August 29
2017 by

The Art of the Festival

OK, the list,

…let’s see, where is that list now?

Oh, right, here it is. Table, umbrella, (do I need a chair – for breaks, perhaps), table cloth, cooler (water, snack), tent, tent walls, sandbags, display walls, screws, nuts, bolts, tape, clamps, wrapping supplies; and what am I missing? Right, the art!

Transitioning from sales and events in the studio to outdoor events is challenging. It’s time-consuming. And between these two factors, there’s the consideration of branding, labeling, consistent pricing, and business cards; followed by other marketing factors such as product photos for promotions and online stores.


But with summer festivals and events, the experience of meeting potential customers and patrons, and learning how they interact with your work, is one of the most valuable experiences for an artist.

I’ve learned a lot about what people may be looking for at a particular venue, and what they see in my work. Because ultimately, for me, that is was art is about, communication and having a dialogue about the work and the visual language itself.

I want to know about the reactions to my work, from decorative work to abstract pieces. If it’s a shot of a pear, sometimes I hear it’s a “lonely pear” – or a “juicy pear”, the timing of which has to be just right in order to capture the perfectly ripe pear; and ultimately are we talking about a pear, or the fast pace of our “fruitful” years?

Which leads us to the artwork itself, what should the artist display at an event? As artists and craftsmen, do we have more than one product line? Is it fine art and/or home decor? Choosing the right venue for the artwork is key.

Speaking with experienced artist vendors is crucial. Speaking with the event coordinator is important, too. Also, if you’re an artist, keeping your supply list updated after each event will help you improve your display and stay better organized for the next event.

So here it is, the end of summer, only a few days of outdoor festivals remaining. Then onto the holidays. As I transition from outdoor back to indoor events, I will have different options, considering what I’ve taken in thus far – and now is the time to do that – already.