Updated: Mar 7
Today I received my package of registration for the Old Florida Celebration of the Arts, in Cedar Key, FL. held April 4th & 5th. It is a juried art festival featuring 120 fine artists and craftsmen. Bill and I are looking forward to the event, and hopefully, it will be a great show. Cedar Key,FL. is an island community on Florida's Gulf Coast 60 miles SW of Gainesville on Hwy 24. This juried event attracts 20,000 visitors annually and offers over $18,000 in prize money and purchase awards. This event has been rated as one of the top ten fine arts festivals in the nation by ArtFairCalendar.com for the past two years. To be invited to exhibit art is a true privilege. Cedar Key's beautiful natural setting, outstanding artist amenities, and the friendliness and hospitality of the volunteers make this a favorite destination for both artists and art lovers. The town's beachfront City Park is filled with music, children's activities, and food sold by local non-profit organizations.
I have been to Cedar Key, FL before, it was many years ago. I liken the place to what one might think of old Flordia being like. It is very laid-back, quiet, quaint place where there are no mainstream fast-food restaurants or high rises. Cedar Key itself is on a peninsula. One road in, one road out. I remember the few restaurants they have are all very good, the people are friendly but you can tell they love their quiet lifestyle. Once when I was in a shop that sold canvas bags, I was having such a hard time trying to decide on which one to purchase. The owner/artist said no sweat, I really don't need the money. I retired here and just do this to keep me busy.
I think many shop owners would agree with that statement. I also remember there not being any large white sandy beach or large waves. The shoreline and waves had a more "lake" feel to them than the ocean.
How does one go from creating art in your home studio to selling art at a market or art show?
What do you need? How do you find places? people? things? What does it take? Who answers all your questions and how do you know if your art is going to sell? How to price it? How to collect and pay sales taxes? What is Square? What is Zapplication? Do I need a website? and if so, which site builder do I use? Crazy making huh? I think just because of all the hoops you have to jump through and the material you need to read then decipher this can cause many folks to just say, it's not worth it. I suppose to some that would be true, but to me, just like the owner of the small canvas shop in Cedar Key, FL. I wanted something to keep me busy, spark my interest, and perhaps pay for my art habit, which included my art supplies. Then if I were really lucky not only my supplies but my travel too. To me, this would be a win, win.
In early January 2019, I was in an office waiting room when I saw the brochure for Public Markets in Chattanooga, TN. After contacting them and following their acceptance process, I had taken my first public steps to sell my art. Yes, I had tried Etsy. I received no interest for 3 months. Besides, most of my art is 3D and I really believed my art would sell better if it were shown up close and personal rather than on a computer screen.
Once excepted as a vendor by the Public Markets here in Chattanooga, you are then able to register for one or more markets in the Chattanooga area. Longevity to the markets and attendance is taken into account when deciding who gets what spot where and at what market. It's kinda like first come first serve thing.....sort of.
My first year selling at the markets here in Chattanooga was for the most part pleasant but not profitable. On the other hand, I did learn a lot and I kept practicing my art and learning new things. I got lots of compliments like "That is so beautiful, I've never seen anything like it", and "Wow, this is really cool", etc. I suppose the best advice I got from another vendor was, "What are you doing here? you need to be at Fine Art Shows".
Stay Tune as my journey continues....