Monday, 28 November 2011

Failure to launch

Well, I could argue that the economic climate is not the best time to suddenly launch a career as an artist. But I was not prepared for the brutality that was to come. Despite the hoards walking round, little money exchanged hands, I'd spent the whole of Saturday night cutting out paper doves to make cards. I'd other designs too, but in the end ran out of time. Thankfully, as no one was buying cards, not just mine, but anywhere. I had completely misjudged the Christmas Craft Fair, it was mostly jewellery and commercially imported merchandise. The only thing selling was cupcake candles, soap and lavender bags. Maybe some scarves but that was all. Neither stall either side of me made enough to cover costs. Luckily I did. What was laughable was how many stopped ooh ed and aah ed but didn't even buy a card.
My sister was stoic, she came with food and stood with me for 4 hours. Emin drove me and helped price things up, which was nice since the previous night I had called him a thoughtless prick. Both Kitty and Leyla called me to see how it was going, which was sweet. The main shock was that it was not a craft fair for people who make things, it was just a cash cow for the organisers. lesson learnt.

I have learnt 2 other important lessons.
1. I must have a website, this is a no brainer and Emin has offered to build one after the new year, he is surprisingly keen to launch my art career, so I know he will do it.
2. Everything is now packed and ready to go, this took hours but has now made me realise it can be done. I have through numerous conversations found 3 more venues that would work better for my work. I'm going to do some research this coming weekend and then after the website is up and running go for it.

Friday was a triumph of sorts. A great meal at Les Deux Salons, even Kitty agreed. I treated my sister and I to a glass of Champagne which was what I had looked forward to all week. She was more deserving having lost £8000 of business in one day. I think she will be schmoozing a client this week to make up for it, poor soul.
The play (Comedy of Errors) I have mixed feeling about. 3/5 is a fair I think. The stage as always was great, just brilliantly done. The acting was either 'very good' or 'not great', but it rolled along nicely. After 5 min's Kitty leaned across and said "are they going to talk like this all night?" I panicked but then she relaxed and just let it wash over her. Despite the lack of understanding she really enjoyed herself, and may join us again, but only if they talk in English!!
My biggest concern about the play was one scene that they had set in a brothel, this is fine, kids need to know they exist, (and there were a lot of children there that night.) What was disconcerting was the man in the 'gimp mask' seriously was that necessary? Luckily Leyla didn't see it so I was let off that very interesting conversation!


Anonymous said...

Well done on getting all your efforts out on sale!That's an achievement.Can't wait to see your website, to see your artwork.I've followed your blog for ages,I'm also a mum,a teacher and starting a part time MA in art.Inspiring ,especially the angry or frustrated posts- I can relate!!

indigo16 said...

That is a heady combination, I'm glad I am not alone in the chaotic way I seem to live.
When some of the people showed suprise that I was not doing a craft fair each and evey week I wanted to shout "Do you know what I have to do each week?"

materfamilias said...

I've been at some of these craft fairs, although not for a few years -- too bad about the lack of fit with what you're doing (and even worse about the looky-loos), but great that you're organized now to move forward to something that works better for you. And I think it's great that the family got involved in helping you, especially Emin. You know I've long thought you should be selling your stuff (photographs!!), but I can hardly imagine where you'll find the time, especially with the MA now. But with a little help . . .