New post over at the websit blog: Are You Possessed? http://TammyVitale.com/weblog
New post over at the websit blog: Are You Possessed? http://TammyVitale.com/weblog
When we create, we bring all of our life's experience to our creation. For those of us at a certain age, it is a happy fact that what we are creating today is not the same thing we would have created "if only" we had started [ younger, healthier, more idealistic, etc - you fill in the blank].
So for any of you who are thinking of stretching to something new (Amping Up), different or a bit scarey, know that right now is the best time ever to do that. Since we never, ever reach "there" (where ever that might be), it is imperative that we keep ourselves awake by shaking up our routine every now and then: the world needs all the wide awake/conscious folks it can get right now.
Some Amp Up tips:
1. Try figuring out how to enhance your blog. The title below, Ceramic Goddess Torso Class, is called an "H3" title (I think) and apparently it attracts web spiders. You create it by "<H3>[text]</H3>" I first learned about it during one of the teleseminars with Christine Kane's UpLevel Your Business Program. Vaguely remembering it as a good thing, I tried it out today. I forgot the"/" to end it, but figured it out soon enough by looking at the rest of the HTML on my HTML tab here on my blog post page. I now have a brand new concept to use for when my new and improved website comes online (next week I hope!)
Write: I really really want to [fill in the blank].
There is always something you can do to take one small step toward your dreams. For instance: Big trip? Give yourself a $5,000 budget and go spend it online. Collect pictures of what you find and make a vision journal [spiral notebook is fine..just paste the pictures in. If you want to really cement it in your subconscious, color the rest of the page with crayons]. Now that you know exactly where you're going and what you want to see, start research group trips; sign up for special rate notices with travelzoo.com or BookingBuddy.com (there are more - go look).
I want a room that is nothing but windows. This is my vision journal page for it (right).
3. Enlist a friend to join you in your dreams. Meet on line, by phone, over coffee once every two weeks. At the start, write down your goal. Each interim take one small step toward your goal. At each meeting share what you've done, adventures you've encountered, forward movement and synchronicity that has happened. There are no set backs - only lessons about what didn't fit with your goal. No whining allowed (aloud either).
One of my favorite things about being so in tune with creating my Goddess torso series, is that I know the "how" well enough to teach others...even those who have never touched clay before in their lives.
This past weekend, another class finished up. Here are two members of that class with their creations.
This is Linda R with her piece. She last worked in clay in the 1970s and loved coming back home to it's possibilities. She came to class with a sketch of what she wanted and with my technical help she was able to create the piece exactly as she imagined!
Rachel has never touched clay before. As a friend of my son's, however, she's been around my work for years and was excited to take this opportunity to try it out for herself. She didn't have an exact idea of how she wanted to proceed until she started designing it. Her creation all came out as she finally envisioned, which just goes to show that any skill level works just fine!
Wylde Women's Wisdom: Search deep within, concealed caves hold answers to the moon’s question, “you are who?” Jessie Vitale
Am in the middle of changing my blog over to a website (where the blog will be a tab) on WordPress. This is a major part of my own next steps. While I'm in the midst, things feel a bit muddled, chaotic, and very very scarey.
For a while, I have been feeling very stuck with my art business and my blogging and generally restless about why that is. Well, anyone who has gone through uphevals in their life (on purpose or because they had no choice) knows that there comes a time when everything that used to work no longer feels right: it's a bit tight, a bit scratchy, slightly out of tune, a bit off-kilter. There are days that feel like you are toiling up hill, days that feel like you're on a ski jump and days that you just might be curled up in a nice dark hole refusing to take the covers off your head.
Having been through uphevals that presented themselves because I mostly stayed in the nice dark hole, and having in the front of my mind "if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got" I decided to do something other than what I usually do.
I know my pattern, write down all the things I need to do and try to cram them into 24 hours. Sometimes that includes sleep. This is my box. Uncomfortable as it is sometimes, I know it, and can grow smaller if I choose, in order to keep fitting it. Not this time. Time for leaving the box behind.
As it happens, as I was looking around for a way to see outside my box, I landed on Christine Kane's site thinking perhaps I would do another retreat with her like the one I did in early 08. To my delight, she was getting ready to start an Up-Level Your Business (ask and you shall receive) program. Exactly what I needed. Then I saw the cost. And all the voices started clamoring. And the first thing I did differently was decide that I am worth as much as my art supplies. And I charged that program (admittedly on a 0% credit card, but hey, I wasn't going to pay it off at the end of the month. For me? That's HUGE!)
Well, do not take a Christine Kane program unless you plan on moving. She does not let you sit on your laurels. And she gives you a good year at college worth of information (in 3 months) to help you along...and a safe place to practice your new wings. And, oh yes, a gathering in Asheville, NC, for participants. Have I mentioned how I adore Asheville?!
I have hired an assistant to make cold calls to shops to help me expand my sources of income, and I have (just today) taken ads out with WholesaleCrafts.com Winter's Buyers Guide (and it wasn't the smallest ad available either - I pushed myself on that one) and New Age Retailer magazine.
I have reserached and (just today - boy today is a high water mark! but only the first...and I'm going with this flow!) found a lovely spot to conduct women's retreats. Now that the where is in place, the when and how and what are bursting at the seams to get themselves on paper. But first I have to fill a few art orders that came in from a mailing last week.
And the sun is out after much rain.
Life is good. Life is rich and full and will lead us where we allow it to. I'm preparing the way for a ginormous 2010 which will bring challenges and gratitude and yet new friends.
So here's a recap:
1. Write down what you usually do
2. Brainstorm some things that you don't usually do because (fill in the blank):
3. Pick one of the above and journal about how your life would look if you did that something you don't usually do. Be creative with how it would look. Give yourself a budget and go "spend" it and think about how it might shift your outlook.
4. Identify the walls of your box (you will know them immediately - the minute you think outside your box, the voices that tell you that want you want is silly, impossible, etc., will start up. That is your box)
5. Write down the walls of your box (all the voices and what they're saying).
6. Light a candle, take a deep breath or two and burn the walls of your box. As you breathe out, bless the old ways that once helped you. As you breathe in say a prayer of gratitude for this opportunity to think bigger.
7. Pick one thing you could do that would move you closer to changing what you usually do.
8. Do it.
9. Repeat (okay, if you've read this blog at all before you know I'm big on giving something extra, so today you get 9 ways instead of 8).
What do you want to do with your one, wild, wonderful life this next year?
WyldeWoman Wisdom : There is no more meandering. There is no more escape - not one more errand to run, not one more load of laundry to wash and fold, not one more phone call to answer, not one more letter to type, not one more word I can write until I take the next step. Until I am willing to fall. Standing at the very edge of the cliff I shout at god/us, "Are you sure I'm ready for this? It seems we've been moving awfully fast these past few years...How do You know I'm ready?...the angel leans forward, kisses me on the lips. "Love is all that is real," she says, "good-bye." She turns my shoulders around. I face the edge. I do not jump. It is more subtle than that. I simply let go. Christina Baldwin, Calling the Circle: The Once and Future Culture
1. Unload your cargo carrier (cart, car, van, 18 wheeler, whatever) and put things back where they belong so you know where they are. The next show is closer than you think (I don't care if it's a year away - it's closer than your think!). I started with that because I'm doing it first thing tomorrow. Yes, I am.
2. Organize all your sales receipts and notes (which you wrote on bright orange sticky notes, right? so you didn't lose them), and add names to your data base. This assumes you didn't let anyone you talked to get out of the booth without getting their name and contact info for a follow-up, to send them info on something they were curious about, or signed up for a class (which do you prefer: mail or email? Just write whichever right here...and hand them your specially designed
3. Write personal thank you cards (not emails) to your clients who spent $X or more. Give them a "gift:" your business card with a note on the back that they get 10% off their next purchase at a show, or a gallery or whatever you wish to give them. No one writes personal thank-yous. You will be remembered for that if for nothing else.
4. (don't you love bonuses?! and you thought you were only getting 3 things!) Take 5 minutes, or 15 or half a day or even a whole day. Pat yourself on the back. Write down 5 things you did spectacularly well, 5 things you learned, and 5 things you probably won't ever do again...like leave the keys in your unlocked van for 8 hours. And of course next time you will pay attention to the luxurient poison ivy beneath the azalea bush behind your booth, won't you (note: add field guide to native plants to show checklist)? And never, ever again drink not 1 but 2 full 20 oz cups of coffee when you are the only one to watch the booth and you have no one to spell you.
My greatest moments? the number of women who wanted to wear their new jewelry out of the booth upon purchase, some even taking off the jewelry they had worn in, how spectacular they looked in their new acquisitions, and how feeling good about how they looked changed they way they held themselves as they left. And how many of them came back again for just one more look. For this artist, it was awesome!
Do you have favorite art show stories? Want to share?
thought for the day: As artists we are a conduit for energy that wishes to manifest. Someone has called that energy into being. It is our job to do the work and then get it out there so the person who called it can find it and take it to its true home. It's an amazing job and someone has to do it. Aren't we the blessed and lucky ones to be so called?! Tammy V.
(oh lookie! another bonus! a 2nd thought for the day! This must be YOUR day!): Following up shows people you care about them and that you are intent on maintaining your relationship. without the follow-up, people either forget about you or assume you don't care. Alyson Stanfield, I'd rather be in the studio: The Artist's No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion. [ Alyson even gives examples of what to write in Action 10 in the book).
Cultivate Collectors on-line class for artists. Synchronicity for those of you reading this who, like me, could probably use a few nudges in that direction. Folks: this is the #1 money generator for your business. Someone who has purchased something from you is a best bet to buy again. You have already manifested something they love. Give them half a chance and they will return.
About three weeks ago, I got an email from Artbeads.com saying how much they like my beadwork and asking if I would accept some beads in exchange for blogging about them. The told me I could write whatever I wanted, good, bad or indifferent.
Since, unbeknownst to them, they are my favorite site for bugle beads for my beadwork pieces, I was delighted to accept their offer.
They asked that I choose Swarovski crystals since September is for Swarovski, and make something with them.
This piece is 3"wide by 2" high. I used the bulk of the beads I ordered including: square burgundy buttons, 4mm light amethyst AB faceted rounds, 4mm silver-plated smoked topaz 1ring Channels, 4mm light colorado topaz diagonal cubes,4mm silver plated amethyst 1 ring channels, 12x8mm cubist burgundy (drops), 6mm burgundy faceted bicones and a 17x9mm burgundy keystone bead - all Swarovski products that I had never used before (except the bicones, which I use all the time) and wanted to try. I added in some Swarovski bicones I had on hand, and garnets for the necklace piece. It's very sparkly!
I enjoyed browsing Artbeads.com website looking for exciting pieces. As you can see, they have a wide assortment of Swarovski products (this piece represents only a few of them). The colors run true to the way they showed on my screen and I am delighted to recommend them for your bead shopping pleasure. Back to the reason I use them on my own: they have the best selection of bugle beads I have found on the web, and I've looked a lot.
The next piece includes a 13x7mm crystal copper keystone Swarovski for it's drop. I already had the main focal ready to finish when I got the crystals from Artbeads.com and it was such a lovely match I couldn't resist adding it.
I have been busily making focals the last few days and will add the necklace pieces on Thursday. These are all for the AnnMarie Garden's Artsfest this weekend, where I am showing only jewelry, a first show for only jewelry for me, and I was really happy Artbeads.com quick delivery got the beads here in time for me to work them into pieces for that show.
The earrings I made to go with this piece are shown below and include 12mm Cosmic Crystal Copper beads as the dangles with topaz 1-ring channels as the end/stoppers. Love the copper colors with copper metal...all warm and autumny. (and boy did that picture turn out large! Wonder what I did differently?!)
Finally, here are two other pieces I've been working on. None of the necklaces have the necklace part yet except the top piece. My favorite thing in the world is putting these focals together (right now). It's very soothing and methodical and makes me happy. It's slow going: no fast work here. And that demands that I stop worrying about time and money and enjoy the process (much like clay, actually).
So here are the other pieces for your enjoyment. The last piece has some bugle beads (they're the long skinny ones) and the 1-ring channel beads.
thought for the day:
...I am an eagle. In my mouth I/hold a golden fish that/speaks my name. I let/it go and it becomes a yellow/comet with an orange tail/that trails a word I cannot/read. I fly into the sun and//through and find/I am a woman who/has been sleeping-//and knows//it's time to wake. Tammy Vitale
Freedom From Self Improvement gives us total permission to stop the madness. It says to us that maybe.... just maybe .... we don't need to fix or change one more darn thing. Maybe we really are OK. In fact maybe we're already pretty amazing! All we need to do is to get on board with what everyone who loves us already knows. Which is that we are fine and the only reason to ever do anything at all is if it's going to make us happy. Period. (see her full blog here)
and pointed on over to Jennifer's blog, where, given my own current commitment to great big scarey things, I clicked onto: Comfort During Fearful Times: When You Make a Big Fat Hairy Goal (just reading that is enough to make me feel safer: I'm not alone!). "A BFHG, man."
What can I do? Take myself by the hand (and take Bob’s hand and the dog’s) (paws).
Tell myself I really can hang out right here, without knowing everything is going to turn out the way I want it, I can hang out here and breath and really, pinkie swear, it’s okay. I’m in the unknown. Which is actually where I always am!
And then, miracles of miracles, I realize I’m not afraid.
Could it be that sometimes, just sometimes, fear lies in our interpretation? Of events, of sensations, of thoughts even. Add a little hand holding and breathing and hey, whew, maybe this isn’t so bad.
(Jennifer's whole post here.)
Sometimes all it takes to step into your own power is a little "handholding:" Someone to tell you that you are not alone, and they know you can do it because if you want it, you already have it, you just don't know it yet. Sometimes that "someone" has to be your own true self who speaks to you when you take a breath and settle long enough to hear it. "Yes, you can." "Yes, it's really excitement, not fear." "Yes, you can rewrite the story/interpretation any way you wish." "Yes! Yes! Yes! You go, Girl!"
I'm on my way to Asheville in November as part of Christine Kane's Uplevel Your Business Program. I am about to pay what for me is an enourmous amount of money to live from where I want to be, not from where I am - because it makes me very happy. And I am very VERY excited! And very much ALIVE!
thought for the day: Even if things are as bad as they could possible be and as meaningless, then matters of truth are themselves indifferent; wemay as well please our sensibilites and, with as much spirit as we can muster, go out with a buck and a wing. Annie Dillard
1. The Angels/are not like the Saints.///They do not discriminate/but come to everyone./Their eyes burn green fire/but their kisses are icy.//They can play rough when we get caught/in the heavy crosswinds that swirl about their wings.//They are not above artifice/and sometimes appear in disguise://a mask of smeared lipstick, gypsey/bangles, or an old man’s coat.//Now and again they carelessly give us gifts;/an unexpected hobbyhorse, a day’s free babysitting,//a poke in the eye with a sticks,/or sudden slant of light on water.//And we are grateful, once we figure out how/to move within their state of complex blessings.//They work within great wheels and circles,/turning light to dark and back again.//They do not obey the laws of gravity/but laugh a lot and arise at will//to hover like vast hummingbirds/when we require attention.//What they want of us is the mysterious secret/ we unravel and reweave//down to dark and back again. Judith Roche in Face to Face: Women Writers on Faith, Mysticism, and Awakening. Linda Hogan and Brenda Peterson.
I rediscovered the above poem last week while collecting pieces for "366 Wyldish Thoughts." This work will be available to folks via subscription in the (hopefully near) future because I have had so many comments on my "Thoughts for the day" over the years that I have been blogging.
Anyways, I rediscovered this poem, which speaks deeply to me of life and how it works - especially the "poke in the eye" - because so often in the midst of crisis and chaos we simply cannot see the meaning and purpose of what is happening to us or those around us.
Then Christine Kane's * latest ezine arrived. In it she talks about her early years as a bulemic:
In my late teens and early 20's I was bulimic. And when I began the long process of recovery, I was furious that I couldn't just give up food. I hated food. It was the cause (so I thought) of all my problems. I reasoned that an alcoholic had it "easier" because at least the offending substance could be removed from his life. A bulimic has to keep eating – while recovering from exactly what she was eating. I wished I could just give up food! That seemed so logical! I didn't realize then that the very thing I was angry about would also be the very thing that would teach me how to approach everything in my life. Precisely because I could not remove the "offending substance" from my world, I was forced to heal and renew my relationship with food and with my body. I had to make friends with food. I had to make friends with and listen to my body. I had to learn to use my ATTENTION, not just my logic. This learning process taught me how to do everything else in my life, too - from songwriting to money to pets to marriage, and yes, to business. I do none of these things perfectly, of course. But I've learned how to hear my own inner wisdom when I go deeply enough to build a relationship with the thing I'm working on or with. It has been many years since I left a battering marriage. At the time I was 34 and had spent half my life with my husband (with a brief divorce then remarriage to him - classic battered woman syndrome for all the classic reasons, but that's another post), the father of my two children. As a practicing Catholic I believed that marriage was forever. As a human I realized that if I didn't do something soon, forever would be short and not very sweet. Then it dawned on me that I was modeling for my daughter and my son what marriage is like. I'd like to say I got brave and left, but I didn't. I left because I didn't want my son to be a batterer or my daughter to be battered herself thinking "oh, that's the way it's supposed to be." As it turns out, like Christine, the lesson was in the process of working myself out of that relationship and understanding why I was in it in the first place - not only in it, but repeated it by the remarriage. Some women repeat it with a different man but same situation. What I learned was that until we understand our choices, and take the time to understand what is driving our choices (i.e., the stories we are telling ourselves), we will repeat and repeat and repeat the same situation. I believe that is our angels - not quite all sweetness and light - sending us what we need along our path. Like Christine, this particular growth process has enlightened and informed everything I have done since. I learned about true empowerment: it cannot be done for you. You must do it yourself. What others can (but don't always) do is provide a safe space for you to discover your stories, reweave them, take the steps that will lead you on your true path. This isn't just about marriage. It's also about our life's calling: how we believe we can't because (fill in the blank); how we learn we can. That's empowerment. Our learning. It's why no one else can do it for us. If we don't do the work ourselves, we don't get the result. We get some limp almost-but-not-quite or not-at-all that leaves us yearning still and wondering why oh why things can't simply work themselves out. And learning, we will always forget. Which is why we have angels. Who or what situations have been angels in your life? What changes happened as a result? I would love to hear your stories! thought for the day: Before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. Zen saying Nearly anything can proivde the opening or initial impetus for setting out on the spiritual journey. Fileds, et al, eds of New Age Journal
In my late teens and early 20's I was bulimic. And when I began the long process of recovery, I was furious that I couldn't just give up food. I hated food. It was the cause (so I thought) of all my problems. I reasoned that an alcoholic had it "easier" because at least the offending substance could be removed from his life. A bulimic has to keep eating – while recovering from exactly what she was eating. I wished I could just give up food! That seemed so logical!
I didn't realize then that the very thing I was angry about would also be the very thing that would teach me how to approach everything in my life. Precisely because I could not remove the "offending substance" from my world, I was forced to heal and renew my relationship with food and with my body. I had to make friends with food. I had to make friends with and listen to my body. I had to learn to use my ATTENTION, not just my logic.
This learning process taught me how to do everything else in my life, too - from songwriting to money to pets to marriage, and yes, to business. I do none of these things perfectly, of course. But I've learned how to hear my own inner wisdom when I go deeply enough to build a relationship with the thing I'm working on or with.
It has been many years since I left a battering marriage. At the time I was 34 and had spent half my life with my husband (with a brief divorce then remarriage to him - classic battered woman syndrome for all the classic reasons, but that's another post), the father of my two children. As a practicing Catholic I believed that marriage was forever. As a human I realized that if I didn't do something soon, forever would be short and not very sweet. Then it dawned on me that I was modeling for my daughter and my son what marriage is like. I'd like to say I got brave and left, but I didn't. I left because I didn't want my son to be a batterer or my daughter to be battered herself thinking "oh, that's the way it's supposed to be."
As it turns out, like Christine, the lesson was in the process of working myself out of that relationship and understanding why I was in it in the first place - not only in it, but repeated it by the remarriage. Some women repeat it with a different man but same situation. What I learned was that until we understand our choices, and take the time to understand what is driving our choices (i.e., the stories we are telling ourselves), we will repeat and repeat and repeat the same situation. I believe that is our angels - not quite all sweetness and light - sending us what we need along our path.
Like Christine, this particular growth process has enlightened and informed everything I have done since. I learned about true empowerment: it cannot be done for you. You must do it yourself. What others can (but don't always) do is provide a safe space for you to discover your stories, reweave them, take the steps that will lead you on your true path. This isn't just about marriage. It's also about our life's calling: how we believe we can't because (fill in the blank); how we learn we can. That's empowerment. Our learning. It's why no one else can do it for us. If we don't do the work ourselves, we don't get the result. We get some limp almost-but-not-quite or not-at-all that leaves us yearning still and wondering why oh why things can't simply work themselves out.
And learning, we will always forget. Which is why we have angels.
Who or what situations have been angels in your life? What changes happened as a result? I would love to hear your stories!
thought for the day: Before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. Zen saying
Nearly anything can proivde the opening or initial impetus for setting out on the spiritual journey. Fileds, et al, eds of New Age Journal
*Performer, songwriter, and creativity consultant Christine Kane publishes her 'LiveCreative' weekly ezine with more than 4,000 subscribers. If you want to be the artist of your life and create authentic and lasting success, you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to LiveCreative at www.christinekane.com. WANT TO SEE HUNDREDS MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS ONE?
See Christine's blog - Be Creative. Be Conscious. Be Courageous - at ChristineKane.com/blog.
*Performer, songwriter, and creativity consultant Christine Kane publishes her 'LiveCreative' weekly ezine with more than 4,000 subscribers. If you want to be the artist of your life and create authentic and lasting success, you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to LiveCreative at www.christinekane.com.
WANT TO SEE HUNDREDS MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS ONE?
If I had a nice flat driveway, it would be so much easier to set up and check out my show boothe! I shouldn't complain. Last time I did this was January 08 in preparation for the Philadelphia Buyer's Market and I had to do it in my studio. THAT was fun!
I'm very used to setting up for my ceramics, but my next show upcoming is all jewelry and I've never done that before.
Liz Printz, who is my mentor/friend in beadworking, lent me two table top display cases. Mind you, she's in the same show, but emailed me to let me know she had these extras when I asked how she sets her booth up.
I took her advice and am making sure that there is a visual "come on in" from both directions since I'm in a line of boothes. You will note that I did work in a few of my ceramics as eye catchers: the chairs on the left will have signs that say "tired toddler" and "bored beau" with a "rest a spell" sign on the pole above them. On the other side is Elemental with a ton of pearls around her neck and next to her one of my ceramic side tables. I have a mask in the display case.
What you don't see here are lights. I will have lights at the show (pains in my neck: never buy the single lamp lights. They travel poorley and are very fragile. Buy the line of lights, 4 or 5 to the line). And my carpet isn't in this. I do believe I still have a carpet somewhere from my cottage before we built the extra room and left the wood floor bare.
Bruce Baker is the recognized guru on setting up for shows. I find that if I listen to everything he says I'd spend a year's income. That doesn't mean I can't cherry pick from his ideas and use the ones that work for me. In this instance, a (oriental looking) carpet creates a boutiquey feel and for this show, that works perfectly. I'm also planning on some Celtic music and perhaps some light incense to attract my "perfect" clients - the ones who will love the amethyst geodes and crystals in my cases, and the ear/air/fire/water (hence Elemental standing watch, sharing her energy) colors/stones/feel.
More work to do today (I think the grey screen is going away. I was going to hang a Sacred torso with her necklace and story there, but discovered that there's room over by Elemental.). I have room for up to 23 hanging boxes of 1 - 3 pieces of jewelry on the screens. That's next.
I have discovered flat sheets work very well for table covers, and since we don't use flat sheets, I nip off with them as soon as we open a new sheet package. In this instance the sheet and the scarf I bought at the bead show with daughter match perfectly!
I also bought a purple top (that just happens to fit me) for my other display case since purple is THE in color everywhere this year: all the magazines, all the stores and recently a shoe store manager said to me (as I was wearing that top) that "Purple is the color this year!" So the work is out and I bought the top for display (in the case and on me...it looks gorgeous with a tourmaline set I made which isn't in the case yet).
So now I have the general bones of the set-up figured out. Have set it up so that I see what I forgot to remember...and folks, if you're doing shows for the first time, this is crucial: a check list is NOT enough. You need to set up your boothe before hand and pack as you take down to make sure you've thought of everything.
This show happens to be 3 minutes from my house - I am lucky to have AnnMarie Garden so close at hand - but that isn't always the case, and I don't have a runner, so it better work when I put it up the first time!.
Checklist: (off the top of my head, not exhaustive but enought to help you think about shows):tent, lights, extension cords, plug strips that fit your plugs - don't arrive to find that you have bulky 3 prong plugs and 2 2 prong plugs, tie downs (usually weights as many places you can't hammer into the ground), flooring if any (the spongy rubber interlocking kids' mats work great too), display furniture and screens, screen feet and joiners, a stabilizer bar (not shown here), hangers for your work on the screens, table coverings, signs, chairs for you and for tired potential clients, a set up that will catch passers-by from all directions that are open to you, music (only play it loud enough for your boothe), incense if allowed (candles definitely are never allowed).
For you: artist attire, lunch and snacks and plenty of drinks in a cooler, someone to give you a break if at all possible.
other: small trash can, duct tape, extra bulbs, glass cleaner, small tool box, first aid kit, office supply kit, order forms/receipt book, charge card (you can set one up through PayPal. It's pretty much required if you are going to sell at a show), cashbox and petty cash for change, guest book (get those names for future reference!)(and use them!), business cards, price tags, post cards if you use them, flier for your next show, brochures, referral list to local galleries where you show.
When you are in your boothe you are there to sell. Make eye contact, say "hi," look busy. Don't read, don't talk with your neighbor, don't talk with your help. This is not social hour, it is a business and you are there to make client contacts, possibly gallery contacts (you just never know who you will run into), and create a professional look. Shows are as much about networking as they are about sales. Smile and be joyful, think happy thoughts....no doom and gloom even if sales are low: the next person may put you in a new selling context you hadn't anticipated...but may pass you by if the energy isn't positive. Think "I am a successful artist" not "I am a starving artist."
And have fun!
thought for the day: The first place to seek out craft fairs is in your own backyard. Check with the management of local malls and the area's Chamber of Commerce. Local craft retailers are also a good source of information. [Check with your local arts organization if you have one and any arts guilds in your area]. After exhausting local resources, many professional craftspeople discover that they must travel to larger, regional craft fairs where sales are better for quanity and quality of craftwork, and the customers are more educated and enthusiastic.
Finding the right show for your work isn't nearly as difficulat as finding the right show for your wallet. Wendy Rosen Crafting As a Business [Wendy Rosen runs the Philadelphia Buyer's Market]
1. 9/1/09 Rehobeth Beach, DE: it is 67%, a harbinger of Fall approaching in the early morning. From the North a strong wind whips up whitecaps, waves race each other to shore, seafoam somersaults across wet sand. The world is populated only by Plovers, a variety of gulls, and me, standing rapt before the pound of surf. Salty spray wets my hair and my eyelashes.
The sun is rising. From my stomach something else is rising: unnameable and full of yearning; a recognition of the power of endless water - it's kinship with the salty fluid that runs through my own veins; the clarity of connection at a very basic level. The longing for this to last lodges in my throat, causes a sharp intake of breath, might yet manifest as tears. The seconds extend and extend.
It is here that I open without thought to my true self - to the Wylde* and Wise Woman I am when the stories end and really true begins.
In the space desires rise, drift away. When I meet myself I am complete and perfect in my human imperfection, and it is enough.
9/2/09. I rise at 6:30, take 30 minutes shower, 15 to dress. The clock ticks steadily forward to departure. My last day here. I walk 12 yards or so to the beach. Today the wind comes directly off the water and is gently warmer than yesterday, the water no longer capped white and frothy, waves rolling over each other like puppies.
I check the clock at Grotto's Pizza. It is 10 minutes to 7.
The sun climbs. The sky is distantlyrobin's egg blue; closer in, dense charcoal gray clouds sit motionless despite the wind, place holders as far as I can see - all the way to the horizon. The sun slides behind the largest cloud, directly in front of me. I look down, following a rollicking wave with my eyes, wonder if it will reach my toes. I look up - there are rainbow prisms all around the cloud's edges.
Not impressed by the sun's virtuosity, a young Laughing Gull, all brown and white feathers, sidles up to me hoping for a morning snack. Finding none, it walks down the beach between the perfect tires tracks of earlier beach vehicles, leaving its own trail.
Every day the sun follows its track across the sky. Some times you can watch the long arc as light moves into dark; some days you can't. The wind blows or doesn't blow; the water is calm or it isn't calm. The shore birds find food or they don't. Rainbows appear and disappear even when no one is watching.
I turn. The clock over Grotto's Pizza still says 10 minutes to 7. This is not magic. That clock always says 10 minutes to 7. Sometimes thing work better when they don't work as originally planned.
3. Readers who come to read the "thought for the day" will soon have the opportunity to have a "thought" delivered every day to their email inbox! This is in response to the time and time again I have been emailed: "thanks - that thought was just what I needed today!" How can I resist that kind of feedback?!
I am learning how to use an autoresponder so that I can load it up and you can get your quote without waiting for me to blog. The timing is not yet set, so leave a comment here if you want to be sure you get a notice when everything is set up, and I'll be happy to send you an email and let you know when all is ready and running. We will all cross our fingers and send out vibes to the nice software to work easily with me, right?!
4. I will soon have pictures of yet another new ceramic creation: Sweet Hearts. And new Possibilities Tiles aren't far behind; formerly the more mundane Prose tiles, the tiles, thinking Bigger, have chosen a new name for themselves - honestly I didn't make that up. I woke up and was informed by something that from here on out, mundane was not acceptable.
Hope your world is as juicy as mine! (if not, leave me a note in the comments, and we can work on that together!).
thought for the day: Since the Universe seldom keeps us from our lesson learning opportunities, here's a fun and somewhat comforting attitude to embrace. Look at the challenges presenting themselves to you in your live and be GRATEFUL for them [yes, even software that has it's own thought about how things should be], because if you didn't have these particular challenges to learn from, you'd have to go and find OTHER situations to help you learn these lessons. Katherine Q. Revoir Spiritual Doodles & Mental Leapfrogs : A Playbook for Unleashing Spiritual Self-Expression
*Rather get into telling you all about Wylde Woman, I will send along a poem that shows her to you. Just email me or leave a request in the comments.
Last week I took a trip to Cambridge, MD on the Eastern Shore to visit with Joy Staniforth of Joie de Vivre Gallery. If you're ever in the area, you must top by. Joy not only has the best art gallery shop in the area, she also knows everything artsy that goes on in the town.
I noticed wonderful panels of ceramic and glass murals on the back of her building. She took me out front to point out more and then down the street to this 85 foot long, magnificent work in progress on Cannery Way.
The mural is paint and lots and lots of pieces of glass - the glass being put up freehand. Breathtaking!
That's Grace and Ben Reed above, and Grace and Patricia Hayes to the right here. Further down is the other end of this wall: all by itself a reason to just drop into Cambridge and browse the panels now up in the main downtown area. From whence all this lovliness? Once of the main buildings on the main street, Race Street, burned. Fiercely. To hid the charred shell while work on rebuilding began, these panels came into existance.
I don't have any pictures of the panels because my camera was sitting at home on my desk where is was doing me not a lot of good (note to self: stop leaving that camera at home. Just bring it!). These pictures were taken with Joy's camera before it ran out of space. I guess I was meant to travel back there soon and take more pictures! Or perhaps you will go, say hi to Joy for me, and take pictures to share with me!
And here's another reason to visit with Joy - mosaic aartist Jen Wagner makes her new studio in the back store area of Joie de Vivre, and Joy can get you into the new gallery in Cambridge, Main Street Gallery, now showing Pieces of the Path: Exploring the Art of the Mosaic. "Mosaic" is stretched a bit here, at least to my understanding. Many pieces are hand made tile and tile shards that have heft, not the tiny little pieces I always heard defined as mosaic. It is most definitely worth viewing and is literally just around the corner from Joie de Vivre at 413 Muir Street. I fell in love with pieces by Susan Stockman, and immediately recognized local to me Parran Collery's work too. Other artists participating in the show are Carol Gordean, Anna Grace Harind, Deborah, Coffin Kennedy, Joyce Fritz Ritz, Mary An Schindler, Craigie Succop and Jen Wagner (none seem to have websites).
More mosaics can be seen at: Maris Elaine Gallery, 520 Race Street; Scoot Station at 400 Muir Street; 447 Studios and Gallery at 447 Race Street; Ave Salon Spa 501 Poplar Street; Dorchester Center for the Arts, 321 High Sctreet; and Bella Luna 305 High Street (full wall of mosaic in the ladies' room).
I wish I could say there is that much art in my whole county! Cambridge is becoming quite the arts center. Put it on your list of places to see!
thought for the day: When we were infants, we ONLY used the voice of our inner child. This voice made our needs quite clear to all those around us, and we saw the world through the eyes of a ppurely expressive being. Katherine Q Revoir, Spiritual Doodles & Mental Leapfrogs: A Playbook for Unleashing Spiritual Self-Expression