Saturday, September 1
How could this month go wrong? Two of my best shows and one that has potential.
Chauatuaqua, as always, a wonderful show. I didn't get the guy who wants everything, but I sold almost everything anyway, one at a time. Breathing room. Finally.
Elmwood, at the end of the month, my neighborhood, the show I wait for, was also very good. Love this show.
But the show that ended up being the one with a reward was the one that came up short on earnings. Sonnenberg Gardens. What a gorgeous place, what a stellar organization. They treat the artists like they were, well, artists and not interlopers. We are respected. You gat a little puffed up with treatment like that.
But sales were disappointing and not just for me. So, much schmoozing about marketing happened amongst us (we had a lot of free time to chat) and somehow, with the encouragement of several of them, an idea was born. I was bemoaning the fact that while I was happy to have given up making low priced trinkets to boost the bottom line, I missed the money they brought. People love my cards, but it is tedious to make individual, uninspired collage one at a time. I hated the production aspect and I was not proud of the boring designs that happen when you are cranking out quantity.
Then the light came on. My big collage, the ones that made me happy, might be able to be reproduced. Some folks thought scanning, some photo. I decided to try it. I had a week to get some together. I was psyched.
Monday morning I started. Took pictures of a few of my favorites, tweaked them for color and brightness, contrast, yaddayadda. I am not a photographer although I love trying to be one. Some came out great, some awful. Then I had to decide what printer settings to use to get the most realistic reproduction. I chose mixed media paper to print the first batch. It has a soft surface texture and heavy enough for presentation. I had so much fun. That tummy bubble you get when you're on to something and having fun with it took up residence. I made a hundred of them.
But would they sell? I brought them to Elmwood. Set them up in a spinner near the originals and waited.
Oh, people looked. They smiled. They told me how lovely they were. I sold a few. I was deflated. It had seemed like such a good idea.
Sunday morning I put the spinner a little closer to the street to encourage walkers to peek. By noon I had decided that it would have been great, but chalk this one up.
And then the damn broke. I had priced them at $4 each, 3 for $10. Only a few bought one. Suddenly they were selling. One after another, customers holding 3 cards. On Sunday afternoon alone, they brought me $300.
The beautiful thing is now that I have them ready to print, I can make bunches quickly. As I make collage I really like, the collection will grow. It is win/win. An impulse purchase, affordable, easy to replenish and based on work I really love to do.
I am trying not to think about how great it would have been to think of this before the season started. It's not easy.
So, just like that, the Summer season is over. The stars have aligned to give me just one Christmas show this year, but that's OK. My granddaughter will be here shortly after my last show and I am chomping at the bit to play Grandma.
But first, some vacation. Blogs from the road coming up!