Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Catching Up

I haven't posted much lately! All of November was pretty well taken up with my preparations for the One of a Kind sale. Once again this year, I had a 5' x 10' booth, but this year, I was selling for the first 5 days, from November 26 to November 30. This are finally getting back to normal for me now. It's really quite overwhelming; the show is enormous. There are 800 vendors and tens of thousands of visitors. Even a 5' x 10' booth takes many hours to set up and to take down. Every day of the show, runs 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (except Sundays, which end at 6 pm... and in the second week, there's an extra long day). So, that means, with any morning additions or clean  up at the end of the day, vendors are typically working 12 hours straight... plus, we all have commuting time and lives and families and other responsibilities. It was very hard to be at the show on my son's 2nd birthday, though the family postponed the celebration for a week. But, it's also wonderful to feel surrounded by some many talented handmakers and to have colleagues and neighbours. Often being an artist or craftsperson is very solitary, and during the show, suddenly you are surrounded by people who are also creating and selling the work of their hands - and they are amazing people. My friend called us a sort of travelling circus, cause we have tents or booths and we meet up at different shows. Well, this circus is staffed with some of my favourite people. She also pointed out that with so many vendors, each and every customer is sort of amazing; he or she has chosen you, and what you create from all these incredible options.

It is quite extraordinary to meet the customers too! Sometimes you make a great connection. People return from show to show. One woman bought some framed prints, then returned two days later and bought more. One customer bought a several framed prints to complete a set from last year, despite the fact that she was moving the next week and needed to downsize. One teacher asked me if she could assign her students to drawn the flora and fauna of each province within its map, like my print series; I said I'd be flattered and I hope she'll send me images of their work. Or they tell you what interests them, or why they connect to your work. I have a confession to make. I create for me. I create because I have to. I create to express myself. I create to express ideas I think I are important or fascinating. I don't sit here thinking "my customer wants this" (with the except, of course, of custom orders, which I make too). Perhaps that's selfish, but I don't think that works.... trying to pander. But, I'm very grateful that the work I do does connect with people. And I do want to thank everyone who came by and visited me. Thank you so very much for supporting what I do!

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