i'm so clever

 cynthia was next to me...she had a great sales day! yay!

yesterday i did an outdoor market.  tod went with and also participated in his first ever public market (other than the gallery opening earlier this summer).  we were next to my friend cynthia too.  it was intimate with just 9 tents or so total.  mostly painters.  one potter.  jewelry, stained glass and me.  it was kind of dead but i expected as much and no signs down the road so only drive by people caught the action.  this was the first time ever i've had no sales.  i had no sales earlier this year at my gallery show with tod and neighbor jared but a week later ended up selling work from the show as well as a large mixed media piece to the same woman last month so that wasn't a bust.  i'm hoping this will turn out the same....straggler buying.  one couple was interested in my 'big yellow' heavy vases and others liked the flowers tod and i made.  tod DID SELL a few flowers.  kids loved the puzzle and bottle cap ones and i think he made a whopping $10.

i think i felt angry by the end of the day.  i was hot flashing and tired and wondering geeze do people get art that isn't traditional?  least here in texas?  do they????  i sell vases great online and they love them when they get em so i know they are good.  guess it just wasn't my day.  i had a fair amount of compliments from people who also saw my art in the gallery on the same property.  one thing i noticed i hear a lot that i really dislike is: you are so clever.  CLEVER.  makes me feel like a raccoon or a monkey. 

online definition: superficially skillful, witty, or original in character or construction; facile: It was an amusing, clever play, but of no lasting value.

okay i'm being touchy.  but i hear that more often than i want when it comes to my art. i'd rather be called an idiot savant.  but look, there i am.  smiling like an idiot. how clever i am.


andrea said...

Hey clever one -- better an idiot savant than just an idiot. :) I gotta say thanks for the photo of you grinning. Sorry it wasn't a huge success but the one thing I've learned about this art biz is that it's NEVER predictable. (And that blue tablecloth with the red and yellow vases is da bomb.

paula said...

mouth breathing idiot savant thats me
yep i know. ya never know. still feels like a 'dying' thing markets...galleries...i dunno.
glad you like me smiling. i HATE PHOTOS OF ME gag just looking at them. the things i do for my public...

Cynthia said...

Well, I'm the one who is grinning like an idiot, plus what do you think is wrong with my neck?? ;-)

I wish you had had a better day! I was glad you were there! You know as well as I do what a crap shoot it all is. Your work has been validated all over the place so you know there's no problem there!

The "crowd" was so thin...that was the main problem.

I agree with you about the word clever. I'm sure it was meant as a compliment, but it negates the artistry, not to mention the hard work. Your vases (and other work) are great because you had the vision to see how cast off pipes could become things of beauty, and then you busted your ass getting them there. The person who said "clever" was really thinking "what an ingenious idea!"

paula said...

i think you look like a movie star in that photo. that isn't a grin that is a coy come fetch me look :)
thanks for trying to make me feel better about 'clever'. i'm just being bitter right now. and tired of trying. but thats today. i'm sure i'll be out there sweating like a pig cutting more pipes before you can say...CLEVER

Teo said...

Gosh Paula, I hear you! I felt exactly the same after my first (and last!!) market. Towards the end of the day I was literally counting the minutes, that's how bad I wanted to get out of there! I'm really sorry that yesterday was not a success but you don't need this validation, your vases are too "clever" for that market. I'm sure there are other venues for our art out there, we just have to find the right ones. After my experience, and now yours, I'm starting to appreciate Etsy more and more. Thanks for posting the photos, I enjoyed very much seeing them. You both look so lovely!!

Patricia said...

I live in Magnolia, I would have come to your show if I had known. Next time if you announce where you will be selling I will try to come.


paula said...


hey thanks patricia...not sure there will be another one but ...how do i let you know?

yeah teo, me too. i think etsy is it for me. they have 5 million members and i dont have to leave the house. i met a woman at the show who doesn't do art or have an etsy shop but she is an etsy buying FOOL. it was great to hear how she loves etsy and how she finds what she finds. i think etsy continues to become a much more serious and wonderful site. i still can't believe how much it has changed and how supportive it is.

Kim Hambric said...

I love that display table. To me it is a buffet of beauty!

I think clever might just mean "absolutely freaky." I've heard it myself (yeah, I'm bragging) enough to know.

I do think that the same people need to see these items more than one. Trust me on that one. The first time I saw your vases, I thought, "what in the hell". Now I have one. I want more. I see the beauty in each and every one.

They are all fantastic (and clever). Now, I'm in love with those yellow square ones.

Keep them out in front of folks.

As far as selling where no one except drive-bys knows where you are -- its kind of like setting up shop in your closet and expecting drop-by delivery men and mormons to purchase your work.

paula said...

i'm glad you were honest...i like the 'what in the hell' morphage into now i want more. and you are right, i knew this would be a small venue but i thought they'd have a sign out at least on the busy road :(
i keep pushing them online, that feels less of a financial drain. ahh the mormons. wonder if they live out here....

ArtPropelled said...

Very disappointing for you Paula. First of all my first market was dismal. The other thing is that a 9table market is not going to attract enough people. 40 or 50 tables will bring every stallholder and their families and friends past your table for a start. If you do decide to do another one look out for the big markets with a reputation. Keep your spirits up. Your work is good and so unique!

paula said...

i dont think it is for me honestly. small car and no tables/tent money...i tried it and had my experience. never liked weekend exhibits and this felt kind of like that. i can move on now :) thanks for your encouragement though!

Ellen said...

I know your mood has changed since this post (yay for Etsy!). A hundred people is dismally thin. These would probably sell well in a big city fair like one we have in downtown Vancouver every year, but you have to shell out about $500 plus for a booth :(.

I've done one fair years ago, a touristy area on the beach. I had pretty inexpensive works on paper that were all black and white and a little surreal. I so didn't belong there, didn't sell a thing. The teenage daughter of the guy selling silver jewelry across from me wanted to buy one of my pieces, but her dad gave a look of disgust and wouldn't lend her the money. I heard him say, "ugh! why would want THAT?". Soul crushing.

paula said...

ouch that is soul crushing. sorry you had that experience. i dont think it is possible for someone who isn't an artist to understand what it's like. how could they...but a comment like that seems cruel if he knew he could be heard.
yeah...i think if you have big art, big priced things, right market its great. otherwise its a crap shoot.