Last weekend's Art on the Avenue craft fair experience was a good one. It turned out to be a great day and I love knowing that my work is out there in the world, making people happy, with custom orders for more. Got a nice voice mail from one buyer saying she's putting her new leather journal to good use. And check out Jen Salvo's pics, nicely capturing the essence of the day (and thanks, Jen, for including my booth in your montage!).
Could not have done this without massive help from my hubby Ian, and long-time friend Elizabeth, who came up from her busy life in Charlottesville to be involved in all aspects of the day: set up, merchandising, sales, moral support, booth break down, and margaritas at the end of an exhausting day.
The experience drove several lessons home for me, as well. Preparing for the event was hugely time-consuming. I spent every weekend and many evenings since late August creating enough work to sell. While I loved it, this came at a cost, taking precious time away from people I love and my main art-related focus right now, Moving Parts. It left me feeling scattered and over-stretched, distracted from what I really want to do: build a body of work that consists of fewer, high-quality works of art or projects...not many pieces that I sell at craft fairs or on Etsy.
Don't get me wrong - there's nothing wrong with craft fairs and Etsy! But building a "business" with my art this way is not the path I see for me. Not now, at least. So it's good to learn this now, and to stop investing in things that distract from what I really want. I'm in this for the long haul, and gaining focus will give me the stamina and grounding I've worked hard to create in all areas of my life. I want to treat my art with equal respect, care and attention.