Welcome back to the Whidbey Island Open Studio Tour. Check yesterday’s post if you missed Day One. The chronicling continues.
Wake and motivate. Tougher than I expected.
It feels a bit like a gluten-induced mood crash, but only getting one-third the traffic of last year might play a role too.
Was planning on going for a run, but decided to eat a good breakfast and then go for a good walk.
Straighten up a few things that got shifted while actually living in my house last evening.
Use Roku to play NPR’s “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.” for something completely different.
While eating breakfast I noticed how much Whidbey art I have around the house: thanks to Susan Jensen, Holly Thomas, Ed Bennett, Windwalker Taibi, Barbara Stout, Bruce Launer, whoever made my tea mug that is full which means I’m not turning it over to check, whoever made that glass bowl, Katrina Hude, Ed Severinghaus, and undoubtedly more. While looking at the art I noticed the other art. I have books from at least eight local writers. Yep. I think Whidbey’s an artsy place. So is Washington. There are that many more pieces from off-island. I’d probably have more, but my own art adorns my walls. Inventory sometimes overflows and has to go somewhere. Fortunately, I like my work.
But first a shower and then a walk. The opposite order makes more sense but if something was to interrupt me, the shower is more important on such a public day. Scrub, scrub.
I’m glad I didn’t go for the run. I may have just enough time for a short walk though. The weather is gorgeous with a fall chill that will burn off quickly. Okay art enthusiasts, time for a day driving around and taking the Tour. Hmm, maybe I should post that on facebook, or maybe Google+, or twitter.
The day is even nicer than I thought. It’s warming up, with little wind, and wonderful light.
Evidently my labels and signs worked well yesterday. Good. I can work on other things today.
Bathroom break. Don’t forget the bathroom break.
Took another look at my displays. Just realized that yesterday people who were impressed with the satins were looking at the backside of them. They look even better turned around. Did I miss any sales? I’ll manage that today.
Launch into the Culmination Project. No, it is not a video game. The Culmination Project is the work of art that will encompass all five years of my five year Whidbey Island Nature Photo Essay (WINPE?) into one book. Originally it was going to be Whidbey photos, printed on Whidbey, and with the book hand-built on Whidbey and produced as a limited edition collaboration of three arts; but unless demand picks up dramatically, it will be self-published on blurb. That’s not as grand, but it takes far fewer, grand that is.
Oh yeah, do the neck exercises now. Wow, tighter than I knew.
The slideshow and the music are playing. I’ve tweeted, as I’ve done almost every hour.
4 Two neighbors, one bought four cards and they brought two of their friends from Gig Harbor.
2 strangers from Clinton. It’s a small town but it isn’t so small that we all know each other. Okay, say a bit but don’t distract them. Let them have their own experience. He insists that I check out Andy Goldsworthy. Another variation on photography by including sculpture. I point out a man more local, Chris Jordan, the creator of Running The Numbers and Midway Journey. Hey, we’re all nature photographers at some level. Hmm, aspirations come to mind.
Restock cards, if I can. I think she just bought the last of some of those. I put up two little signs saying, “Sold Out. Want More?” as a reminder to me and a suggestion to them. Like a print? I’ll make it into a card, or you can go online and do it yourself.
The For Sale sign almost always comes up, “So, where are you moving?”, which produces the answer, “Wherever I can get a job.”; which is the short version because the longer version is, “Well, I want to stay here, and with enough assets or income I can, but my Triple Whammy at least temporarily put that at risk. (For more details check out My Jobs Report Month 13) Of course, if I win the lottery, or sell lots of art, or establish a great list of paying clients for my consultancy, or, or, . . .”
1 A good friend, Jennifer Hooper drops by and buys what she can afford. Help A Find A Friend A Job – Jennifer Hooper, so she can but more art; and make her own.
2 A couple of new folks come in and go out. So they go, but first they hint about wanting more details about the Tour. “A bit of a scandal about the maps, eh?”
1 A stranger from San Diego becomes a newly met friend. She spends a lot of time and is very engaged in various pieces.
2 Two friends drop on and may be back. They know where and when else to find me. Friends are supportive in many ways, and they’ve contributed in greater variety than most. Thanks.
2 Two more friends, a dancer and her non-dancing partner, stayed and chatted for quite a pleasant while.
2 Two bikers ride up. One finds the helmet such a nuisance that it stays on. And I wonder if it just a concern for “helmet-hair”. I point out that the satins travel well. They say they may be back.
The traveller buys:
Three fine art prints + two small prints: I forgot to take notes and had to sift to find the ones she bought. Oh, I like her taste. The two small prints are from my original series up in the Cascades. She got a bit of history there.
She wants an agent in San Diego to represent me. Okay. OK!
I was busy enough that I missed the noon report.
Well, that was a nice surge of traffic.
Another artist skill, balancing commentary as different people walk in. Some already know the story behind the art, or me, or the island. Some are new to all of it. Some are serious and others are just wandering through. Some want a lot of info and others want quiet. There is no one answer because each collection is different and what they want and need changes with each image they see. When in doubt, run down the middle and leave plenty of quiet time so they can talk to each other or let the last tidbit sink in.
It’s quiet now, which is good because I forgot to make a lunch or set something out like I did yesterday. Quesadilla equals quick when I make it out of one corn tortilla, some already cooked and spiced ground meat, and some shredded cheese. Maybe I can sneak in another.
Close my eyes to semi-meditate for ten breaths, or not because someone just drove up. Okay. That’s what I am here for.
1 One Clintonian, in and out.
2 Two friends arrive a gift of a flourless chocolate cake! Sweet, and gluten-free.
My friends show me a new way to appreciate my own art. They sit, one seated by one, prop up a photo, look at it for almost a minute, then twist it about any axis and repeat. They entertained themselves for an hour. TV doesn’t compare. Not only did they drop off food, but they bought another of the Cascade images. As they left they assured me that I should stay on the island and they’ll try to make it happen. Okay.
Oops. While they were intently looking at the front of print I noticed a typo on the back.
1 One enthusiast from up-island stays with lots of nice, meaningful questions.
1 One stranger comes and goes with barely a word as I talk to the enthusiast.
1 Jody Bone, masterful artist, drops by because she isn’t on the Tour this year. I hear her laugh before I see her. She surprises us by having me bring up an amazon page where her laugh is for sale. Really. It’s a ringtone. Now, that brings a smile, even when one is hard to find I imagine. Maybe she’ll make more from laughter than from art.
Again, so busy that there as no 3pm update.
2 Two neighbors. Nice chit chat, and commiseration about organizing anything on the island. So much that needs to be done, so many willing to help, so little time, and too much trouble reaching consensus within such a diverse community. At least, that may be why some of the efforts eventually fade.
2 Two folks from the other side of the ridge are interested in too many pieces so they may contact me later for some custom work. They are encouraging a family member to pursue art. I point out that I consult with artists and entrepreneurs. They took a business card.
2 Two locals drop in because they are out for a walk in a golf cart. Nice conversation, and they take a business card when I point out that I can be a source for last-minute gifts.
2 Two artists who’ve sold with me at other events dropped by to check out the exhibit and display, and to eat some excellent flourless chocolate cake.
“Fair thee well Mr. Artist.”
How many folks said they might be back? How many folks said they might show up? It’s a Sunday. Weekend commitments are weak, and that’s not surprising. Folks have enough workday obligations. But that’s also why I don’t close at 5pm, even if the sign says 10am-5pm. Last year I got sales on Monday and Tuesday. Who knows? Something may yet happen.
The total so far, assuming everyone drops their checks in the mail, is about twice the registration fee. Custom orders, urban representation, return business, can vastly increase the profits; which is necessary for me to continue pursuing the business side of photography.
Total visitors: Saturday 17 + Sunday 30 = 47
That’s about half as many people and half as much revenue as last year, which had a registration fee that was twice as much. Correlation?
Well, it doesn’t look like anyone is coming in just past the cut-off. I’ll finish this blog, get a walk in by picking up the neighborhood signs, then make dinner and a have a drink. Conclusions should come later.
Things to consider:
I enjoy people and ideas. That’s my stated passion and I’ve proved it to myself this weekend.
I enjoy hosting an event like this, and it is draining.
This event was profitable, and made two day’s living expenses, but involved days of preparation and disassembly too.
The exposure is wonderful. People expect to talk to the artist on a Tour. That can be true in the gallery, but it works more readily here. Maybe that’s because this is my space and I know they came to see me and my art.
To any artist willing to go to this effort, congratulations. Go check out the comment on yesterday’s blog. Appreciative patrons exist. And to any of the enthusiasts that dropped by or wanted to, thanks. Without you there’d be no reason to do this.