Life on the Road as a Juried Art Festival Artist

In 2008, when the economy took a major downturn, I started dreaming about what my next step as an artist would be. The dream of traveling around the country in an RV and doing art festivals began to get firmly planted in my head and so it began – the process of turning the dream into reality.

After each of my shows I always treat myself to some days off exploring the area and staying physically active while on the road.

After moving to the San Francisco Bay Area, upon the closure of my art gallery in Waikiki, I started doing non-juried art and street festivals to get practice setting up and tearing down my booth display, working with festival-goers and basically gaining experience with the entire process of doing these types of shows. After a few years of practice, I ventured into the national juried fine art festival circuit, which was my ultimate goal, and began showing and selling my work at juried art festivals around the country.

The shows have taken me to places, near and far, that have also enhanced my love of travel. When I apply to festivals I make it a point to choose parts of the country where I can also spend time learning about the local culture and experiencing the sights or being in places where I can spend a lot of time outdoors, either hiking or biking or just relaxing while taking in the beauty. And of course, taking more photographs for my image archives and artwork is always part of the mix. After each of my shows, I always treat myself to some days off exploring the area and staying physically active while on the road.

These festival shows are grueling, with load-in, set-up, show time, break-down and load-outs depleting your energy from day to day. I’ve always believed in the concept of “work hard, play hard” and I certainly adhere to that protocol when I’m on the road doing my shows.


My art festival booth at Artfest Michigan Avenue in the heart of downtown Chicago.

* All text and images are copyrighted and protected by copyright laws. Use or reproduction of any kind are prohibited. All rights reserved. © 2019 Carolyn Quan / The Happy Little Bird / Dream World Media LLC. 

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