I participated in a local artists showcase in February. One can’t help but mentally list the pros and cons of such a venture. I am no exception. I have mixed emotions though I feel like it was a success. I made money, 1000+ people saw my work, I was encouraged to apply for a show at a local venue but most importantly, I was brave enough to put myself out there. Something else that I have to mention, is the unabashed support and help from my family and friends. You rock! and I couldn’t have done it without you. This means you: Art, Mom and Dad, Ceci and her whole family, Aaron, Jennifer, Jessi, Jeanne, Lisa and her entourage, and the Matt-Anna duo. So many other friends dropped by- thank you!
The cons….there are always some, right? The worst is to sit at your own booth and squirm while strangers and friends alike look at your artwork. The friends that stop by are great! They chat with you, they compliment, and they build your confidence to man your station for the whole day (and in my case, sit with me at the booth AND buy art-thanks Ceci). The best things about friends and family showing up is that if they buy something- you will see it again. Of strangers,there are so many types. There are those who simply walk on by and those that stop to look. With the “stop and look” folks, you get your hopes up, but how to proceed? Some DO NOT want to be spoken to and don’t make eye contact then scurry away. Others are waiting for you to speak first and others are talking to you before they even reach your booth. None of this is ever a clue as to whether they’ll buy or not so you weather the storm and try to respond to subtle body language. Let it be said that I take no offense at any of these booth surveying habits (except maybe the ones that just walk on by) I myself, am one of thoes who’d rather just look and not talk. If I’m really interested, you’ll know. Overall, it feels too similar to sitting in my driveway selling at a garage sale.
I’d much rather show and sell in a gallery/shop setting. I like taking myself out of the equation. I love to show up at the reception and see my work beautifully hung and with space to really see each one but appreciate them as a group. I enjoy greeting friends and talking to new people that came to meet the artist. Then, I’m outta there! Anyone can come back and take a fresh look without the pressure to mingle and give themselves a chance to really connect with the art. If that happens, fantastic! They can purchase and leave a check at the desk and everyone is happy.