Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sharing your Work with the Public

Booth pic - a little blurry!
Hi there!

I'm home from my show in Atlanta and I had a ball.  I always enjoy craft/art shows - the excitement, the anticipation,  talking to all the people, and getting feedback from everyone.  I think it's a great opportunity to learn something about what people think of your art.

I've been doing shows for a while now - 8 years or so, I think - and there's always something to learn at these shows.  This year, I took all of my newer bird-related sculptures and was curious what everyone (artists and shoppers) would think.  Well, I got wonderful feedback!  It's easy to tell which pieces everyone likes, because over the course of the weekend, those pieces are looked at again and again and again.  But the most hilarious things are the comments you get.  Some people totally get your work, and others completely misunderstand it.  You have to take most comments with a grain of salt.  People don't mean to be insulting - they just don't get it.  Let me give you an example.  (I posted this on Facebook over the weekend, and you guys just about died when you read this...)  So this nice couple was admiring the bronze I made (they totally loved it), and they told me that they aren't normally "art" type of people.  Okay, that's fine, but why are you at an art show???  Anyway, back to the bronze..  Their jaws fell open when the saw the actual price of the piece, as bronzes are always expensive.  I explained how long it took me to make it and how bronze is such a labor-intensive process.  The lady looks at me in astonishment, and said, "How much would this cost if you cast it in plastic???"  And she was serious.  Of course I wanted to knock her upside the head, but it was obviously an honest question.   She just didn't get it.  So I laughed and told her I didn't work in plastic, and had no idea what that would cost.  Oh man.  I could just visualize a bright white, hollow, plastic-y sculpture with the seams down the sides from the mold..  It really cracked me up!!

One other comment that sticks in my head that I heard from one lady (and you guys will love this too) is that one time when I was still making functional pottery,  I took a vase I had made to the grocery store to fill with cut flowers.  A friend was moving and I thought some lovely flowers in a handmade vase would be a nice going-away gift.  So at the store, I handed the vase over to the woman so she could cut the flowers to fit, and she said, "Oh this is cute.  Did you get this vase at the Dollar Store?"  I just about crapped myself when she said that.  Now I can't help but laugh out loud every time I think of this!

So I'm dying to know - what are some of the worst things that people have said about your work when you are exhibiting your work to the public??  Please share so that we can all have a giggle!


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