|The Get Real Girls|
A funny thing happened on the way to the show...
Yesterday was the Nokomis Urban Craft Fair in Minneapolis – my first art show! It was not quite the high-flying success I’d imagined it to be, but a great experience nonetheless. As promised, here’s the scoop:
THE MORNING RUSH: A couple of days ago, it was a balmy 65 degrees here in Minnesota. Now, it’s a winter wonderland. When I went to bed on Friday night, it was beginning to flurry; a few big snowflakes were slowly twirling from the clouds to the ground. By the time I woke up on Saturday morning, it looked like it had been snowing for days! And it was still snowing.
A friend sent me a text: “Leave early. Roads are horrible!” CRAP! I hurriedly got ready, loaded up the minivan and set out, feeling good that I’d remembered everything. The roads were, indeed, horrible. The snow was wet and heavy, falling at record pace and with whipping winds, making driving a bear. About a third of the way there, my heart sunk: I had forgotten my centerpiece – a big vase with a spray of tree branches to display my necklaces. DOUBLE CRAP! So I turned around, white-knuckled it home and couldn’t even make it up the driveway (too slippery for the minivan! TRIPLE CRAP!). So I trudged through the deep snow, into the house and returned with the homemade tree.
I had never been to the Nokomis Community Center before and getting there probably would have been easy, had the street signs not been totally caked in snow. I kept driving back and forth over the same bridge, totally lost. Yep, QUADRUPLE CRAP. Thankfully, my Vice President of Saving My Life & Keeping Me Sane – Jordan – was at the Center waiting for me and talked me through it on the phone, only making fun of me a few times along the way. 🙂 I miraculously got there in time to set up. Thank you, art gods!
THE SHOW: The scene was pretty comical when I finally pulled in: tons of artists slopping through the snow while gingerly carrying boxes and bags of materials from their cars to the doors of the center. I saw two women trying to mount a giant tube of lipstick (probably four feet tall) onto the top of their SUV; it must have fallen off in the near-blizzard…but I’m still not even sure why it was there in the first place! The show was in an old gymnasium with lighting that gave everything and everyone a lovely mustard hue. Overall, I felt good about my table, which Jordan and I designed to have a loose nature/organic theme. A nice brown tablecloth, baskets with moss and excelsior holding my items, signs attached to twigs with pricing. Throughout the show, we had plenty of time to play around with the layout and to observe others’ tables, which will help for future shows. I was so relieved to have someone to talk to because the traffic was so S-L-O-W. A few folks from around the neighborhood braved the snow, but most people stayed home. Turns out it was the biggest pre-Thanksgiving snowstorm in 19 years. So, for five hours the 30+ artists sat at their tables, twiddling their thumbs, chatting with each other and perking up whenever an actual visitor strolled through. I think the vendor next to us knitted a whole scarf during the show.
THE SILVER LINING(s): I made five sales. Which is way better than zero. And I heard nice comments from passersby. But what a weird feeling it is to sit behind a table full of my art, watch people look at it and then watch them walk away! I can see how these shows will help me develop a thicker skin.
I was so touched that several friends showed up despite the storm, including my red-headed soul sisters (and radio co-hosts) Colleen and Joan. And it warmed my heart to see Jen from Painted Fish Studio, whom I hadn’t seen since our art retreat last month. My hubby brought the boys, all bundled up with rosy cheeks and wide eyes. My seven-year-old was overjoyed to sit behind the table and a be a “worker.” He told each shopper that he helped make the art. And at one point, he started lifting up my originals to see the prices: “Seventy-five-dollars!!?? Mom, nobody’s gonna pay that much for this!!!” So, that was super helpful.
There were lots of other bright lights during this stormy day. I got to meet fellow artists and catch up with others I know. I was invited to participate in another upcoming show. I got to test out the layout of my table, rearrange and make tweaks. And I had a good time. Plus, the hubster took me out for a lovely dinner at the sweet little Grand Cafe. So, I’ve got nothing to complain about. It was and is all good.