Interested in participating in your first outdoor art festival but unsure how to get started? We chatted with Crystal Moody, a professional artist working in Springfield, about her journey as an Artsfest artist.
- How many years have you participated in ArtsFest on Walnut? Crystal has shown 4 years at Artsfest. Her first year was part of the Springfield Regional Arts Council's Community Gallery, which was a co-op style booth. It helped her ease into a solo booth space. "It was a low-risk way to start," Crystal says. While the SRAC does not currently offer the co-op space anymore, SRAC artist members (which covers a 27-county region) are able to share a booth space with another artist. The cuts costs because artists can split the booth space, start-up costs, and time involved. To find more information about this, contact Artsfest Coordinator, Bethany Bell.
- How has your booth space evolved over the years? Crystal says each year she learns new ways to adapt her space to fit her needs. She also visits other booths to see how their spaces are set up, and if there are methods she can use to improve her own booth.
- What were some initial set-up costs? Aside from the Artsfest fees (which include the $30 jury fee and the booth rental fee), Crystal says you have to factor in upfront costs like business cards, prints, bags, and signs. And while these cost money at the beginning, Crystal says that they are easy to use from show to show.
- Do you make brand new work for Artsfest, or use the work you already have on hand? Crystal brings her current work (and work that she used in her application process!), but every year, she says she takes notes on what Artsfest patrons say. This helps her curate her work and her customer's needs and wants. She also tries to keep pieces at various price points for customers. "Large pieces bring the people in," she says. "But they don't always sell." Crystal recommends having items ranging from $5 to over $500, and that there's something for everyone.
Other tips Crystal says help make her booth and process a success:
- Highlight where you are from. If you are from Springfield, make a sign that says you are local. If you are from out of town, let your customers know.
- Staying in handmade but keeping a low price-point can be difficult. Prints of your originals are ideal, and Crystal also has stickers (see below), activity books that use her original work in a new, creative way.
- Think about what your customer is there for. If you are at a craft show, they may not be looking for fine art, and vice versa. Cater toward those customers depending on the show.
- If you are from out-of-state, be aware of taxes and other costs such as hotel, driving, and travel. Those can add up! Artsfest is ideal for regional artists because travel isn't necessary.