Today I find myself reflecting on a week's work of disappointments and misdirected energy. Yesterday I gave my second ever attempt at setting up a booth and putting my shit on the table. Nomad, a women's eco-clothing boutique started by Gaia Conceptions in Greensboro, had a grand opening festival in their new parking lot and invited me to set up a booth. I normally would never consider such an offer but I really like Andrea, the owner, and I really like her business model and this amazing resource she is bringing to the community -- and it was FREE. I figured "why not?" I've been working on small-scale pieces and had art prints and postcards lying around the house.... I could fill a table.
And I did fill a table -- filled a whole 10' x 10' chunk of asphalt! I did rather enjoy a bit of decorating and was pleasantly surprised by my mother-in-law's fun tent that I unfurled for the first time on site.
Throughout the 7-hours I was there behind that table, I gave out less than a dozen business cards and sold a whopping 7 postcards...ok, ok, I knew I wasn't going to sell much, and I saw it as more of a 'getting-out-in-the-public' sorta opportunity, but it still felt disappointing realizing that
1) this was not an appropriate venue for my work and 2) I just wasted a whole day focusing my energy in the wrong direction. I STILL really enjoyed being there, I mean it was a waste strictly from a business p-o-v. As Adam drove us away after helping me pack up, he stated that he "knew that wasn't going to be the right outlet for me". I suppressed the instinctual...
...but what really bugged me was that this was the second time in one week that Adam was saying this to me. Wanna hear more? Ok, I tell you :)
I applied for a spot as a member in the prestigious Piedmont Craftsmen Guild, based in Winston-Salem, NC. Not a huge undertaking but you pay a fee and submit photos of your work with descriptions of your techniques and materials. If you make it past that first part, then you go on to exhibit your work at their huge fair in November. I was looking to find any new venue to show my work so I entered. I didn't get in - not too bummed at this point - but then I asked for feedback and got a healthy dose of criticism. Lemme tell you, that shit is HARD TO SWALLOW! Once again, I talked to Adam about it all and he gave me the same 'I knew all along it wasn't gonna work' comment.
How is it other people are privy to what's best for me and I'm learning this all in hindsight?
I've always been in the "at least I tried" party but now I'm wondering if I'm not being discerning enough out the gate. My fucking problem is that I just can't seem to wrap my head around where I lie. Am I with the crafters or the artists? The week's failures have got me thinking that I'm not in the craft category anymore, I guess I need to start convincing the art ya-yas out there that knitting is a viable art form...wish me luck.
+++++ ON A POSITIVE NOTE +++++
Skram Furniture, my occasional employer, asked if they could take "Ain't That Some Shit!" up to NYC with them to show in their ICFF booth! I've been following the #icff hashtag on Instagram to see the photos people are taking of it.
International Contemporary Furniture Fair is a huge, awesome, annual event stuffed with the most amazing, latest design work from all over the world. THIS IS A BIG DEAL FOR ME! I mean, New York City is the mothership for all artists, people live there that understand....and are willing to pay for art. Also, it's hung above a gorgeous new credenza that my boo berry Adam worked on; we've been calling it the Rorschach piece.The show goes from May 17th-20th.
It's up there now and it's for sale so
WISH ME LUCK!