I’ve spent the better part of the week preparing for the Fall Crafts at Lyndhurst, a major 3 day art festival in Tarrytown, New York taking place this weekend. This will be my first time participating in this show which has only recently begun to accept photographers. Why this is I’m not sure, but perhaps it has something to do with the whole “photography as fine art” debate. To be honest, I don’t really care why, and I’m looking forward to a good weekend sharing my passion and enthusiasm for nature, the Hudson Valley, and photography with visitors to my booth.
My studio turns into a rather chaotic environment the week before an art show, and keeping track of everything that needs to get done falls to my assistant (and wife) Brenda. Having someone take care of the details keeps me sane, and allows me to focus on the creative and labor intensive preparation – printing, mat cutting, framing, canvas stretching, spray coating, and many other little things too long to list.
I typically bring anywhere from 25-30 canvas prints in varying sizes, plus 10-15 framed pieces, and about 40 matted prints in 3 different sizes. This is for a local show where I can return to my studio each night to re-stock if I have to. In addition, there are note cards, calendars, and posters to make and bring as well.
I’m also very big on presentation, and spend lots of time designing signs, banners, info material (bio, print info, etc) and newsletter sign-up sheets. I’m a firm believer that your presentation reflects your dedication and professionalism, and I have always taken great pride in these areas. Is it a tremendous amount of work? Definitely, but that’s just part of what it takes to succeed in any worthwhile endeavor.
Those who think it’s as easy as just making photographs all day long then framing a few with a price tag are usually out of the show circuit fairly quickly. And today’s economy is especially difficult for any artist. A long-time show exhibitor told me today that the current economic climate is the worst he has seen in his career, which got started in the 70’s. But I believe those that survive will have to be dedicated, and willing to adapt and embrace new ways of selling and marketing your own work. Another artist recently told me he had yet to see the benefit of having his own website. Big mistake in my opinion. Time will tell…
That’s all the energy I have for tonight…but I am hopeful for a better economic future, and will continue to market myself even more strongly than ever before. Success in the shows helps me spend more time doing what I love to do, experiencing nature and the amazing moments I attempt to capture and share with others.