One day Travis and I were discussing the art scene in Albany and the topic of Lark St. came up. I was in a pretty bold mood....and he had mentioned that it was a pretty diverse and busy art event...so I got online and ended up very impulsively signing up for the Art on Lark show on June 9. I really had no idea what to expect, except for what I saw on the web for photos of previous shows. I spent the last few weeks working on a bunch of smaller book projects and prints, so I would have something for the buyer with the smaller wallet to buy, assuming most of Albany is almost broke as I am. I was stressing over it, cuz i really had no idea what to expect, but finally I chilled out and decided just to wing it.
I made up a price list, and created some displays out of old window frames hinged at the top. I packed up Chris' EZ-up tent, gathered a few of his more choice card tables. I gathered up a cross section of my smaller works. I borrowed the van from work to hold it all, and headed off to Albany to sell some shit!! (sorry, but this is my blog, and sometimes I have to type it just like I would say it).
Setting up an older EZ up tent without help is just plain foolish. The first stage of pulling out the corners became a quiet riot, as I walked around and around the tent till I was dizzy. So Jul the Fool attempted to do it for about 15 minutes until enlisting aid from innocent and only semi-willing bystanders. After the tent was up, I made quick work of setting up a booth. I had to concentrate, since I hadn't done this before. I ended up doing things so differently than I had planned, but I had to adapt to the spot that I was given. And deal with the sidewalk folks, people who actually had to use the sidewalk for more than browsing the art.
The show started at noon. I was nervous as hell. I don't do well at selling myself. I am an expressor...a creator...a communicator. Until I have to communicate the archaic and subtle ideas behind my art to someone I haven't met! I remembered all the antique shows that Chris and I did last summer, and tried to copy his sales pitches and his routine of saying hello to the customers. Instead of sitting in the camp chair and reading the "Secret Life of Salvador Dali" I stood up in the heat and talked with folks. Anyone who took more than a mild interest, I spoke with them about what I do. I ended up after awhile coming up with a loose sales pitch and I was giggling to myself at how silly I sounded at times. But I didn't let the nerves get to me, and there were SO MANY people walking around it wasn't like I had time to pout about my inadequacies.
I ended up doing quite well. I sold 3 original works, almost all the prints, and some of each of my books. The show made me more money than I had estimated as my goal...I met a bunch of interesting people. I got to watch people ponder over my stuff, smile at the books, and feel the textures of everything I had on the table. I was really psyched to see that there was almost an equal distribution of men on-lookers vs. women. I had the preconceived notion that my audience was predominantly female, but I may have underestimated my male audience.
I wasn't overly impressed by the other art I had seen in the show, but then again, I was very much rooted to my little booth and didn't get the chance to go and look at others. In the afternoon, the sun rose up high in the sky, leaving me pleased to be on the shaded side of the sidewalk. I was watching the other side of the street fanning themselves to keep cool...But the heat I couldn't totally avoid. I ended up standing barefoot on the sidewalk for most of the afternoon.
All in all, a positive experience. I should do it again.