Don't believe everything you THINK . . .

One of the ways to pass time during the lulls at shows is looking around at the attendees/other artists and talking about them. 

Art shows make for notoriously good people watching, for one thing, being populated as they are by not only a crazy group of creative geniuses but also throngs of shoppers proudly wearing everything (at once) they've ever purchased at such a venue.  And some of them have been collecting these wardrobe enhancements for some time . . .

But these circumstances can sometimes lead even the kindest of us to make snap judgments.  First, you assume that every other artist in the building is making money hand-over-fist and will undoubtedly sell out over the course of the weekend, while your own work sits patiently waiting for just the right appreciator to recognize its brilliance.

Then you make assumptions about those possible appreciators themselves, such as -- too rich, too poor, too disinterested, too high-brow, too low-brow . . . you can't possibly avoid making such pronouncements in your head as the hours and the shoppers shuffle by.

When in reality, it's probable that
almost NOTHING you assume is accurate.

I spoke to one artist  -- a true industry veteran and one of the hardest working show dogs I've ever seen -- whom I have always assumed was pulling in 20K per show, only to learn that Sunday was as slow for her as it was for me (although she was relieved to have finally managed a $60.00 sale.)

Yet another lesson in the futility of judging . . . better to just sit quietly and focus on the things you KNOW, such as that San Francisco is a wonderful city (albeit freezing),

 The Herbst Pavilion, Bldg. 1 of the ACC San Francisco and home to booth #111.

that you're insanely lucky to be able to make  the things you love, and also absolutely privileged to be able to share them with like-minded others at such a beautiful show.

I've never done a show in a venue where there are seals in the parking lot . . .

. . . not to mention things like whatever this thing is.  And I showed up in SF with no coat (it being August and all).  Silly me!  Luckily, my mother is smarter than I am and lent me her lovely sweater for the weekend, which quite literally saved my life.  Thanks, Mom!

Which leads us to the 
Small Works Show Report, 
ACC San Francisco Edition:

"San Francisco itself is art . . . ."  

William Saroyan

And what a show it was!  

It never occurred to me that wearing a polka dot dress in my booth might be . . . shall we say . . . overkill.  
Oops!  By the third comment, I was seriously questioning my choice.

The quality was equal to that of the work in Baltimore, but in a much more manageable quantity. Our booth neighbors were absolutely delightful, and we made enough money to make driving across both Nebraska and Nevada TWICE worthwhile.

 Nevada, of course.  The first time.

What more can one person ask for? 

I had a good feeling from the moment I first slid into a San Francisco taxi and, looking down, noticed a fortune cookie fortune sitting pristinely on the floor.  Being the fortune junkie that I am, I of course assumed Ms. Fate had placed it there expressly for my personal guidance and enjoyment and scooped it up.  It said:

I was a little concerned about the "social skills" part, naturally, but knew I had a trusty booth hand by my side who would be more than willing to schmooze as needed. So I put a lucky feeling in my pocket with the fortune and decided to feel positive no matter what gymnastics my stomach engaged in.

And my little works were indeed well received!

The audience was appreciative and engaged, the conversations meaningful, and I somehow even managed to touch a few art lovers deeply enough to be invited into their homes to take up a permanent residence of sorts.  The supreme compliment.

There was some of the usual silliness, of course, but as I've said before, the ridiculous comments only add to the entertainment value and are reason in and of themselves to participate in shows.

Besides, we need those comments so that after the show, we can come home and share them with you, dear readers!

Overheard at the Show . . . 

One favorite, directed not at my booth but at the hall in general, came from the man who looked around and pronounced, "I expected it to be more like . . . ART."

Russ enjoyed the moment when a woman requested one of my cards, which he gladly handed her, and when she looked at it she immediately blurted, "now that's an UGLY card!"

And I waited quietly and for some time while a person carefully read everything in my booth before she turned to me and said, "You've obviously had A LOT of therapy."  How to respond?  Thank you?

I also enjoyed the comment from the person who looked through my magnifying glass for a second, then said "Oh.  You're a perfect person.  This tells me everything I need to know about you."

Hmmmm . . .

But all in all it was a great (and exhausting!) success.

We were fortunate to be joined by my parents in SF, 
and were also able to visit Russ' Mom, and participate in a family wedding to boot!

The route looked like pin-ball, with our truck bouncing from Minneapolis to Salt Lake City, to San Francisco, back to Salt Lake, down to St. George, to Las Vegas, back to St. George, and then home again and only a little worse for the wear.

The truck has spilled its contents into the dining room, and just as soon as I get a little energy I'm going to put everything away and then get back to work . . .

I promise.  Really.  

Ummm . . . yeah. 

 (at least I THINK I will.)*

*see post title



luanne said...

So glad you're back, and even gladder (more glad?) that this trip was fun and successful, and you squeezed in some good family time too.

You look so cute in that polka dot dress! Good choice & love the shoes too.

Can't wait to see what comes next when that little embroidered gal you left at home finds out what she missed!

Allie said...

Welcome back - love the dress, it was perfect! Your booth looks great and I'm glad it was a success. I laughed so hard at the comment about the therapy...

Judy said...

Sounds like an awesome trip. I'm going to have to make it to one of your shows. It looks like so much fun, and your work looks amazing.

Amelia and Justin said...

Glad you guys made it home safely! Reading about this trip just makes me that much more excited about seeing you when (not if) you come back to Baltimore.

Oh, and I LOVE that entire outfit - complete with grandma's fabulous sweater :)

susan m hinckley said...

Thanks, all! We had a great time, and I wasn't fishing for dress compliments, although it was a pretty swell dress . . . thanks to my sister who sent it for my birthday.

Free tickets for anyone who comes to see any of my shows!

Amelia and Justin said...

Oh, and to the person who made the comment about therapy... "takes one to know one" :)

susan m hinckley said...

That's exactly what I said to her! But she didn't laugh. Awkward.

Sloane's Creations said...

Oh My! You crack me up! I have to laugh at the polka dot dress in your booth. I have a tendency to kind of "match" my booth too and the last show I did I had quite a few comments on this fact.
I am glad you did well.

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