East Lansing Art Festival was my first out of state show this season - on May 20, 21, 2017. I was invited back to this show as an award winner from last year. I decided to go back to this show in spite of the really traumatic experience of having a bunch of my paintings stolen last year. I was overwhelmed by the support of the community, the sheer number of people who reached out to me, shared the stolen pieces on social media, the efforts of the ELPD to recover them and the art fest. I was really hoping for a more positive experience this year.
I had sent out 20 postcards to collectors & fans from last year to promote the show. I was also a featured artist on their social media & one of my pieces was shown on a TV ad airing in the area. I was excited to show off my new style of mandala paintings & I was also bringing another large elephant piece! I have a new line of florals I started creating in 2017 I was excited about showing in East Lansing.
We got there around 7 pm on Friday night for set-up. I had paid for a corner booth, way back in January. But on arriving we found that we did not have a corner as planned. It was very disappointing as I had brought inventory & planned for the lay out of my booth based on having a corner. Similar to Elmhurst, we were able to set up only the tent on Friday. We didn't want to leave any inventory in the booth overnight. We stayed in a nearby airbnb for the weekend and it was ok.
The weather was also iffy this weekend with a little bit of rain on both days. However people came out and bought! My biggest sellers were the prints on Michigan state & the Spartans logo. I also sold quite a bit of the Block M prints :) I was thrilled to see so many people remembering us from last year & more than 5 people who signed up for my email list were already on it!
There was an awards session along with dinner on Saturday evening. We were so exhausted from the drive, set-up & long day in the wind & rain that we went to bed at 8.30 and slept for a solid 10 hours. The take-down on Sunday went by quick & the load out was easy. I was also able to drive the van to my booth on Saturday & Sunday mornings to hang the paintings.
We only sold a single original small 6"x6" painting, while we were closing up on Sunday. It was a little disappointing to not sell any originals, but at least we sold enough small items to make it a decent show.
The director was apologetic about messing my corner location & I am not sure if having a corner would have made any difference in sales. We were home by 10pm on Sunday and though I wish we had done better, I don't have any complaints. Only regret was not being able to purchase an art piece from another artist that I liked - hopefully I will see them in another show where I make enough sales so I can choose to buy art too!