I am back!
First off, I would like to thank everyone who came out to the Toronto One of a Kind Spring Show to support me. I had a fabulous 5 days of meeting awesome people and feeling like I belonged there. The show has truly opened up so many doors for me!
3 Things the BIG SHOW taught me:
1. I can never be too organized.
2. Expect the unexpected and be prepared to deal with it.
3. Don’t underestimate the buying power of people who like my art.
My 9 square foot booth built by Mr CFO was set up in our living room for about a month. We had the cards & canvases displayed on it, and tried to anticipate its workflow. Yet the first day of the show, I was still scrambling around my booth trying to organize myself. “Can you make this with that, or can you do this on a huge canvas?” were questions I was constantly asked and at one point, I felt I was haggling in Mexico. I was so eager to please, I practically offered to do a huge, custom canvas for someone for a cost that barely covered the canvas — without a deposit!
I quickly learned to slow down, enjoy the conversations and really listen to what people were saying. Having said that, I didn’t think “big” enough. My bags for cards were only big enough to hold about 2 cards — people tended to buy more than 2 at a time. Also, when I saw people looking and enquiring about more than one canvas, I always assumed they were trying to decide between one or the other. Imagine my surprise when a couple stacked up 5 and bought them!
The morning of the first day of the show, I woke up and thought, “I was chosen to exhibit my work at the OOAK show?!” Even after 2 months it was still sinking in for me. I was so busy getting ready for the show, I had not allowed myself the celebration of the acceptance. Set up the night before had me stressed, a head full of ache and trying to stay well in the midst of sickness in my family. Thank goodness my kindred spirit — Ms Over-Analyzer was there to help me. She set up all the canvases and generally took care of me.
This show has been a religious experience for me for the past 2 decades. Beautiful things adorn our home that have been purchased there. The relationships that we have built with artists at that show, the stories, the memories. Now suddenly I am on the other side — I am the artist. The support and feedback I received there last month have meant so much to me. Miss Know-It-All was an amazing asset to me the 2 days she helped out. She was the efficient businessperson & salesperson extrordinaire, allowing me to wander around on the last day, (this time not as much as a shopper, but as an exhibitor, planning my official booth space for next year’s spring show). Yes, I will be back next year, perhaps even sooner (cross your fingers).
Check out my Easter Bunny Contest entry at The Toronto OOAK, entitled “Peter Rabbit”. So many came to my booth to tell me how much they liked him, which was so awesome because there were so pretty incredible entries!
Were you there at the show? Share your experience with me – I love getting feedback. And don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog too via the commentluv feature here on the site.