Sweet Earth Vineyard show 2014:
Last saturday was my first show in a vineyard. Well, actually we were in the cold storage room at the vineyard. Thank goodness because it was HOT as hell outside! But only if you definition of hell is in the mid 90’s. That works for me as my melting point is 90. I am no good in a sauna, a sweat lodge or most hot tubs. I am good with snow, but we won’t see much of that for the next few months.
One of the great things about showing is getting a chance to meet your audience and other artists. It’s always nice to sell a piece or two as well as swap ideas about technique and marketing. Making these kind of connections is worth the effort. One of my fellow artists had seen my winged chairs on my blog! I was thrilled… looks like my work is being seen. Which is in keeping with my personal philosophy of art… it’s meant to be shared and seen. If you are an artist trying to make it on your own, you need to market yourself. Not always a task artistic minds are willing or even able to do.
Even though the show ran from noon to 5, it was weeks in the making. Or years if you go back to when I actually painted a few of the pieces. Then there were days spent getting ready for a 5 hour show. The matting of prints, reframing certain pieces, going over my inventory, creating and finishing new work. After which it was pack for the show, haul to the show, unpack and set up…. do the show then pack up and go home and put it all away. A mighty effort!
It was fun seeing people’s reactions. They really got a kick out of sitting in the chairs. The few times I demonstrated how sitting in the chair did something to the work itself (by actually sitting down) the reactions were priceless! Most were surprised at how I had suddenly sprouted wings. They had to give it a try.
I do find it hard sometimes to figure out what people want and then weigh that against what I want to create. As an example, the winged chairs make people happy but should I keep making them? Do I have room to store them all? Should I take my friend’s advice and sell them or better still, donate them to a children’s hospital? Now that the idea has taken flight, where should they fly to?
I’m currently trying not to worry about the big picture. I think it will come to me eventually. Having spent much of my art career considering what to create that will SELL, I am forging new pathways in my mind. I’m now focusing on creating for the sake of my SOUL. Creating as a form of expression, a link to my self, a personal journey. And along the way, I’ll be happy to sell a card or print or portrait. Monetary compensation is a form of appreciation and does much to keep the artist (or anyone for that matter!) motivated.
If you are interested in any art seen on my blog, feel free to contact me of course… I have prints and cards for sale. I’ve done Etsy in the past, but you have to really work that site to keep it going and you have to provide your own materials (prints and shipping). But soon I’ll be on an art print site where you can order directly the size you want, including frames. I promise to post that link as soon as it happens.
Melding the artist mind with the business mind is tough. Right now, all I’m thinking about is getting back to my easel. I have an idea that needs painting!