Back on the Market: Made Fest 2021

I’m happy to say that after about a two-year hiatus (thanks largely to the pandemic) I got to do an in-person market again last weekend. I had a tent up at Made Fest, which is part of Pygmalion, an annual literary and music festival in Champaign-Urbana. I honestly spent a big part of the last couple of months preparing (as might have been obvious from my most recent — and lack of recent — blog posts). I finished a couple of bigger painting projects, ordered new prints and stationery, and hand-stitched some new journals, figured out display ideas, bought a tent and some display stands…Thankfully Jake was around to help me load everything up and then set it all out.

The market ran for two days: Friday we were there from 5pm-11pm and Saturday from 12-10pm. I stationed my painting “Golden Afternoon” on an easel at the front of my booth and was pretty happy to see how many people stopped to look at it and then come inside the tent. My booth mate and our tent neighbor were both cool (I hadn’t met either of them before the festival), and I got to talk about my art, get some feedback, and even make a little extra money. The days were definitely long, and I took most of Sunday to recover, but overall it was worth it and I’m really hoping to get into a holiday market or two before the end of the year. (I have one application in now and a couple other leads for November and December, so here’s hoping!)

It’s been a bit of a struggle to even find out about markets that are happening in time to apply for a booth, but I’m hoping as I get my name out there, people will reach out to me, especially as in-person events start to become more common again.

So, yes, overall a positive experience and hopefully something I can get into more often.

Here’s a few pictures from my booth (and me inside):

My “Golden Afternoon” painting
My booth, as seen Friday evening

If this becomes a regular thing for me, I’ll invest in some more streamlined displays, but I’m pretty proud of what we managed to put together!

2 thoughts on “Back on the Market: Made Fest 2021”

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