This week I took part in the Grand Cities Art Fest 2015 (my first art festival ever). This is a regional juried two-day outdoors art festival that (conveniently for me) takes place in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks. I was accepted several months ago, and taking part costs a couple hundred dollars. I was nervous about the investment, but I felt it was worth a go to gain some local exposure of my work, and potential sales.
The weather, thankfully, behaved for the most part. I did sell enough to essentially break even for my entrance fees and the cost of my canopy. I also received a lot of positive feedback from various lovely and interesting humans. However, I did discover that the energy, set-up, organization, etc. involved in taking part in this sort of artistic adventure didn’t seem worth the investment. I am glad I gave it a try. However, I think festivals just aren’t the ideal venue for my work.
I tend to describe myself as an outgoing introvert. I can connect with new people, I can converse politely with strangers, and engage an audience with my art. While I do love talking with people about art, meeting other artists, and all that loveliness, for me, at the end of the day it is utterly exhausting. Hour after hour of social interactions with strangers in the hot sun takes a lot out of me emotionally and physically for some reason. The first day I came home at 6:30 pm and fell asleep by 7 pm, and I was out for the night. I didn’t even eat dinner.
I did meet several other local and regional artists who are fantastic people and I am grateful to have met them. And in the grand scheme of life, maybe someone will have seen my work there and it will lead to some other artist opportunity. That being said, I am glad I did the Art Fest once, but I do think once is enough for me.