Well, I must say, that show shit is sure fun. :D That's party every day fun there.
I've spent the last 3 days licking my wounds and going thru my process of... I don't know what to call this... process of... digesting what has transpired with my first show. What it all means. And what I'm going to do about it. Or ... not do.
The problem is not that the show was fail. The problem is, I don't know how to avoid the fail. I don't know what the hell I missed to land myself in the twilight zone. And if I don't know, how do I do better next time?
I've gone over everything that happened, everything I've been told. Everything I've... learned. I understand that there is a difference between art shows and craft shows, and that I belong at an art show. This was a craft show.
I understand that there are festival booking websites that you can use to tell you what kind of shows are out there. They tell you art/craft/beer/wtfwhatever event. I understand it is a very useful tool in telling the difference.
Juried. Juried is important. Means they only let certain things in.
I did all that. I did all that and more. x10. I was so careful it I drove myself bonkers.
To learn from my mistake, I took the advise I'd been given by people at the show and put it to the test. I looked up the AWESOME places I DID belong (according to them) and I compared the information to the way farkin' awesome Sisters Artist Marketplace at the Quilt Show. Know what? IT SAID THE SAME EXACT THING! It cost the same, had the same requirements, same categories, same everything.Same, same, same.
I don't... huh? No. No. It should say something different, right? Seems it should. There were no categories or options for crazy quilt ladies with torches and pitchforks heading up city war with event to choose but come on. Surely "nice art show with jewelry" should say something different than...than... whatever in the hell they just passed off as a show.
This crap ain't cheap. Learning from my mistakes is great and all, but I can NOT keep learning at $250-$500 per lesson. Can't do it. And I sat down and ran the numbers tonight of what the damn thing really cost. I had the 250 fee in my head this whole time. YEah, there was a LOT more too it than that. Forgetting the booth and everything that will be used for future 'shows', just the show: entry fee, days off work, food, water, gas, and misc whatever else to get thru hell...I didn't even cover 1/2.
Responsible me that wants to think she is running some kind of business here, small as it is...yeah, she just totally shaved my buzz. Wasn't that great of a buzz to start with. Bitch.
Anyway, this didn't work. What now?
I've decided... I'm not ready to deal with this. It's ruining everything. Not /just/ this. It's this... on the heels of the gallery deal. It's all bigger than just a stupid show that was total whack. It's a whole year of whack. Whack that wasn't my fault, but whack nonetheless. And worse than just whack, it's whack I can't figure out a reason for. I need something I can hold on to so I can try again and have a chance to succeed. Some thing I can do different next time.
Whatever. I'm done. For this year.
I'm cancelling the September show. Lesson learned: if someone walked up to me right now and offered me nonrefundable fee amount to go sit thru last weekend again, would I do it? The answer...no fucking hell no no shitfuck no fukkoff no way fucking hell no. No. So I figure, even if he doesn't give me any of my money back... whatever. I'll get over it.
I had been advised by pottery guy to get into the October Harvest faire. That was the one I needed. Ok. Looked in to it. Looked really promising, if I could meet the jury requirements I've never done uber quick, and they still have room.
Yeah, well, went to the bead store today. Retail therapy. Turns out, the bead lady had done that show several many times. She did not have good things to say. One of which was that her highest gross was $600, lowest... $35.00.
Um... refer to lesson #1 for the answer to whether or not I'm doing that.
So that leaves me with ... I'm done. Lessons are great and all but at the end of the day, I don't want my major win to be 'at least I did it, and I didn't blow up'. I mean, come on. Let's be honest. That's a sucky fucking win.
So, I'm stepping back. I'll concentrate on filling up my Etsy. I haz stuff. And go back to what I want to be doing, which is learning new ways to /make/ shiny. I have new areas I want to go, my head is clammering (usually) with new ideas and ... and... I can't do anything because I'm too busy and stressed out trying to go all tents and stores. It's blowing up on me for a reason.
It just isn't my time. And I'm forcing it.
Anyway, while I'm doing that, instead of doing more shows, I'm just going to /go/ to more shows. I'm going to hit the ones that look promising. Actually get off my ass and go to them, scope them out. Get a feel for where I want to be and be ready to apply for next year. I have 2 or 3 in mind already.
I'm also pondering a wholesale jewelry gallery downtown. Went today and they're full right now, but I could try to get in line... maybe. And a gallery downtown I've been referred to several times... couldn't hurt to just check them out.... maybe...
Anyhoo. I write long blog posts. Would you believe they've been shortened greatly before I post them? Used to be novels. Still long, there's another.