Life As An Itinerant Artist

Stories and anecdotes from fifteen years on the art show circuit. 

Art shows and the state of the art

Competition at shows is fierce…

…and it’s not getting any better. There are many more art fairs today than there were twenty years ago, and many more artists. Competition for the art dollar at these venues is fierce. That’s why I’ve chosen to focus my work on a few distinct areas — namely western landscapes, urban architecture, and American icons. By defining a specific body of work, it is much easier for patrons to make a decision based on their emotional connections with the work.

When a customer visits my show booth, they often become intrigued with “where” — not an uncommon occurrence for a landscape photographer. They will try to guess the location of a specific shot, or several shots. I like to play this game, too, as it provides common ground for us to discuss the finer nuances of a print, as well as for me to determine what kinds of images they like to hang on their walls.

Once we’ve started this dialog, people often find that my library of photographs runs deeper than they might have imagined. I may have photographs of a favorite place that I’m not displaying at the show, due to space limitations, or I can shoot images on assignment, or “commissions” when requested. I can also ship a print, framed or matted, anywhere in North America, saving them from having to carry it about the show.

I maintain several Web sites and links in numerous others to allow my work to be seen as often as possible. Today, it’s about channels, and marketing, not just about being an “artist”. Sure, being independent and traveling about taking pictures is fun! But when the shoot is over, the real work (and fun) begins.

See my site at http://www.parkerparker.net for my online gallery and buying information.

For some interesting history and outdoor stories, check out http://www.dakotakid.net

August 2, 2006

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