THE REALLY GREAT SHOW THAT WASN’T: Thoughts on Getting Over It and Moving On

My biggest local show to date was last weekend. I’m still recovering. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. I set up my very professional-looking booth. Those of you who read my sad tale of woe about my pedestal base covers can see that, by staying organized and clean, the lack of covers was not an issue. very professional-looking … Continue reading “THE REALLY GREAT SHOW THAT WASN’T: Thoughts on Getting Over It and Moving On”


Fear Of Missing Out results in so very many, so very bad decisions.   Today’s little Venn diagram from Indexed (by Jessica Hagy) sums up this week’s brain buzz (mine) pretty well: FOMO. Aka, Fear Of Missing Out. Whenever I see an artist who’s more successful than I am, whenever I see a booth that’s busier than … Continue reading “STAMP OUT FOMO!!!”

COMPLETING THE CIRCLE: You With Your Art, Your Art With Your Customer

Yesterday I wrote this column for Fine Art Views. It’s about the excuses we make when it comes to selling our art. (It’s part of a series I’ve written about why you should do open studios. One of the comments caught my attention big time. To paraphrase, the reader said, “Making art is so very … Continue reading “COMPLETING THE CIRCLE: You With Your Art, Your Art With Your Customer”

SELLING YOUR WORK: Far Afield? Or Close to Home?

There are pros and cons to being a ‘local artist’, and many artists opt to ‘get out of Denver’ as quickly as they can. But there are deep reasons to building a local audience first. I got an email newsletter from artist and writer Robert Genn. I always enjoy his thoughts on making and selling … Continue reading “SELLING YOUR WORK: Far Afield? Or Close to Home?”

RESPECT YOUR COLLECTORS Part 4: More Papas, Fewer Babies

Don’t let your cheaper work devalue your finest work. More papas, few babies. Fourth in a series on how to think about your true collectors. I have a friend who’s been in the fine craft biz for over twenty years. He’s in the very best shows. He’s an astute businessman as well as a talented … Continue reading “RESPECT YOUR COLLECTORS Part 4: More Papas, Fewer Babies”

TEN MYTHS ABOUT ARTISTS #3: Artists Starve in Garrets

MYTH: “There’s no money in art, you’ll starve!” Fact: There are ways to supplement your income or even support a family making art. Here’s the third myth from my series called, “TEN MYTHS ABOUT ARTISTS (That Will Keep You From Being A SUCCESSFUL Artist”. “Artists Starve in Garrets.” (What IS a garret??) Corollary: “Real artists … Continue reading “TEN MYTHS ABOUT ARTISTS #3: Artists Starve in Garrets”

CLEANING THE ATTIC #7: Get People to Come to You!

I think the hardest thing about doing a major attic/house/studio purge is hauling the stuff away. It’s hard enough making the millions of choices: “You, you can stay. We still need each other. But you, you and you–you all have to go. I know. I loved you, and a part of me still does. But … Continue reading “CLEANING THE ATTIC #7: Get People to Come to You!”

GOOD BOOTHS GONE BAD #22: Say Something!

Here’s something else that drove me nuts at the show: Vendors just don’t know what to do or say when someone is in their booth or looking at their work. You see something that catches your eye and approach the booth. The person usually says hello. Then….silence. You are aware of their gaze upon you … Continue reading “GOOD BOOTHS GONE BAD #22: Say Something!”

GOOD BOOTHS GONE BAD#19 Chosing Fewer Choices

Let’s go back over the issue of having too much stuff in our booths. I have two anecdotes that I hope will encourage you to pare down your offerings. A few years ago, I browsed another jewelry artist’s case. Barbara Sperling does polymer clay canework, which means once she makes a cane design, she can … Continue reading “GOOD BOOTHS GONE BAD#19 Chosing Fewer Choices”

GOOD BOOTHS GONE BAD #13: Stay In Your Booth!

Today’s topic isn’t a no-no in the sense that it will reduce sales. It’s a no-no regarding your professionalism, and consideration for your fellow craftspeople. Stay in your booth. You have signed a contract for the use of a 10’x10′ space (or however big a space you paid for.) It’s amazing how many people interpret … Continue reading “GOOD BOOTHS GONE BAD #13: Stay In Your Booth!”

GOOD BOOTHS GONE BAD #11: That Free Milk Thing

Today I’ll share some of the perils of selling and demonstrating in the same booth. The subtitle refers to that old adage, “Why pay for the cow when the milk is free?” My titles are getting convoluted, aren’t they? Our state craft guild has a special kind of booth situation available to exhibitors at our … Continue reading “GOOD BOOTHS GONE BAD #11: That Free Milk Thing”

GOOD BOOTHS GONE BAD#9: What’s Your Sign?

Booth signage fills an important role in your sales process. When people are shopping, they want you to be aware they are there, and to acknowledge them. But then they want to be left alone to shop. When they are ready to be sold to, they let you know by asking a question. That’s their … Continue reading “GOOD BOOTHS GONE BAD#9: What’s Your Sign?”

GOOD BOOTHS GONE BAD #7 What Lies Beneath

Flooring for your booth is another big bugaboo artists struggle with. Should you even cover the floor? If so, with what? And of course, like everything else, it should be washable/portable/sturdy/attractive/affordable. A tall order indeed! The first question is easy. Yes. A floor for your booth is a wonderful finishing touch. It takes away the … Continue reading “GOOD BOOTHS GONE BAD #7 What Lies Beneath”


I’m hearing a lot of angst and guilt from folks who are reading this series. People who are ashamed of their booths, or realize they’re making some of the mistakes I’m describing. Don’t be. I can’t emphasize this enough: Your first booth will not be perfect. Alas, neither will your second, third, nor probably even … Continue reading “GOOD BOOTHS GONE BAD #0.1 Just Do It!”

GOOD BOOTHS GONE BAD #6: Let There Be Light

Lighting a booth is such a difficult topic to cover, I was kinda hoping to sneak out the back while you were reading the other essays in this series. But that would be wrong. And I promise that’s the last time I quote Richard Nixon in this series. There is so much I don’t know … Continue reading “GOOD BOOTHS GONE BAD #6: Let There Be Light”

GOOD BOOTHS GONE BAD #4: And the Walls Come Tumblin’ Down

This article will be a long, but not inclusive look at walls. I am not the expert on booth design Bruce Baker is. I haven’t tried tons of different wall designs. But I’m happy to share my own personal experience with walls. I have the unfortunate privilege to have created three distinct product lines that … Continue reading “GOOD BOOTHS GONE BAD #4: And the Walls Come Tumblin’ Down”

GOOD BOOTHS GONE BAD #3: Alice’s Tiny Doors

I talked earlier about booths with so much stuff in them, you can’t get in. This common booth layout flaw is similar. The way(s) into and out of the booth are way too small. I called this essay “Alice’s Tiny Doors” because it reminds me of one of John Tenniel’s illustration in the book Alice … Continue reading “GOOD BOOTHS GONE BAD #3: Alice’s Tiny Doors”


There’s a booth mistake that’s sort of related to the “Too Much Stuff” syndrome. But sparsely furnished booths can fall prey to it, too. I call it the “I can’t come into your booth” syndrome. People need to have easy access to your booth. They need to be able to walk in and feel like … Continue reading “BOOTHS GONE BAD #2: Let Me In!”


It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Mostly, I kept making it hard. Fortunately, I realized I was doing that, and stopped. It’s an ebook, published on Amazon. A compilation of my blog series, “Getting People OUT of Your Booth: Create a craft show environment that helps your REAL customers shop!” It … Continue reading “I THINK I JUST PUBLISHED A BOOK….”

P.S. More on the Shadow Artist Thing

I’ve had a lot of response to my post on shadow artists in my “GETTING PEOPLE OUT OF YOUR BOOTH” series. People keep saying they thought they were the only artists who, as they became successful, found they were losing friends. I wrote an essay about this phenomenon awhile back, called MEAN PEOPLE SUCK #2a: … Continue reading “P.S. More on the Shadow Artist Thing”