An Open House is very different from an art festival on many, many fronts. For starters, there's no booth fee! However, just like a good art festival will spend your booth fee on marketing and infrastructure, you must do the same for yourself. I printed and mailed a postcard invitation, and provided food and snacks for my customers and my guest artist (photographer Laura DeNardo). Those expenses added up to $318, which is still less than the booth fee of most good-quality art festivals.
The time and labor requirements are very different too. The middleman known as my car is eliminated. I only need to move my display and pots from one room in my house to another room. Much easier. But, and this is a big "but," I also have to remove the furniture from my living and dining rooms, and thoroughly clean the place! The net result is ... setup and takedown for an Open House takes more time than taking my display and pots to a festival site. Here is my living room transformed into a showroom, and my guest artist, Laura, with her photographs.
For the first time, my gross sales at the Open House were actually higher than Artscape. After factoring in all the differences in cost and time, I earned $46.81 per hour. In other words, the Open House blew away all other forums for selling.
This is officially the end of The Hourly Earnings Project! Looking back, I'm really glad to have undertaken this year-long exercise. I am earning a respectable wage for my work, and now I know it. Looking forward, it'll be nice to get back in the studio without a stopwatch.
I may not put the stopwatch away for good. I plan to add an online storefront, on a small scale, to my business next year. So possibly at this time next year, I will write about the hourly earnings of online sales.
Happy holidays to all! It sure feels like winter now, it is fr-fr-fr-freezing here in Maryland!