I had my largest art fair just this last weekend in Kerrville - 4 days. There were 200+ artists that were juried into the show and they tell me there were records crowds that braved the record heat but people just weren't spending much. I brought cards, prints and originals of course to sell and the only thing that sold were the prints. I made my entry fee, which was large, plus a bit more, but I was hoping for another good year like last year and last year's crowds were down because of the flooding we had.
So my guess is people are holding back on spending and cutting corners where they can until they know what the economy is going to do. Gas is up to $3.79 a gallon here. I drove the 2 hours each way every day and I'm glad did as I saved on a hotel expense. I noticed too that food at the fair was a dollar more than last year. I think everyone is feeling the crunch.
I talked to other artists at the fair and got the same from them. Some did better - the pottery sold well. Some artists mentioned they didn't see their usual followers from Houston, Dallas and San Antonio - it has to be the gas prices keeping people closer to home. We saw more locals at the fair - that makes sense - staying home for the holiday but finding something to do.
On the plus, side it is always good to see faithful clients and old friends, fellow artists that I have done shows with before, and it is always nice making new friends.
One thing that I took exceptional joy in was watching the faces of people that were looking at my art - even if they didn't buy it - they all seemed to enjoy it. Some would be very serious and admiring, others would smile and call their friends to come and look too. I always got comments as they left my booth saying how beautiful my work was, or that I'm a fantastic artist, or what great work I do. That is always nice to hear. Thanks to everyone who came out - it was good to see you.
A special thank you to my friend and her daughter who helped me set up, my brother, his wife and son who helped me take down and my sister for feeding the animals. Couldn't have done it alone that is for sure!