The state of the craft market

27 June 2007

NAIA (National Association of Independent Artists, is doing a survey, here is their announcement:

Survey Announcement
Trends Among Artists: The Changing Artistic Landscape
Over the last few years, talk among artists is that the art show market place is in
a severe state of depression. Sales have gone down while there has been a
commensurate rise in costs associated with doing shows. The question is, how
bad or good are things for exhibitors as a whole?
In order to better assess what is going on, the NAIA Survey Committee has come
up with a questionnaire, which attempts to cover many aspects of our lives as
they pertain to making a living selling work at art and craft shows. Some of the
questions delve into issues which have to do with debt load and health. Other
questions have to do with attitudes toward the marketplace and the shows. Still
others have to do with future plans.
The responses to all of the questions will eventually be collated and several
statistical tools will be employed in order to look for relationships between certain
factors. This is perhaps the most comprehensive survey of its kind that has ever
been attempted relative to our industry. In order to get the most accurate picture,
we urge you to participate in it.
The NAIA intends on taking a pro-active stance regarding any results of this
survey particularly as they apply to the economic well-being of its members. We
will do this in conjunction with our dialogue with the shows. The preliminary
results of this survey will be presented at the up and coming Director’s
Conference. The voice of the exhibitor needs to be heard and we feel this will be
an excellent vehicle for projecting that voice.
Please help us help you by participating in this project. Our ultimate goal is to
have at least 500 exhibitors complete this questionnaire. The larger the sample,
the more confidence we can have that the results apply to the larger population
of people who exhibit at art & craft shows.
A link with the results will be available on the NAIA website homepage at:
after August 25, 2007 – once the data has been compiled.
Thank you,
The NAIA Survey Committee

At their website you can find a link to the survey and other interesting tidbits such as The True Costs of Doing Shows or info about digital jurying.
Obviously I’m not the only one who thinks there are major problems at the shows. I’m trying to think about what things have contributed to this downturn? Is it strictly external forces, like around 9/11, or have we contributed to the problem too.


3 Responses to “The state of the craft market”

  1. glennis Says:

    Thanks Karren- I went over and took the survey. I’ll be interested to see the results.


  2. Robbie Payne Says:

    Karen, I didn’t see an email to contact you so I’m using this ‘comment’ venue…do you still do workshops/teaching of your shibori? I belong to two surface design groups and we were wondering if you still teach? Appreciate your response. Thanks!!
    Robbie Payne


  3. Judy Says:

    thanks for posting this Karen. I will post a link at my blog. I don’t think you are at all alone in your concerns. What is scarce is the answers about what to do about it.


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