Tuesday, March 22, 2016

10 Unique ideas for escort cards

Thanks to the "She Knows" blog for including my plantable paper in the story on "10 Unique ideas for escort cards."

Yikes - I really need to make more of these and get them back in stock in my shop!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Pay it forward

If you read a few posts back, you know that I spent the better part of January and February getting ready for a gallery show of my Petal People. There were some speed bumps hanging the show, as there always are, but the opening was wonderful. The gallery took care of everything: hanging the show, the advertising, the food, beverages and they even hired musicians to play live. I felt very taken care of and appreciated. A lively crowd of people came and they oohed and ahhed and made me feel special and artistic. (These gallery shows are so bizarre to me because a part of me feels like I must be some kind of fraud, pretending to be an artist, having customers admire and purchase work as if it is so special and unique when it comes easily to me and seems like something anyone could create. Weird.)

I was both delighted and petrified as I saw one after another of my framed pieces have a "sold" sticker put next to it. I ended up selling half of my show during the opening and spent the following week back in my studio frantically creating more, like these:

I buy inexpensive frames that I sand and then paint with spray paint so I felt darn lucky for the crazy warm spring weather we had in early March that allowed me to go outside and paint a bunch more. I managed to make enough to replace everything that sold and give the gallery two extras. Since the show is up for two months, I need to have another spurt of making more just in case.

So all that is great. I am in it to sell my work, to make money off of what I love doing. But somehow when my work is appreciated by someone and sparks their imagination or creativity, it is almost better than a sale. During my opening reception, I talked at length to a guy, about 20 years old, from Brooklyn who was entirely inspired. I was touched that someone so young and urban would be moved by my work, which usually appeals to older people, and women, and gardeners. We started talking about his artwork and I told him ideas of something I had seen in his medium. We chatted excitedly, exchanging ideas in rapid fire, until another customer joined in and then another and soon we had become separated. I never got his name but I really liked his spirit and imagination and wished I had gotten his contact info so we could continue the conversation… I love it when people are generous with their enthusiasm, their resources, their ideas. This morning I opened up an email on Etsy and was so grateful for more of that generosity.

I have about 20 partially-made Petal People for the various markets where I sell them and this email gave me just the burst of adrenaline I needed to dive back in and get a few more completed. Hoping I can pay this generosity and appreciation forward in some other area of my life.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Classroom gift

Thanks to one of my customers for sharing this photo of the seed bombs that she purchased from me: "Love them! My daughter can't wait to give these to her classmates!"

They really do make an awfully cute gift for classmates and teachers, and one that doesn't have sugar or food allergies. And their versatility is amazing, whether displayed in a little bag, in a pot or scattered about.

Friday, March 4, 2016

The storm before the calm

All of my work is spread out everywhere at Micropolis, the gallery/market where I am having my next show (opening is tonight!), in preparation for hanging the work. I unpacked everything, started arranging pieces to see what would look good together when I realized that they have a hanging wire system and all of my work has hangers with teeth, to be mounted onto a nail, not a wire system.

Quick trip to the hardware store followed by three hours of wiring all of my frames. It made me realize that I never seem to be able ask all of the questions that I need to — and believe me I ask a lot — to prepare for a gallery show. But here are a few to keep in mind so that you can be as prepared as possible no matter how many shows you have had:

Will there be a reception?
If so, who chooses the date and time?
Am I expected to present a Gallery Talk?
Who brings food and beverages, as well as plates, cups and napkins?
What size is the area for food and refreshments?
Will I have to bring my own wine opener?
How will my work be displayed? Walls? On pedestals? On stands?
What kind of display system is it (for walls)?
What do I need to supply and what is available, such as stands, nails, hammer, level, etc.
Will the work remain up for the entire length of the show? Or can a customer purchase and take home at any time?
Do I need to provide extra work to fill in holes after purchases?
Where will the extra be stored?
Who is responsible for contacting customers to pick up work when the show ends?
Is there parking available for loading and unloading? Is anyone available to help?
Will I be responsible for hanging/displaying my show or will I have assistance?
Who handles the publicity and cost for publicity?
What kind of publicity does the gallery do - FaceBook, newspaper, postcards, e-mails?