Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Art Fairs are a Tough Way to Make a Living.

Hi there. How are you? Me....I've been better. 

2 years ago, I quit my teaching job. We moved 300 miles away from home, so my husband could start a new career. I was hoping to make art a full time gig in our new surroundings. 2 years later, I'm feeling dejected and pretty lost. Full time artist, I am not. 

Art fairs were part of my full time artist plan. I had been doing a fair or two each year while I was still teaching and had much success. (I won "Best of Show" in the first art fair I ever participated in.) Now....I'm not so sure about the art fair gig. Let me explain.

I spent this past weekend participating in an art fair in Chicago. This should have been a good show for me, or so I thought. It was a well run, well promoted fair, with a great reputation in a well-to-do Chicago neighborhood. I was surrounded by high caliber artists and I was excited. Conditions seemed ideal for sales. 

Before I get to the bad news,  I'm happy to report that I did sell this Male Cardinal original! (I knew this guy was special and would sell quick. I did this piece just a week before the show.) Otherwise, this fair was a bust..... I  didn't make enough money to cover the application and booth fees I had to pay to participate in this show. This was the second fair in a row this summer that I've lost money doing. Ouch. 
I've had bad art fairs before. Plenty, in fact. But there seemed to be a very logical reason why those shows turned out bad. The show was poorly promoted, the fair attendees were not my target demographic,  or I was placed in a really bad spot with no traffic. There seems to be no excuse for this one. It's hard not to take this one personally......I start questioning my skills as an artist and a salesman.  I wonder if it will ever be possible for me to make it as a full time artist. I have my home town art fair in 2 weeks time. This usually is my most profitable show every year. But after 2 really bad shows, I'm even worried about this one. I'm losing my confidence.

There are plenty of people out there who make their living at art fairs. I have some ceramicist friends that have been doing the art fair circuit full time for 20 years. I just don't think I will be one of those people. It is so much work and travel for so little reward! I know I don't have the constitution for that!

I'm at a crossroads. After 2 years, I've spent much more money on fees, travel expenses and supplies than I've made participating in art fairs. My credit card debt is ballooning and it doesn't seem fiscally responsible for me to continue to pursue many more art fairs. Matt and I can't afford for me not to make money!  If I'm going to make it as a full time artist, I need to find other revenue streams....But where? This is my current struggle. I'm feeling pretty lost right now. 

Don't worry, I'm not giving up, but I have to find a better way. Ta-Ta.

Friday, August 16, 2013

A Birdie and Bucktown

"Female Cardinal" 8" x 8" mixed media on cradled hardboard, $150.

Hi there. How are you? 

Yep, I went there....Another bird piece! This one features the female cardinal my favorite feathered friend. I know that most prefer pretty red male cardinal, I like the female's "mohawk" and her slightly rounded form. Are in you interested in purchasing this cutie? Do get in touch. 

Next Weekend: Bucktown Arts Fest!

Next weekend, Matt and I will be packing the Element and heading up to Chicago for the fabulous Bucktown Arts Fest. Join me Saturday August 24th and Sunday August 25th, from 11 am to 7pm in Senior Citizens Memorial Park. Find me in booth #18, which is located right on the park grounds. I'll have some brand new work debuting here. Hope you can join me!

And last but not least....
I've got a birthday coming up over Labor Day weekend. I've decided to celebrate with a "BOGO" print sale in my Etsy shop. Details forthcoming. Be excited!

So, ta-ta for now. Do enjoy your weekend friends! 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

New Lockets!

Hi there. How are you?

I'm really excited and proud of my newest collaboration with the lovely Cat of Polarity
She's created 4 new lockets and a bracelet, all featuring my work. 
Each locket comes with an initial charm and 3 interchangeable magnetic faces. 
That's 3 necklaces for 1 price! Score!

Two of the lockets feature floral designs. 

The other two feature my chair illustrations. 

The chair designs each come with a lid featuring an inspirational message.
This locket is a great reminder to slow down, take our time and just sit with it!

She's also created a bracelet! Cute, isn't it?

All of the new magnetic locket sets and bracelet can be purchased in Cat's Etsy shop.
  They ship directly from Cat's studio in New Jersey and she's ships crazy fast! Hope you love 'em. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Bird Nerd

Hi there. How are you?

This is my brand new piece featuring Matt's favorite bird, the Tufted Titmouse.
Anyone who knows me at all can tell you that birds are about that last possible subject they'd expect me delve into. You see,  I am anything but a "bird nerd." Actually, birds pretty much gross me out, and I've had several traumatic experiences with my feathered foes. There were two different encounters with nests of dead baby birds, I've been crapped on while inside a moving car, and was traumatized by a bird that continually flew into a window at my childhood home. 

So why on earth would I choose birds as a new subject? It has a lot to do with my husband, who has blossomed into a full blown "bird nerd." 

He's built a bird sanctuary outside our living room window.

Birds of all kinds are attracted to the squirrel proof feeder.

I have to admit that I do like to join Matt in his through the window bird watching. They don't freak me out so much when there is glass between me and the birds. I've actually grown fond of the hummingbirds and female cardinals that frequent our feeders. And believe it or not, I'm about to start another bird piece!

"Tufted Titmouse" measures just 5" high by 7" wide and was created with collaged paper, black ballpoint ink and a little touch of rusty orange colored pencil. If you are interested in purchasing this piece, do get in touch!

Do you have a favorite bird you'd like to see me tackle? Please let me know!

Until next time. Ta-ta!

P.S. My blog address has changed! This blog is now a subdomain of and lives at