Sunday, August 23, 2009

Why People Like Me Shouldn't Do Art Shows

Last fall, I visited a winery very near where I grew up, Sleepy Creek Vineyards. They were having their 1st Annual Salt Fork River Art Festival, and Mom, Melinda and I wandered among the artists exhibiting, and I tasted some wine (delish!). We were kinda scouting for Melinda, a bead artist, but I saw one of the photographer's works and knew I was better than she... minor daydreaming occurred, thinking about having a booth in the nebulous future, showing my own works. I signed up to get the email newsletter from the winery, some of which I barely read, and months pass.

Thursday, I get their newsletter, and something in this one catches my attention: Now calling all artists for the 2nd annual Salt Fork Art Festival that will be held here on Sept 26 - 27. I email the contact listed, and receive an e-flyer with more info. Immediately I start thinking and my brain slips into hyperdrive...

Hey, only $40 if I can come up with a tent (I think a friend of mine has one I can borrow, maybe). Crap, it's juried. Hey, will be down there this weekend anyway, I can take some of my stuff. Quickly firing off an email. Crap, they're busy with the harvest, oh! but he'll accept a website or e-files for the jurying. Quickly firing off another email with the link to Shattered Photos. Waiting, waiting for the reply, I'm in! My work looks "interesting" he says and should be a nice addition to the show. Go to class, friends are ridiculously supportive of this whole idea, and offer a tent I can use before I can even ask. [Friday morning] Crap! how much am I going to need to take with me? Get on the phone to bug Mom for advice. She doesn't know either. Artists are required to be there the whole time both days (total of 13 hours), how much can I possibly sell? What if I sell everything on the first day, then have nothing to show on Sunday? What if I invest a bundle, and no one buys anything? How many cards? Cards are inexpensive, people will buy those (order 100 more, and the poly bags to put them in). How many 5x7s? Uhhhh... Should I order 8x10s? Yes, but only a few - those get expensive. Looking at photos, looking at prints, making some more of the kaleidoscopes, uploading, ordering... scouring online for a coupon code. w00t! here's one for 20% off the order! Still haven't ordered the show kits [mats, backer board, poly bags all included]. The investment for the show is already adding up. Crap! where are the pieces-parts to make more of the pendants? Digging, rummaging, aHA! I can make these while I wait for the other stuff to show up - those cards take forever to assemble, what a PITA that will be. Gotta order the mats. Gotta pay for the space. Can I get an electric hookup (how much)? Yes, dunno cost. Need my netbook, can use it to keep track of sales and get names/addresses. Hey! I can use it to play a slideshow of the photos I used to make the kaleidoscopes! [pre-dawn Saturday] Brain clicks on: I can use my netbook to play music for me... Crap! what kinda music should I play? Funky mix of stuff I like? Nah, might turn people away... Classical? Nah, my stuff doesn't look like classical music... I know: bond! Yeah, that's it! It's classical, it's funky, it's perfect! OK, that solved, I can go back to sleep. Crap. No I can't.

So here I am, sharing where my brain has been for the last 65 hours or so. Sun's not even up yet... *sigh* Yes, I know I overthink everything. Yes, I know this doesn't have to be stressful (too late!). Yes, I know (sorta) that everything will be fine. But, but, but... it could be a disaster, it could rain, people could hate them, people could say they wished I brought my "real" photos, people could say "I could do this" snarkily under their breath, I could invest all this time and money and not make a dime... and this is why people like me shouldn't do art shows.

No comments: