makes them appear 3-D.

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