Show time....ahhh...there is something about getting ready for a show that exhilarates me. Part of it is honestly because I love the feedback...yep. Call it what you want, but everyone needs their ego glass filled every once in awhile. Don't act like you don't. And as an artist if you don't put yourself out there then you will never get feedback. Never. Now with every show there is excitement, yes. But there is also a certain amount of fear. Flat out fear. Will it rain? What if my tent blows away?(saw that Sunday, no really I did) What if no one comes in the tent? What if I don't SELL anything? What if my car breaks down and don't make the show? What if I over sleep? What if something happens to my family while I'm gone? What if.....yep. There is that. All that. But as an artist who wants to make her living as a thriving artist, I have to learn to adapt to all the situations above and learn from mistakes. There are expectations that sometimes are met, sometimes not. But with every show a new experience is gained and how I react to the situations that arise, well that helps shape my character now doesn't it? I wouldn't trade this life for any other. Let's just say that.
So, with this rather lengthy post here's what you will find in case you decide to stop reading now and just look at pictures. DO read the LAST PARAGRAPH. Here's a little glimpse at the whole setting up process. Yes, I was the fool taking pictures of my process, and honestly wishing I'd taken more from the very start of the weekend...because I don't know if you as a reader really get what being an "artist who does shows" means. Kind of like my husband being a Representative, no one but the people in this house truly understood the time and energy it took for Billy. Doing shows is not all glamorous or that profitable. But when you truly love what you do with all your heart, being there and meeting even just one person who falls in love with your work makes being there worth every second you are missing not being elsewhere. So here's how it went this weekend:
-Actually the whole process started Thursday night. Billy helped me load the orange van. I was beyond thankful for this because instead of pulling up to a storage unit and loading in 10 minutes, it took a good hour going up and down from the basement. A fabulous work out no doubt!
-Friday I worked all day teaching, came home to get Billy and William off to their tournaments and get Mailey to Girl Scouts. I then bolted home to get the last of the paintings in the van and my over night bag. I should mention here that I'd let the van sit in the driveway since loading it. We have 3 cars, I drive the Jeep most days. I said a quick prayer to get me safely to the hotel and to have a lovely weekend. Hopped in the van and I'll be danged if it didn't start. No, seriously. DEAD as a doornail!!! This happens every time we leave the doors and back open for long periods of time, like loading the van for art shows and when moving. Billy was out of cell range, Mom was at a concert, the friends I called never answered their phones(all at baseball practice), Dad is hours away and well....I just about lost it. I was shaking. Total freak out mode on my part. My van was LOADED and ready to go and it was so dead!! We couldn't even get the doors to open to put my stuff in the neighbor's van(yes, they offered their van!). Long story short, the neighbor's helped me get the bad battery out of the van, get a new battery in and high five me on my way to Acworth. Whew. Needless to say I stopped once safely in Acworth at Publix for Cabernet and cookies(my favorite food group remember?). I didn't sleep at all from anxiousness...would the van start in the am for one. Finally I gave up.
-It's 5am Saturday morning. I quickly got ready and ran down to the van. I had to sit a minute to get the nerve up to start it. I was beyond relieved when it started right up! Whew. Good sign, right? A quick drive through the 24hr McDonald's for coffee and sausage biscuit and I was off for a great start!
-By 6:30am I am through the first check point and making my way to booth #79. Checking in is always a process. Sometimes you have to wait a spell for there to be room for your vehicle to come through. Luckily I waited only about 15 min. I was anxious to get started!!
-This show director is a guru with helpers and magic wands. LOVE the Splash Festivals for this. The helper bees are on you like Lily at our dinner table as soon as you stop at your spot. They help unload, get your tent up and get you moving your vehicle within minutes. It is fabulous. Believe me, NOT all shows are like this. I usually unload and set up said tent SOLO. Sucks. Not Splash though! Woohooo!!
-As you can see, it is dark when I unloaded and moved the van to the vendor parking lot and walked the mile back to set up. Oh and yes, my spot was sweet right behind the Wine Bar.