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Monday, October 3, 2011

Two dollar beads and a yo yo quilt

I think I am suffering from what I have come to know as the after show blues. First of all, I am so tired today from talking to so many people and smiling all day. Some people just naturally make me smile, but being friendly all day is tiring. I sit alone in my studio for hours and hours not having a thought in the world except things such as: "oh I like how the slip squished out of that seam on my barn and made it look like mortar", and important things like that. So, because I don't practice being friendly every day, it's like when you exercise infrequently and you are sore the next day. Also, it is an emotional roller coaster putting yourself out there naked to the world with your work that you have been so intimate with for days and weeks. My barns become such a part of me that when people are touching them and talking about them, it makes me squirmmy. I do love it when people that I instantly like buy a barn though. These are my people, the ones that get me, get my work. I sense them, when they come into my booth, I know the ones that are going to buy a barn. Then..... there are the two dollar shoppers as they became designated by me yesterday.
I had my beads on sale yesterday for $2 a piece. The new ones I'm constructing were $10 because they are beautiful and I love them. Not that I don't like the $2 beads, it's just that my crush on them is over and I'm moving on. And I do also like the $2 shoppers because without them yesterday my sales would have been way less, so thanks to those that bought beads, I love you! But..... I had a little table set up with my antique printer's tray full of beads, and I would say that 90% of everyone that passed my booth at Festifall came directly to that table. They either pondered over the beads and most bought them, or they felt up my yo yo quilt that I was using as a table cloth. When it first started I would just say, yeah, I got it a long time ago, yes it is nice, yes it is an antique, yes it is valuable.... but this ended up being the focus of everyone's attention at Festifall. My f'ing yo yo quilt. I had beautiful barns and necklaces and raku pieces that I had worked for months on so these people could come and buy them and what did they want to talk to me about. A fucking quilt!!!!! By the end of the day, I was ready to put that thing on Ebay. Holy crap, it was madness, even Gerry finally had enough of it. At the end of the day I was so tired and punchy that when someone commented on it, I would burst out laughing. I think there were some people in my booth yesterday that ONLY saw that quilt and I would like to just smack those people!
I also feel that little self doubt monster creeping around today (maybe because my work was competing with a quilt someone at the turn of the 20th century made). You all know the one. When I look at what I presented yesterday, I can say without a doubt that I was proud of 99% of it. I am proud that the pieces I sold are being enjoyed by someone today. I was proud to see people come into my booth with one of my pendants on. Proud to see people that have bought from me in the past coming back for more. But then, I look at other people's work. Potters that are much better than me, jewelers that produce amazing pieces of art with metal, on and on. And I start that miserable comparison thing. " I wish I could do that, why can't my glaze look like that, why don't I like to make mugs", you know how this goes...... but then I also see people at festivals that are making crap, and I know my work is quality work and it's different and I know that people respond in a very positive way to my work. I had sooooo many compliments yesterday. So why do we doubt ourselves when we get such positive responses. Maybe it's what we need to always strive to be better, because that is what I want to do all the time. No matter what I make, I want it to be better, even if it is already pretty damn good. I want it to grow, to soar, to be better than the last piece I made, and it's doing that. I look at what I was making even two years ago and what is in my kiln right now, and my heart soars. And still, the little voices are back in there...... what am I doing this for, I'm tired, Deborah Fritts is a rock star, stuff like that!
One last thing I have to ponder today. There is the $200 barn shopper and the $2 bead shopper. I must love both of these shoppers, because the dollars in sales add up because of both of these, not from just one of them. Which causes me to develop the split personality syndrome, and that takes work to live with. I have to remind myself to be just as grateful for the college girl yesterday that parted with her hard earned $2 for a bead that she was so happy with as I am with the folks that want a really nice piece of art in their really nice home, that by the way they also work hard for. In the end, these are really the same people aren't they? They work hard for their money, they are out for a nice day, and they kindly bought something from me, loved it, and they now have something that brings joy to their lives in a positive way.
I'm not solving the problem with the oil companies and Dick Cheney is the antichrist, but I made a few people happy, so my life is good.
peace ya'll, thanks for letting me work this out in my head, I feel better now :)

14 comments:

M E Garde said...

Is there something wrong with me? I didn't even notice the quilt. ;-) My eyes went right to the necklaces and beads, especially the bead tray. There was something very compelling about the beads and way the tray presented them. It enhanced their preciousness.

Michèle Hastings said...

i definitely get your frustration over the quilt comments. our gallery is a very"quaint" log cabin that was moved to it's present location. we have people come in everyday who don't seem to look at the pots, only the building... asking lots of questions about it's history. we want to say "forget about the building, look at the pottery!" jeff has come up with some wise guy answers about the cabin.
at least you can leave the quilt at home next time :-).

as for beads... i have had times when the bead buyers have saved the show for me!

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Maureen, nothing wrong with you, you just understood what I was there for!! And you bought two of my favorite new pendants!!!! I can't wait to see what you do with them. I had no idea that quilt was going to take over the show the way it did :)
Michele, I know that building well, and I have to admit I was very taken with it the first time I was ever there. However I thought, like Maureen said, the building enhanced the work and the work is what I saw, but in a beautiful setting. Yes, thank goodness for beads some days!

Bert said...

At the end of my first studio tour I couldn't believe how tired I was. Because it was so contrary to my personality, I realized I had "worked" all day interacting with the public. lol I'm more comfortable with it now, but it's still not second nature for me.

I walk around at festivals and think "my work is better than that" and then sit at the wheel in my studio and beat myself up thinking "it's got to be better". lol So I know how frustrating it can be.

In the end, I think "doubt" reinforces our work. If we didn't have "doubt", we might not be prone to continuous examination and strive to do "better".

Tracey Broome said...

Bert I think you are absolutely right. I know the feeling, I did a quick walk through at the festival this weekend and saw some pretty bad pottery. Someone even commented in my booth that they thought it was a juried show, it was, but I'm not sure what the criteria was this year. Looked to me like the "jury" had some pretty loose standards....

M E Garde said...

The beads are on my desk in their little bag, I love to look at them. That is all I am able to do for now but they will get their moment!

cindy shake said...

All signs of a true artist who just had their heart and soul on display (and for sale) for the world to see and feel :) your work rocks and you know it. Find the right avenue to sell it. Just when you think you have it figured out it will surely change OR the commission will GO UP :)

Sorry, but after the third comment on the quilt I would have put it in the car -never let the props outshine the work. Customers all have ADD at shows, make it easy for them to want to buy your work. BTW I also LOVE that quilt and my hands would have been all over that thing -but I also would have bought a whole bag of those FAB BEADS!

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Cindy, I know, I was tempted to take the quilt down, but most times it was hard to get to it! Thanks for the encouraging words. I'm happy with my work, as long as I don't look around at other artists (at least sometimes)

SUSAN WELLS said...

Oh Tracey! You're posts are so full of life! Glad things all worked out at the show. You had some nice weather too:) Love you.

Lori Buff said...

I've tried to remove distractions like the quilt from my booth, so people tell me what great shelves I have. Seriously. Thankfully they do look away from the shelves and start to look at the pots. If you get some inspiration from the quilt you can talk about how it inspires your work and change the focus.

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Susan, yes, good shows for both of us this month, yay for us!! Lori, your post made me laugh, I know EXACTLY what you are talking about. Hey, let's see a picture of those shelves :)

Lori said...

Congratulations! Your work is wonderful! Be proud of your self for putting it out into the world as your naked self, and thanks for sharing the feelings we all have. Don't bring the damn quilt next time!

Lorraine Young Pottery said...

Gosh Tracey, I totally got your quilt story, I can imagine the frustation being how I also put my heart and soul into my work. I will NOT be adding any of my antique things to my stall if I ever have one, a lesson learned.

Lorraine

Lorraine Young Pottery said...

Oh and I just want to add - I am learning allot from reading your blog and you made me nod and laugh with your straight talkin artist ways LOL.

Lorraine