Portraits of Imaginary Friends and Other Impulses

Festival Burn Out

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I love art festivals!  Truth is they are sort of an addiction, I love the feedback I get, even the not so good feedback, it makes me smile and laugh. I love going to them festivals and showing at them.  What I don’t love is the setting up and breaking down.  If I am doing this alone, which I do more often than not it can take me easily 3 hours to do each.  So add 6 hours onto 6-9 hour show day.  I showed at an awesome festival last weekend.  LeucadiaArt 101.  Its a fundraiser which makes it twice as likely that I will do a show, and it draws a big crowd.  I got a ton of compliments on my artwork.  I sold three prints, four tiny paintings, and a framed charcoal.  Sounds great right?  I rarely sell that much in a day. Total was $130 in sales.  It could be worse, I couldn’t tell you how many zero days I have done at shows and festivals.  But here is the catch…each show costs money to do…from small town fairs ($25-75) to largely attended long going festivals ($100-$500).  Plus there is often the cost of hotels, gas and eating on location.  Not to mention my materials, sales supplies, and hours of work sitting at the show, and hours painting.   There are shows I do very well at, but these are also very pricy to do, and when I break it down no matter what show I do, I tend to make less than $3 an hour.  How many people love to work less than $3 an hour.  Yes there is a price to doing what I love.  When I come home from an art show I often need to spend the next whole day in bed, because the long day and the lifting and carrying and packing and unpacking has left me exhausted.  I know I need to get my work out there, and I often get residual sales from shows at later dates, but not sure if I can physically handle the manual labor of art shows any longer.  I think I will be done with them…for the year.  Except for the awesome one I will be doing in Vista next month.  That’s it…one more for the year…am I listening to myself??  I doubt it.

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