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FestivalNet, Asheville, NC

Selling Online: Good Photos Are Key

by Julie Cochrane, posted 10/13/20 10:35:55   category » Inspiration
Selling Online: Good Photos Are Key

Upon landing in your online shop, your photos are the first thing that speaks to your customers about your work. If the photos are out of focus, pixelated, confusing, or poorly lit, you've lost a potential customer. If you don't take the time to share excellent photos of your items, don't wonder why you aren't making any sales. It is the most important thing about online selling; good photos of your work pay off.

Fortunately, you don't need to be a professional photographer to take decent photos of your items. 

If you are using your phone to take photos, it is a good idea to research online camera guides or tutorials that match your phone type and camera program. For example, many smart phones offer 'professional' settings to give you some control over lighting settings or white balance... Some do not. A little research can go a long way in presenting your items as they deserve.


Get a tripod.

Whether you are shooting with a camera or smartphone, an inexpensive small table top tripod will ensure a steady shot.

Natural lighting won't let you down...

...but using the flash always will. Flash photography will change the colors of your items, create glare, or otherwise misrepresent your craft, period. Using the flash also creates unwanted darker shadows. So, set up your display near a window, or if you go outside, take your photos in the morning or afternoon when the sun is not directly overhead.

Open your camera's manual and learn about the white balance setting.

It's easier than you think, will only take a second, and you will be glad you did when your pictures are brighter and cleaner. If you use plain white for your background, make sure it is truly WHITE by white balancing your camera. I often see grey-white, underlit backgrounds and it looks terrible. (Another great solution to giving your stuff great lighting: try googling "creating your own at-home lightbox" for photographing small items. It's easy and cheap to make your own mini photography studio!)

Place your items on non-distracting and complimentary backgrounds.

You don't want to use colors or textures too similar to your item that will cause it to blend in. Contrasting elements will make your item stand out, but choose wisely and make sure the placement of your artwork "makes sense". Being consistent with your backgrounds will help brand your shop. Time after time I see people's household items in the background and it looks completely unprofessional and draws the eye away from the item being photographed.

Take photos at various angles.

You will want to include a close up (using your macro setting on your camera will help you achieve clear close ups) when you list an item to sell. Take advantage of uploading as many pictures as allowed per item! Let your buyer see your item completely so they know what they're getting. I see so many people just uploading one photo of their item. Those people shouldn't wonder why they aren't making any sales either.

Bonus Tip For Framed Art Pieces.

You will want to check out this blog post: 5 Online Tips to Show Your Art in a Room


Good photos = more online sales. Bad photos won't get you anywhere.

 

Pictured Above:  Jewelry by Gerina Shop
I like many of these shop photos, they are clean, sharp, naturally lit, and non distracting. She uses shells and pennies to give the shopper context, a great idea!

Take some time to look around the marketplace to get ideas for your photos! (Or to see what not to do.  😎)

Keeping Art Alive in the Bayou City

by Julie Cochrane, posted 10/09/20 13:27:12   category » Virtual Festivals
Keeping Art Alive in the Bayou City
I have seen a variety of virtual festivals come and go since Covid & a few have stood out as works of art themselves; when the creative intention behind the activities and offerings are a true testament to the festival's love of art and community.

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ~ Maya Angelou

Such is the quote on the "Active Imaginations" page on the Bayou City Art Festival's website.  Here young artists can watch and learn very cool art projects. A couple of the videos were taught by an art educator at the The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Kids can download color sheets and score the recipe for colossal bubbles.

Enjoy performances from the festival's musicians and consider giving via their virtual tip jars! Get to know artists on the Happy Hour page while learning new mixology tips. The Art Crawl page gives you artist studio tours and art project clips. Of course you can peruse all the festival artists and click to visit their websites and until October 11, you can participate in the Art Auction! 

Many of the Bayou City Virtual Art Festival's happenings will still be available on their web site the rest of this year.  Take some time to appreciate the hard work and dedication to keeping art alive this trying year!



When and Where

Now! Auction Closes October 11th.
Online:  https://www.artcolonyassociation.org

10 Tips for Creating Captivating Booths for Art and Craft Fairs

by Amy Amdur, posted 10/06/20 14:23:05   category » Craft Fair Vendor Resources
10 Tips for Creating Captivating Booths for Art and Craft Fairs
Now that events are slowly beginning to happen again, it’s time to shake out your tents, dust off your display tables and consider updating your booth to attract the most shoppers at arts and craft fairs!

Here are some tips from veteran art and craft fair producer, and long time Festivalnet.com Amy Amdur of Amdur Productions. (Photo from Amdur Production's Gold Coast Art Fair in Chicago, Illinois.)


1. Plan It!

Use graph paper or a computer layout program. Plan each wall, know the sizes of the work you intend to show. Hang pieces that stack on a vertical midline, and pieces that are side by side on a horizontal midline. Aim for symmetry.


2. Frame It!

Try to have harmonious framing so that the public's attention is on your work, not on the frames. Instead of showing one style of artwork, you really want to show a group of work. It could also be by subject matter. By having one or two frame styles it keeps the focus on your booth.


3. Size Matters!

Hang a large impact piece or two of your art in the center of your back wall. It can help bring people into your booth and support the sales of your smaller pieces. When people are walking by your booth at an arts and crafts fair you have only about 5-6 seconds to grab their attention! Displaying that larger, eye-catching piece at the back of your booth helps slow down the crowd and draw in shoppers.


4. Jewelers and Those with Smaller Craft Pieces

Consider displaying photo blow-ups of some of your favorite work on the back wall and the front lower sections of your cases. That helps fest goers ‘see’ your work from a distance which makes them more apt to come in for a closer look.


5. 3D Artists

Use multiple display levels and pedestals to showcase your work at craft fairs. A more sophisticated layout is on multiple levels. Consider a vase or a sculpture in this instance.


6. Signage is Important

Use signage which reflects your work, not just a generic name sign. Velcro backed individual letters on fabric panels are a great way to display your name as well. For example, if your palate is a "deep green" find a sign which matches your work. You can even take that same look and put it on your business cards! Bottom line: signage shouldn’t be generic, but specific to you.


7. Include a Ground Cover

Solid color carpet remnants or throw rugs create an inviting atmosphere and don’t have to be expensive. Duct tape down all sides for safety. People often forget the ground when setting up at arts and crafts fairs and this will help make your booth stand-out.


8. Remember to Weigh Down Your Tent

Connect the weights to the upper cross bars of your tent so that your hard work doesn’t blow away. Wind is a force to be reckoned with at craft fairs, and it really doesn't take a lot of it to ruin your tent.


9. The Tent Itself is Important

A heavy, commercial grade tent with a sky light is best for most artists and crafters. These have stronger structures to hold walls without sagging. And, a sky light creates a brighter interior which makes for better viewing of the details of your work, like color and texture.


10. Use a High Director’s Chair

Choose a director's chair in a color which works with your booth. A higher chair gets you on face level, not belt buckle level, with your customers. Remember, your booth serves as an onsite gallery at arts and crafts fairs and a high director’s chair looks like an intentional design element. .

Gotta Love a Drive-Thru Fair!

by FestivalNet, posted 09/30/20 12:17:30   category » Festival Food Vendors
Gotta Love a Drive-Thru Fair!
If you are lucky enough to be near Winston-Salem this weekend, you'll want to start getting hungry now and make a plan to get there!

The Carolina Classic Fair didn't close their doors this year because of Covid. Instead they designed a fun-for-the-family drive-thru style event to help celebrate the food and community that fairs typically cultivate. Twelve food vendors will be serving up fair faves that will be ordered touch-free and then picked up at the food and merchandising station.

"It’s about bringing as much of the Fair to the community as possible in a time that we cannot hold our traditional Fair. We hope that you enjoy what is put together with the current state of the country and our available resources. We are excited to work with existing Fair food vendors and support their livelihoods that have been rocked during this pandemic." - Event Website

The Fair put together this helpful video to explain the route and activities to enjoy for the Drive-Thru. Kudos to Carolina Classic Fair! Have fun!




When and Where:

421 27th Street NW
Winston-Salem, NC 27105

Thursday – Sunday: 11 A.M. – 7 P.M.
October 1 – 4, 2020

https://carolinaclassicfair.com/

Festival Season Taking on a New Meaning

by Julie Cochrane, posted 09/24/20 12:42:55   category » Virtual Festivals
Festival Season Taking on a New Meaning
One awesome benefit of our virtual festival "renaissance" in America is that many events are keeping their doors open much longer than their typical in-person festival day or weekend. 

Bloomington, Indiana's annual Fourth Street Arts Festival created a convenient online platform to proudly showcase the musicians, artists, community information, spoken word, and entertainment groups that would have been the pulse of the in-person event.  Since 1977, Fourth Street Arts Fest is typically a 2-day event over Labor day weekend drawing thousands. This year, the popular event is now 'online' until the end of this year!  This will give the artists more chances at sales, exposure, and networking.

In these difficult days, supporting each other is the best thing we can do to keep morale and livelihoods afloat. Art Festivals are the lifeblood for the artists in that community, and supporting those artists by buying their works keeps the artist thriving. A Community's art scene is only as healthy as the individual artist. We hope more art festivals find a way to highlight and support their community's artists so that we can come out of this time strong.



When and Where:

Now until December 31, 2020
https://www.4thstreet.org

"Sing, dance, have fun & be safe!"

by FestivalNet, posted 09/23/20 14:55:02   category » covid-19
"Sing, dance, have fun & be safe!"
Celebrating festivals that can still happen during this unprecedented time has been so eye opening - the inventiveness, the creativity, the gusto. How so many festivals who can, will, keep shining their bright light for the music and wonderful times that only a festival can provide. 

Coming up quick is the Delaware Friends of Folk.  With the state of Delaware's helpful guidelines giving shape to how this outdoor event can take place,  Friends of Folk website lists its rules for campers and attendees to follow.  In true festival form, their final rule asked patrons to "sing, dance, have fun & be safe!"   Take a look at other guidelines that allow this Delaware festival to take place.



Delaware Friends of Folk COVID-19 Rules

  1. There will be handwashing and sanitizing stations located throughout the fesitval site. The portable toilets will be sanitized regularly and hand washing stations will be provided in the restroom areas.

  2. Social distancing is strongly encouraged, please respect each others space at all times and stay within your group.

  3. Masks are required at all times in the main gathering area unless you are standing within your group or seated at the stage. While walking around or visiting vendors we asks that masks or face coverings be worn. Vendors reserve the right to ask customers to use a mask when shopping in their booth.

  4. Childrens activities will be limited to lawn games only.  We encourage you to bring personal items from home  to occupy your children. There will be no staff supervision and no arts and crafts area this year to promote social distancing.

  5. There will be wooden spools to designate areas for your group in front of the stage. If these are taken, you may claim a spot 6 feet away from other attendees not in your group. There is plenty of viewing room and space to enjoy the stage.

  6. For those camping, masks are not required in your personal campsite. Campers have plenty of space to spread out, please take the time to pick a spot that ensures proper distance from those not camping with you.

  7. Take notice of signs throughout. They are there to remind you of the guidelines.

  8. Please stay home if you do not feel well, or if you have been in contact with anyone that tested positive within 2 weeks prior to October 2nd 2020.

  9. Please review again. Delaware Friends of Folk reserves the right to ask attendees to leave that may  be endangering  the safety of others.

  10. Sing, dance, have fun & be safe!


We here at FestivalNet wish your event all the best, Friends of Folk! 



When and Where:

The 29th Delmarva Folk Festival will be October 2-3, 2020.
Location: 352 Downs Chapel Rd, Clayton, DE 19938 (near Hartly)

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month in Raleigh, NC

by Julie Cochrane, posted 09/17/20 16:51:19   category » Virtual Festivals
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month in Raleigh, NC
El Pueblo is a nonprofit organization based in Raleigh, NC, specializing in leadership development among Wake County’s growing Latinx community. Their annual Fiesta del Pueblo is a colorful and eventful street festival of artists, food vendors, nonprofits and bands, celebrating Latin cultures and heritage.

This year, we applaud El Pueblo with keeping their traditions going with offering many opportunities for people to safely enjoy the festivities while covid continues to limit in-person fun.  This year, La Fiesta del Pueblo has organized 4 events on Sundays during Hispanic Heritage Month.

"La Fiesta de El Pueblo has always been a time to come together as a community to celebrate our culture, our work, and our people. This year we are all seeing the effects of a virus so dangerous that a Fiesta like in years past is simply not possible. But that does not mean that we cannot continue to celebrate and be together in other ways!"

Tune in on Facebook Live to enjoy music and dancing from local talented performers straight to your feed, and if you're in the area, come spend an afternoon driving through a fiesta full of delicious foods to try, artisan crafts to browse, and more!

For a Drive Thru Map and all other event information including performers and artists, visit ElPueblo.org/fiesta.  



When and Where

Follow them on Facebook for happenings!

9/20/2020 and 10/4/2020

2 Drive-Thru events
9/27/2020 and 10/11/2020  1-4 pm

Parking lot of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC
1924 Capital Boulevard
Raleigh, NC





"The Powwow is Coming to You!"

by Julie Cochrane, posted 09/16/20 13:18:08   category » Virtual Festivals
"The Powwow is Coming to You!"
We've seen many virtual festivals this summer make their debut to the world wide web as covid prevented in-person gatherings for most states. While we all know virtual events can never replace the real thing, we celebrated the ingenuity and creativity that so many events have presented to their friends and fans.

Non-profit Organization Indigenous Cultures Institute, who works to preserve the cultures of the Native Americans indigenous to Texas and northern Mexico, is proud to present the first ever virtual Sacred Springs Virtual Powwow

You will find labeled tents on the event's website to tour the various event components, including vendors, dances, and raffle. 

"Our physical event typically boasts an attendance of 6,000+ but this year's pandemic made hosting such an event unsafe. But this isn't enough to stop our 10-year celebration! This year's virtual event will feature performances by hundreds of dancers, traditional drums & singers with featured native vendors of arts, crafts & more...." 
source: sspowwow.com

Take some time this fall to enjoy the singing and dancing competitions, raffles, giveaways, and native culture and storytelling, all in a unique centralized experience, featuring tons of ways to get involved from the comfort of your own home!


When and Where:

From Now until a grand finale posted on November 21st, 2020
All Online at sspowwow.com

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