Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday Mosaic: The Social Side of Craft Fairs

curated by Susanne from enchantedhue

Mini Fabric Art Quilt by JessicaBurko
Take A Chance by McDonaldMixedMedia
1 Inch Do Collar Hugs and Kisses by codyscreations
Eclectic Cowl by ladydyefiberarts

As independent artists, we choose our venues carefully. Showing at a craft fair or arts' market is not for fun, it is our business. We sign up because we want to show our art and make revenue. After all, it's not a hobby, it's our way to make a living.

Sometimes, revenue is not quite in correlation with the time and effort we put into participating into a particular show.

But there are always upsides. Even if we barely make the tent fee, we get to meet customers. Explain our process. Get people excited about our art (even if they don't buy right there and now). They take our business cards, might make a purchase online or come to an upcoming show and even bring friends. The seed is started.

The other part, especially for us who are members of Boston Handmade (or any similar group for that matter) is the fact that we are being recognized as a group of artists. Serious artists, who work together, show together, and promote each other.

Sharing a space with a jewelry artist this past weekend has taught me so much about the intricacies of working with metal, lost wax technique, and how one ends up with a unique design. I watched a wax mold being created and was blown away by the amount of time and patience and work it takes to transfer that into a piece of unique jewelry.

We had some very fun people walk into our tent. We saw incredible outfits. We had very profound conversations. We had some people leave our tent with a boost of belief in their own creativity. We found some unbelievable sources of inspiration. We had some people leave in awe of our ability to transform *simple* things into the works of art they are.

And, last but not least, we had an outstanding time just being part of that incredible group. Sharing. Hugging. Joking. Pulling each others' tail. Helping each other out. Learning a new skill (knitting instructions still are a bit iffy for me ;) ). Getting new inspiration. Learning about the other's art and being able to relate that to customers.

It's not always about money. We are passionate about what we create. And we are equally passionate about our fellow members' success. And as a member of a group like Boston Handmade, each of our fellow members' pieces is like one of our own. This is the beauty of taking part of a group show - we honestly appreciate each other, and we promote each other without jealousy and with true appreciation of our respective artistic rendering.

Think about that next time you visit an arts' show! And a big *Thank You* to each of you who visited us this weekend at The Vintage Bazaar!

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