A Year Of Weekends

show booth

my indoor booth setup

It’s the time of year that those of us who make our living, or at least part of it, selling our handmade products at art & craft shows do our annual planning. I admit, it’s one of my least favorite activities. Which shows shall I apply to this year? Of the shows I did in 2010, which ones do I want to repeat? What new shows do I want to try? What shows will provide me with the best market for my particular style of weaving, and my particular products and prices?

How many total shows do I want to do? How much can I weave to produce scarves, shawls, baby blankets, and other handwoven items? How much energy do I have? What if two shows I want to do are back to back — how many times can I commit to doing all the physical work that a show requires two weekends in a row? What about the impact of that on my animals, and on my sister, who’s also my greatest helper?

Too many questions, too few answers. There are no crystal balls. There are plenty of knowns (a show’s reputation, my experience there, location, time of year), but also many unknowns (weather, advertising, weather, the economy, weather, the mood of the crowd, weather).

I try to mix things up every year, both repeating some shows and trying some new ones. I only apply to shows that have a serious jurying process, so that adds another element of the unknown. I can plan all I want, but if I don’t get accepted into a show, it may be too late to apply to the next highest priority on my list of shows.

In 2010 I did 6 large and 3 small shows. I plan to do a similar number in 2011. I’ve now made my decisions on which shows I’ll apply to. And then changed it. And changed it again.

I just need to get the applications together and send them in along with my images. Stop obsessing and second guessing.

Maybe tomorrow……….

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