Monday, September 10, 2012

Judgements and Observations

Observations while sitting at the curb:

1. Parents pushing strollers are most likely only looking.
2. Six year-olds are capable of stealing your business cards like they are a fist full of m&m's.
3. Crowds circulate counter clockwise at rectangular or circular show layouts.  Perhaps clockwise below the equator.  Don't know.
4. When sitting at their eye level, two year olds in passing strollers can stare you down for 30 seconds, heads rotating 150 degrees, without blinking.
5. People gnawing on fried turkey legs are not buying paintings.
6. A good flower arrangement in your booth will often draw more attention than your art.
7. Droughts often dramatically end on art festival weekends.
8. Long lost friends or relatives running into each other in your booth is bad.
9. There should be DOT width restrictions on strollers.
10. A person talking to someone on the other end of a cellphone while looking at your painting can be a hopeful sign.
11. You sell to women though you might sometimes take money from men.
12. The amount of negotiated discount is inverse to the dent in the customer's wealth.
13. Number 10 was wrong.
14. If after spending 15 minutes trying to sell your art, the prospect utters the words, "Do you have a card?", accept that you have lost.
15. People suck.
16. People are great.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

It's a Team Effort

Next week is the St Louis Art Fair.  Its my first show since March so some cobwebs need to be cleared. Yesterday there was a quick planning session for the show.  Lots of  preparation goes into these trips and luckily my show team is filled with seasoned veterans.

First, all equipment needs to be checked after being in storage for several months.  My warehouse guy will be checking the tent to make sure all the parts are together and intact.  This show will have night hours so lights and other electrical components will need to be assembled and tested. And it's important the countless but vital small items are onboard when the van leaves town.  Heads up, warehouse guy, be ready for the Tuesday afternoon load out.

In St. Louis, the artist will be greeting fair goers and prospective customers.  He is being retrained on the Square credit card system for his phone and being drilled on smiling through the rain squalls and visitors who spill beer in his booth.

Framing is a big job and after my driver picks up my assembled frames, my framing prep department will screw everything together for hanging.  The artist will be called in to title, number and photograph the pieces.  The paintings then have to be run through Photoshop by my
IT guy, cropping, skewing and sizing for posting on  

Van servicing falls to transportation maintenence.  An oil change and tire rotation are due -also cleaning up the interior would be nice.

My driver is expecting an early Wednesday morning departure.  He will find an overnight room on the two day drive to St Louis on the fly.  Intown stays are handled by the travel department and are usually done on Priceline.

Show set up wll be handled by my roadie Friday afternoon.  Tent, walls, lighting and artwork must be assembled and hung.

Sunday evening after the show, the roadie will tear down the booth and load up.  The driver will bring everything back to Orlando.  The van will stay partially loaded giving the warehouse guy a deserved break.
The next week is down time for the support team. The artist though, reports back to the studio the next day to get ready for the Kansas City Plaza Festival in seven days.

Note to reader:  OK, I'm having a little fun with the unglamorous side of being a painter but the true credit goes to my supportive wife Susan who through clever if not deceptive use of my Zapplication images, somehow gets me into most shows I apply to - and packs my lunchbox.