I went to a newish art gallery the other day to see if they wanted to have my clocks there. It is a newish place and more of a tourist shoppe gallery than what I would consider a real gallery. I.E. no art openings take place here and there are counters and nick knacks, albeit nicely done and not too kitschy. I told the lady I was an artist and wanted to check the place out, see if I thought my work was appropriate and she said yes, do have a look around.
It is a faux pas for sure to go into a gallery and do that, at least that is what gets pounded into your head, but some places feel easy and you know it is okay to just put it on the table. I liked some of the art but the woman seemed removed. I dunno, maybe I'm just paranoid, I wasn't looking my best that day and as is my want when I'm making a dash to the printer and hardware store I don't dress nicely. I told her about my website so she could check the work out, she asked me to write that info down and wanted to know a bit more about them. It wasn't until I stuck my hand out to properly introduce myself that she visibly quaked and reluctantly extended her hand. I grabbed it for a hearty shake and got a limp dead appendage. It was shocking. From that handshake I questioned did I want to be in this shoppe if she called me? From that handshake I already had a feeling she wasn't interested. From that handshake I was disturbed and repelled.
I got to wondering how important is it to like/know the person who has the establishment that you want to have work in. So far I have tried to stick with people I at least feel some modicum of like for. Others intimidate me but I'm learning that ego's keep many people on some bizarre angry alert while deep down inside they are trustworthy and competent. Still some are genuinely nice and friendly, which can also lead to problems if you can't handle a friendship and do business at the same time. Tricky stuff. If you don't bother getting to the know the gallery/store owner at all I think you miss out too. Keep in mind this is small town U.S.A. Big city gallery dealings are probably a bit more business like and sterile? I always struggle with professionalism, it feels like I'm just playing a game. I only really know how to just be me. Make me wear uncomfortable clothes and shoes, cart around odd attache cases filled with portfolios and pretend that I'm the next up and coming is really not my style. But I probably don't have to worry about any of that happening, and I would like to think the day I am in that arena I will still be me and let pretense evaporate.