So now that the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts is done and I had a day to decompress, I’ve had some time to think about how it went.
But first, a brief recap of day two. The crowd was decent, but sales were down from the first day. I made 25% of my goal to pretty much break even. So on the business side of things, I feel that’s pretty good for a first time at something like this. I may have gotten a little over zealous with the number of prints that I had. But now I have stock that can be moved in the future.
I have two solid leads on future shows. One is a smaller indie art festival run by one of the artists I met. The other would be a solo show, but in a non-tradition gallery setting. Both are very promising. The first would be very easy to do. I’d probably make up that missing 25% and then some with little to no expense. The solo show would probably require another good investment on my part, maybe half of what I just spent if I can find cheap frames. It would require larger framed prints, but not multiples of the same print to sell. I need to talk to the curator to see if it’s really worth doing. How much do the artist who show there really sell? It might be a gamble that’s really worth doing. We’ll see...
On day two I did something amazingly stupid and hilarious. I would stand outside my tent and invite people in to look around. It worked all weekend. I would stealthily look around, eyes hidden by my sunglasses, to see who was looking my way. I saw this one guy looking in to my tent as he was walking by. I called out “Come on in and look around!” while motioning with my arm. He didn’t flinch, but kept looking at me. Only once I widened my tunnel vision from his face did I see his cane and the gentleman on the other side of him leading him through the crowd. He was blind. I tried to sell a photograph to a blind guy. At least he couldn’t see the embarrassment on my face.
And finally, Mr. Grumpypants. The guy in the tent next to me. He complained about everything. He made these little, one foot high metal sculptures. Shapes and whatnot that cast little weird shadows. He had what looked like MS Paint renderings of what they would look like if they were ten feet tall in a backyard, or what they would look like if they were in a Picasso. He cropped some elements of a Picasso, dumped the shape of his sculpture next to them, and printed it out in a pixelated mess.
He brought five of these little sculptures with him, displayed on a table with a very unwelcoming “DO NOT TOUCH” sign on it. Something like “Please ask for help before handling” would have come across better. He was asking $1200 for them, which is his right to do. Except he tells me he has a gallery that sells his work for him, so whatever he sells, he’ll have to give 50% to them. And then after all the money he has to spend having someone cut the metal, then having someone weld it all together, and then having someone paint them, he’s going to loose money on every one. He also tells me he only did they show because his wife hates these sculptures and wanted them gone. And everyone that came in to his tent knew nothing about art, is completely uneducated and ignorant, and doesn’t understand the math that goes in to designing these. And don’t forget how much he spent on his CAD program.
The festival had volunteers to watch your tent if you needed to grab food, or needed to use the bathroom. Mr. Grumpypants would disappear for an hour at a time, several times each day. This would leave some poor volunteer stranded at his tent. What the hell! Where he would go, I have no idea.
Now, I know I may seem like a grump complaining about him, but everyone else thought the same thing. A friend stopped by my tent and realized who was next to me. She had to interview him the week before for something related to the gallery he sells through. She said the conversation was excruciating. Oh well... I’ll probably never have to cross paths with him again.
Anyway, my brief recap wasn’t so brief. Sorry. Overall, I think I did well. I learned a few things. If in do one of these things again, I know what I should do differently/better. We’ll what happens.
Oh, I took the header pic on Sunday at the festival. It’s a small section cropped out of a larger frame. I think I can do it better with a different lens, so it’s not cropped as much as it is. I’ll be taking care of that shortly. But up next, is the Grand Prix Of St. Petersburg this weekend. I can’t wait!