Saturday, July 16, 2011

my first outdoor art festival experience/ ordeal

so, last weekend i participated in ELORA ART IN THE YARD, an outdoor arts and crafts festival in my home town.  I was originally declined admittance based on my submitted portfolio, which they said was essentially too broad, and to try again next year with a more cohesive series of work.  Ok... whatever.  So i went on with my life, 3 weeks prior to the show i was notified of an opening, and despite being crazy busy with summer school I decided I would do it anyways.  Intensive summer school classes ran simultaneously for the first 2 of those 3 weeks.
 I had to find a tent, and booth walls etc.  The tent canopy should not have been as hard to find as it was, many stores sell an ideal white 10x10 tent canopy... however, last minute and late into the summer season everywhere I went was sold out.  I eventually found a brown one at home depot for just under $200.  I found a retailer in mississauga who sold the wire grid walls/ etc.  So i went there and ordered the walls, legs hooks etc.  Because they were too big for my parents car and not fully in stock that day I had to arrange an elaborate plan of my one sister picking them up with her truck, and then meeting me in my other sisters truck in acton to exchange loads... blah blah blah it ended up working out (last minute) all in all was like $900 or so (I had to use my vacation money for all this stuff, in hopes i'd make it back)
Thankfully i thought it would be a good idea to do a test run set up in my parents back yard.  Turns out the order was messed up.  GREAT.  The day of the festival set up I had to drive back to mississauga and exchange pieces, then rush my ass back in time to set up... this OF COURSE resulted in a speeding ticket. But i got there on time.
I figured now was a good time to make business cards, and adfactor in toronto was recommended to me.  I submitted my design on a thursday, agreeing that they would be ready for pick up the following thursday (as set up was the next day).  Well thursday rolls around and they are not ready.  GREAT that means i have to leave the city without them. They weren't sure if they would even be ready the following day.  AFTER many phone calls, they finished them, and I had to get my roomate to go get them, then meet up with my boyfriend to bring them to me.  HASSLE  but in the end they do look really great and I am happy.
Also, stupid me thought that this would be a GREAT time to get a couple prints of my recent "cat pond" piece made since everyone seems to love it so much.  So I go to TORONTO IMAGE WORKS to get the painting digitally captured and 2 full scale giclee prints made, on bamboo paper.  This was NOT CHEAP with the capture and 2 prints it came to like $340  BUT i was like... its ok if I can sell a couple prints for $200 - $300 each it will work out, I will still have the original to keep or sell and can print more in the future.  In theory... YES of course non of these sold.
I didnt have much time to make new pieces, as i was making stuff for school at the time, but I do have a TON of paintings, I did manage to make a number of smaller pieces which I figured i could sell for much less and hopefully make some money back.   
NOPE.  I sold 2 pieces, which did cover my entrance fees but did not even remotely touch my overhead fees.  I took my work which i thought was the most appropriate for such a setting, and left the weirder stuff at home, well... I still felt by far the weirdest there... which i expected... and weird is ok in my books, makes ME more memorable.  I got alot of nice comments about my creativity, imagination and technical skills, and my booth looked really great.  I talked to alot of people, and didnt feel awkward or shy at all.  I am pretty pleased about that aspect of the show, but admittedly I am rather bummed about not being able to go on a vacation now.  
But hey, atleast I have all this stuff now and wont have to waste money in the future.  

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