Was: How many shows to apply to?
the worsening economy has apparently caused people to need to do more shows to earn the same money, and some who had stopped doing outdoor shows to resume.
Artists and craftsmen who rely on shows for most of their income ARE
in general applying to more shows. I think that the decline of sales
at shows is less a matter of economy than it is of generational
trends. Art Festivals and Craft Fairs were much more exciting and
profitable ten or twenty years ago. Then there was still something
novel about them and it was the only access much of the public had to
a certain approach to design and style.
I think it is a mistake to think of these kinds of shows as
permanent institutions that will go on forever. The oldest festivals
have been around for 50 years. Many of these are still viable, but
most are on the downward slope of the bell curve.
Things change. Shows were a great way to get started in business
without taking on a permanent retail location. I did shows for many
years and have gradually cut back as other things have worked out
better to sell my wares. Shows got me started, but I have met SO MANY
people at shows who think that this is their only option.
I used to love doing shows when they were good and I would be very
glad to be wrong about this. If it is a cycle rather than a bell
curve, I will be delighted to see the next wave of good years. But I
am not really a pessimist. When I moved on from dependency on shows,
things got a lot better for me.