Last Saturday was the Fall Funk in the City. There are two each year, a spring and a fall. This was the 17th Annual Fall Funk in the City to be exact.
I’ve been doing Funk now for I guess about 4 years. Some years are good and some years aren’t. As goes with anything I suppose. Over the years, I’ve made changes to my booth. Nothing too radical just adding display walls so I can show more art. I had to get another tent at one point, my old one broke. New for this year is a handy shelf my husband made for me for the table. Great, except for I’m too short to see inside the boxes I put up there.
As you can see, the booth is pretty full now. I’ve used up nearly all the space I have available. I better start selling some paintings if I want to start showing anything new or else decisions will have to be made.
That’s how it goes though. It’s actually rare that I sell any original paintings at an art festival these days. At least of anything substantial in size and price. My prints and note cards are my bread and butter. I often wonder how other artists fair. Not any better I suspect, as I don’t see many packages being toted. Although there are always a few that do fantastic.
The good old days…
Long gone are the kinds of outdoor art festivals from the 1980’s where you saw many people happily lugging around the newest painting they’d just purchased from an artist. Ask any show veteran and they’ll tell you those were the heydays. I know this because my dad used to do art shows back then and I’d go with him sometimes.
We talk about his time of doing the shows. He always asks how I did and offers suggestions. I often ask my dad for advice. I’m so grateful to still have him around. He tells me how great it was back then and he’d often sell out or come close to it. I cannot imagine that, it sounds fantastic. He said in the 70’s and 80’s art was exploding.
I think the art buyers are just different nowadays. The older art buying crowd has thinned out. They’ve either got enough art for themselves or maybe an art festival is no longer their preferred way of buying art. I can’t blame them, the conditions aren’t always great for outdoor art festivals. Usually, it’s either too hot or it’s raining. Rare is a perfect weather day for an art festival although we got pretty close this time.
The people I see walking around mostly now are the younger people. Some with kids and making a day out of it. Honestly, I feel like we’re just entertainment to a lot of folks. Something to do that day… without a thought of actually buying anything other than a $5 ice cream pop. It can feel hopeless to many artists, myself included some days.
Furthermore, making a living as an artist is risky. Sales are not constant or even certain. Booth fees for shows like Fall Funk in the City go up it seems each year while sales waver. We have to look for new ways to get our art out there so it can be not only seen but also purchased.
But for now, I continue to do a few shows a year. I do love to talk with art collectors and there’s no better way than face to face at an art festival. Finding the right show is getting more difficult. Many of my past good ones have declined and so I thin them out.
My Fall Funk in the City Booth
Moreover, the newest art buying demographic the Millennial generation I hear is more about spending money on experiences not material things. For example traveling to exotic places. I think that will change some as they age. There comes a time in most people’s lives where they just want to have a nice, comfortable place to call home. Hopefully, I’ll be able to supply that lovely home with art.
Learn more about me on the ‘About’ page
under the additional links menu. I’m an artist – a painter mostly and
an avid gardener. I paint a variety of subjects including birds, koi
fish, my gardens, ponds and flowers as well as anything having to do
with nature especially trees and tropical scenes. I
also enjoy painting abstracts and have started created more and more of
them. My most favorite thing to try to achieve in my painting is is
mystery and telling mystical stories.
If you would like to keep up with what I’m doing, I have a newsletter e-mailed about once a month that gives you special status for invitations, birthday greeting and more. I’d love for you to add your email to my Friends and Collectors list!