Getting ready for Florida 2024
Spending Winter in Florida is one of the great benefits of doing art fairs and part of my job.
This period weighs heavily in what juried art fair I get accepted into. My hope is to be able to do at least 8 to 10 shows in 10 to 12 weeks. This period helped supports me in several ways: financially, artistically and mentally.
The main concern starts with lodging between art shows since the van is my hotel while I’m there. Last year I made the decision of getting a 2011 RV trailer to see how I like it. The trailer cost me $4000 and a parking space in the campground is $375 per month. After doing some price shopping I figured that in two winter trips, it
would pay by himself. It also eliminates the need to ask for help with lodging during my stay in Florida. More importantly it gives me a stable place to call home base. Some people had told me that I was better off staying in the van financially, but I still needed a place to cut mats place orders and eat well. In addition, my van was never meant to stay in for a long period of time and 10 weeks is too long.
The next issue is inventory for 10 to 12 weeks away from home. Luckily my collectors like the drop ship concept. This is one of the best things that printing my photographs in metal provides but it comes at a high financial cost. Drop ship consists of placing an order for the image a collector chooses at the art show and having it delivered in two weeks to the collector’s house which is the biggest advantage for their convenience of not having to carry and transport the artwork from the show to their home. The benefit for me is that they have received their image in perfect condition. The 6.5 X 10 and 12 X 18 prints are calculated guessing games because it depends on how many I sell at each show. What I learned from experience is to print for the year and I cut a certain number of mats to replace what I sell.
As I age, it seems that I need one to two days to recover from doing an art fair, knowing that I will spend the morning of the second day taking pictures. It also helps to relax and go out to dinner with friends at the campground. On the third day, I usually take time to photograph along with me time. Fourth day I take the morning to photograph and the afternoon to load the van for the next show. Fifth day I head to the show and set up.
This is what works for me as a fine art photographer, but I tell people that you need to figure out your own system and do it for a year or two and correct things that make your life easier.