With an entry fee of $500 on top of expenses for the Art Fair in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, you need to be pretty confident that your art will sell, and these days my confidence has grown enough that I believe in my creations. While I tried to keep my expectations for the show in check, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited for the chance to participate in such a high end affair.
Many don't see the behind the scenes stuff that go on in my day to day life. They see the photographs, they presume I'm traveling all around, and thanks to social media, a false sense of reality is portrayed. While I am lucky to be doing what I'm doing, there are many late nights spent after my day job, catching up on putting my photography prints together, ordering products, and trying to find that balance of not having too much in stock, but having enough ready to go in case it sells out.
The show was a three day event, and I spent Thursday framing some of my last pieces, while gazing at some of my larger prints not happy with the way they had come out. I'm beginning to learn about the printing process of photography, so the fact that some of them came out blurry and a bit pixelated was on me, but I spent several hours finalizing my products for the weekend. The dog and I made the 3 hour drive south to Jackson, Wyoming and arrived to a sweltering 95 degree day. After setting up my booth for the weekend, we hustled over to Staples to have one of my photography pieces reprinted. The new print came out much better, as I adjusted some settings on the file, and off to our campground we went. We found one spot open in the National Forest, and it happened to be a shared spot. I took the dog for a walk and waited for someone else to arrive, and sure enough a camper van from Colorado pulled up and asked if they could stay for the night. Here's my old age showing, but I told the young lady if they weren't going to be up partying till 3 A.M. they could stay. She laughed and said that the couple had a 1 year old and that they'd be cool. We shared some conversations about what we were doing in the area and where we were from, then nighttime fell and we both retired to our vehicle dwellings.
Friday shows usually don't draw well for whatever the reason, so I wasn't expecting much. It was nice to walk around and see what some of the artists were creating around me, before 10 AM arrived, anchoring me to my booth for the remainder of the day. Some sales came in, but nothing noteworthy until about 3PM in the afternoon. I had just gotten back to the grounds after taking my dog for a walk, when the winds began to pick up. I passed a booth with paintings on canvas and was almost smacked in the head as they flew upwards on their hanging apparatus. I helped the woman out by grabbing them as they flipped over the roof of her tent. I managed to make my way back to my area just in time, as the canvas walls would push in, then out, as no doubt atmospheric pressure and winds toyed with the idea of sending tents in different directions. I grabbed on to it as I watched others do the same with their own, some with heavier weights holding them down. I prayed that I wouldn't be that guy whose tent went rolling, and to be honest I was more worried about my product then the actual tent. While I survived the wind storm in tact, I accidentally spilled some water on a larger piece of mine (the one I just had reprinted the evening before) and once a photograph gets wet, well, it's say goodnight.
Saturday was by far the busiest day and my most profitable, as people perused various booths. I took notice of the people passing by, and it didn't seem like many were interested in my stuff. I wasn't letting it get to me though, because there were A LOT of amazing artists there, and I know a certain segment of the population does enjoy my work. Sales or not, I'm always reminding myself that all it takes is one person to buy a larger piece, and your entire weekend is made. I shared a few decent conversations with people, and before I knew it, two days had quickly passed me by.
Sunday brought rain, and a lot of it. I shrunk my area down, as I've dealt with conditions like that before, and there's no need to put out stuff only to have it get ruined. Rain + my creations don't make for a good mix! While the foot traffic managed to be a bit more than I had expected, I would only wind up matching my sales from the previous day. When all was said and done, I'd come out with a -$140 total for the three days.
None of it really mattered though, because my dad had flown out last minute on Friday evening to spend the weekend with me and my dog. As the show wrapped up late Sunday afternoon, we indulged in hot dogs from a local vendor who was set up on the grounds for the weekend. My dad chose the motor city dog (chili, onion, cheese sauce, mustard), while myself tried the goober dog (peanut butter, jelly, and bacon.) You can never put a monetary value on sharing intimate moments together, so for me the entire weekend wound up being a gain.
To read more about my second live show in Brigham City, Utah doing the Summer of 2022, click on the link here entitled: Mary Ann (Two Words No E)
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