This past weekend I did my 5th art show of the season at the STONEWOOD VILLAGE ART FAIR in Brookfield, Wisconsin. I have been doing this lovely show for 4 years now, and this weekend really brought home just how much the slow economy is affecting sales for artists and crafters!
It is a very well run show, and takes place in a delightful New England style setting of shops and restaurants, winding paths, and a central plaza. It is a juried art show, and each year the quality of the artwork being exhibited gets better and better. The show offers jewelry, garden art, glass, photography, painting, ceramics, fiber and a lot more.
It seems that the slow economy is not only affecting the sales of exhibiting artists, but also the number of people attending the show. Saturday started out a bit "drizzly" weather wise, but by noon it turned out to be a gorgeous sunny, not too hot day! I was amazed at the very low number of people attending the show. Sunday we had another gorgeous day for the weather, and while there was a bit bigger crowd, there definitely weren't that many people carrying packages....unless, of course, they had a tiny purchase tucked into a purse or pocket!
I talked to many of the artists at the show and they all were saying the same thing.....sales were "way down", not only at this show, but at others they had already done this season. It seems this is a trend that has been going on for about two years now. Will it get better.....?? We as artists and crafters certainly hope it does. My creating is a passion with me, as I know it is with many other artists, so I'm not about to "throw in the towel", and stop creating....anytime soon!! I've had one fantastic show out of the five I've done so far....so everyone just needs to keep on doing what they love!
Several suggestions for taking some of the cost and risk out of doing shows in these slow times are:
Limit the number of shows you do.
Do shows in your immediate or close surrounding areas. Saves on gas and overnight lodging expenses.
Do shows that have been good for sales for you in the past.
If possible, pick one day shows instead of two.
Stay positive and cheerful at all times!
It would be fun and interesting to hear from artists in other states and areas, to hear how the "slow economy" is affecting your art/craft shows sales and experiences, if any!
Be sure to leave a comment!