Most people who shop at art shows aren't really aware of what goes on behind the scenes or what the life of a festival artist is like as they prepare for a single event or an entire festival season. 🙃
Right now my dining room table looks like this:
Yesterday I pulled out our existing inventory of images so I could sort through them as we prepare for the 2022 art show season. On each stack of ready-to-sell photos is a sticky note intended to help us determine which photos we still want to print, which photos will be on display initially and which ones we don't want to bring with us at all.
I recently completely changed my body of work and so making decisions around this stack of photos has never been as important as it is right now. You can read more about why I changed my body of work in another blog post, linked here:
The change in artwork also resulted in a change of show lineup. 2022 is the first year when we set our sights on BIG or well known art shows like Dogwood in Atlanta, Summerfair in Ohio, Chain of Parks in Florida. We listened to other artists, read reviews online and used the "Top 100" lists provided by Sunshine Artist Magazine to flesh out our events list for the year. Artists don't simply pay to show at these art shows, they typically have to apply to the good ones and wait to see if they get accepted. This is known as the jurying process and it can be stressful, especially to those artists who depend solely on selling their artwork as income. As of this writing, we have made it into Dogwood (Atlanta), local Saluda Art Festival and our first ever Florida show, Chain of Parks. We were put on the waitlist for Artisphere, but that's the closest we've ever been to getting accepted at that show. Before changing our artwork we were only declined. We don't know if ANY of these shows are a good fit for us until we try them. Whereas any show may be excellent for a jeweler or woodworker, it may be terrible for a photographer or vice versa. That gamble comes with the territory.
We are excited as heck about Dogwood. It's in about six weeks and I want to be fully prepared ASAP which is why my kitchen table is filled with photos and notes right now.
We also need to buy event insurance and then a tag for our trailer since we're taking it out of state for the first time. Once the photo decisions are made, we'll pack them up and wait. About a day before the event we'll pack up my truck, pack up the trailer and head for Georgia to see if it all pays off. If you want to see our event schedule this year, here it is:
Hope to see you out there!