It seems to often that I get excited about being in a group show only to be saddened and discouraged in the end when I don't receive my work back or get payed. It makes me not want to make plush anymore. I know I am not alone. There is currently a mass email going around to participants of a plush show that was held this summer about this very subject. I've stressed out about this to many times. Here's what I've come up with that I think will help me and hopefully help others avoid this.
It seems that many crafters have had problems with dealers or galleries. The main complaints seem to be having trouble collecting money, artwork is lost or damaged, you are told that no artwork has been sold when it actually has, and that general communication has stopped between you and the dealer.
As artists what can we do to ensure this doesn’t happen?
I think the main answer to that is ask lots of questions. Here are some questions that I think are fine to ask without seeming nosey or annoying.
(At this point you obviously know when and where the show is.)
1. (If you don’t know) How soon before the show opens do you need the artwork?
2. Do you save the box the artwork is shipped in?
3. Do I need to include return labels with my sent artwork?
4. Do I need to pay return postage if my artwork doesn’t sell?
5. Do I need to send return postage with my art work?
6. How do you accept payment for return shipping? (Paypal, personal check, etc.)
7. If my work does not sell, how soon after the show closes do you return unsold work?
8. Do I need to label my artwork? (name, title, price, etc.)
9. Do you take a commission and how much?
10. If my work sells, how soon after the show closes do you send out payment?
11. How do you send out payment? (check, Paypal)
12. Do you need an invoice of sold item(s)?
other questions you might want to ask
13. Have you put together a show before?
14. How many participants are involved?
15. Do you have a website?
16. Is there a press release for the show? If so can I get a copy?
I've created an invoice and inventory file that you might find handy too. I also have this in pdf form I could mail to anyone interested.
I think people will be less likely to take advantage of you if they see how organized and professional you come across and if you start asking questions.
GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE!!!
PLEASE FEEL TO LEAVE COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS OR ANYTHING THAT MIGHT HELP.