This is the fourth retail art festival that I've chronicled in The Hourly Earnings Project, and I am starting to draw some conclusions that I wasn't expecting. After the first two shows, the big art festival and the little art festival, it appeared that income from art festivals was widely variable and unpredictable. At BAZAART, I made $36.32 per hour. This is the best I've done all year, but still three of the four shows had an hourly earnings value within a pretty close range of each other. The fourth show, which was a stinker in terms of sales, now looks like an aberration.
It's not as unpredictable as I thought. However, what's clear now is that predictability and success come with choosing the right shows. No longer will I rationalize like "well the booth fee is so cheap" or "the person in charge is so sweet." That's not enough substance for me to commit my time. Substance comes in the form of location, venue, expertise, longevity, reputation, time of year, and the quality of the art. I'm lucky to live in a region with lots of good events, but for every good show there are half-a-dozen wannabes. It's not always easy to see the difference, so I thoroughly expect to snore through some more duds along the way. But if I charge myself with making good decisions, I think I can make the outcomes predictable most of the time.