E.G. Yarnetsky on wed 10 dec 03
I have participated in many outdoor shows, as well as a few indoor
shows over the last 9 years. We were in Michigan City (IN) a few years
ago to see the funnel coming down over the park. We have been in
rain, heat and snow over the years. While it was a good way for me to
get instant feedback on my work, meet some great artists, and generate
some startup cash, my husband and I agreed we have had enough. We
have cut back to 2 or 4, and hope to quit doing them entirely. We have
lost a lot of money making this choice in the short run from not having
those sales, but have faith that in the long run setting up a display
in our studio and selling through shops and galleries will pay off.
When we started to figure in travel time, recovery time, travel costs,
wear and tear on the vehicle and on us, as well as the risk of bad
weather, low attendance, high attendance but low sales, etc., it just
didn't make sense. I enjoy traveling, and it can be a lot of fun, but
I think in the long term it will never bring in enough cash for the
work involved. Will I still want to haul a cargo van full of pottery
all over the midwest when I am 50, 60? It is a question over how I
want to live my life in the future as well as now.
As for the promoters, there are good and bad out there. The bottom
line is that if you feel your life is at risk driving to this show, is
it worth the risk? They have already rented the location and will make
their own choice whether to hold the show, but they have already spent
your booth money and will not refund it. If you hesitate to drive
there, how many of your customers will do the same? Losing money is
tough, but losing your life is worse. It is always your choice. We
carry a weather radio to shows with us now and keep track for ourselves
- our responsibility and we will close if we feel it is needed despite
what the promoter does. Life is too short.
Best of luck!
Darlene Yarnetsky, Mudcat Pottery
PS Take a look at Robin Hopper's Stayin Alive. Some interesting
reading there on selling pots and making a living.