I’m home — at last! — this evening after two days meeting with interested art customers at an outdoor Festival in Winter Springs. I try to exhibit in Festivals at least a few times a year for the benefit of meeting people face-to-face, seeing how people react to new works, learning from other artists, and challenging myself with deadlines.
First the bad news: foot traffic was a little light at this show, and my sales were not strong. And, alas, no award ribbon. And I got a bit of a sunburn.
But, now for the good news: talking with people about my work is invaluable to me. It’s the best way to understand what questions people have and what interests them. And, as I take time to explain the meaning of the works and the techniques used to create the works, my own understanding of the process deepens. When I am in the studio working, I am immersed in the art. It takes on context and fulfills the whole purpose of creating it when I share it face to face with real people.
And some funny and unusual things happen at festivals. I had my palm read by a funny old man. I saw a couple with a stroller walking their pet parrot (in a cage in the stroller.) And I was interviewed and filmed by a bearded realtor wearing a kilt — a first for me!
I had great camaraderie with the artists in booths near mine. The informal networking with artists is one of the best things that happens at Festivals.
Finally, I learned again how hard artists work who exhibit at street Festivals regularly. The weekend involves setting up a tent and a display, being “onstage” for two full 8-hour days, breaking down the exhibit and packing up at the end of the weekend, and then a drive home – just to unpack it all again. So, when you have the chance to attend an outdoor Festival, be kind and appreciative to artists who are exhibiting: they work HARD!
Now that I’m back in the studio I look forward to creating new work. I’ll show it to you and talk about it soon.
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