Friday, March 27, 2009

I Survived Art Festivals

I survived art fairs. Having three art festivals in a row turned out to be physically strenuous and intense, but I didn't die from it. Now South Florida season is over, snow birds are back to their Northern nests. I am packing up to leave Miami too. Unlike snowbirds I am heading to the west, California. And I plan to come back to South Florida in the next season. I had started doing art fairs/festival in the worst time of economy, but it turned out to be my advantage. Artists who have been there for many years already had set high prices, whereas I am literally nobody, so my low prices spoke during the events. I really don't know how other artists did at those events because I didn't ask all of them, but from the situations around my booth, things were pretty slow everywhere. For me, things were not so slow. I sold 7 at Las Olas, 4 at Surfside, and 5 at Key Biscayne. In this super slow economy and the fact that I am unexperienced in fairs I take this as a huge success. At Key Biscayine Art Festival, it rained occasionally on the first day. My booth space was uneven so I struggled to set up my booth, but things kept falling apart. Two artists in the nearby booths came to rescue me as they saw me "suffering alone." Because of this, by the time the show started I was still hanging my art. What I learned about avid art collectors is that they tend not to care about the presentation part once they are hooked on to a particular artist's work. Such was the case when this lady decided she was going to get one of my paintings. This orange "Sunrise" linescaping painting was just painted a day before the festival, and it even didn't have hanging wire on the back, so it was on the glassy ground leaning against my panel when she saw it I often can't catch up with installing wires on the back of paintings so I do it during art festivals. I reported earlier this year (you'd have to scroll down to see the report) that color group of red is selling like crazy. This may serve as a continuation of my testimony to my "Red Theory 2009." One week earlier I sold one orange painting and one red painting at Surfside Arts Festival. I think this has something to do with the current recession and people subconsciously seeking redness to compensate the gloomy feeling. I could be very wrong, but I have been running out of red/pink/orange products in the past several months. I think Oas Olas and Key Biscayne were both very good shows. People had good eyes and bought what I consider best of my work. And interestingly but not surprisingly, nearly all buyers were "snow birds" from up north. So I will be back in the next season.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Las Olas - It Was Fun!

Relatively speaking I was very pleased with this art fair in Fort Lauderdale. Since this is my second art fair, I am only comparing this to the previous fair at Hobe Sound, FL. I found people friendly, and surprisingly, everyone I spoke to spoke English! Yes, I've been in Miami too long; I feel a culture shock when I go to English speaking crowd. On the first day I totally ran out of my business cards I thought I brought enough of. I received lots of complements, in which I felt they should tip me instead. On the second day my business cards were going out in a fast pace as well. I sold 7 pieces of art in two days during Las Olas Art Fair II. Since I am inexperienced in art fair, I can only tell you about those two I had done. I feel that Hobe Sound in general was an "anti-contemporary" crowd, slightly (maybe not slightly) shifted toward redneck. Yes, I did sell 4 pieces in Hobe Sound, but in general, people were not interested in my art. People in Las Olas were in a much better mood than those in Hobe Sound. A lot of friendly jokes and interactions took place throughout the fair in Las Olas, whereas I found people in Hobe Sound difficult to talk to. Such people are called "unfriendly" in my dictionary. Another thing about Hobe Sound was that I and my art were being grilled and smoked all day long for two days by the surrounding several food vendors who were cooking massive amounts of food by deep-frying, grilling, barbecuing, stir-frying, and so on. I drove back to Miami with the smell of those mixture of grease and smoke. I am so glad that all art fairs are not like Hobe Sound's! I wish I could look around at Las Olas Art Fair but I had to be at my booth, and also the fair was so huge that I couldn't even go to the other side of the fair with my booth left unattended so long. I got the impression that the quality of fair is rather high, and all artists I interacted with were friendly and kind. Las Olas Art Fair was something I want to do next year again. See more photos of my booth at Las Olas Art Fair

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Americas Quarterly Ad

Americas Quarterly, launched by the Americas Society and Council of the Americas, is a journal dedicated to deepening policy analysis and debate on economics, finance, and politics in the region. The mission is to target the new generation and to engage them in a discussion of future policy alternatives, highlight specific reforms throughout the hemisphere, and provide a forum for the exchange of ideas.

Americas Quarterly printed version can be bought in major bookstores and many of magazine stands. In this winter issue they have started online version. My ad is on page 7.