It was a week-day, and a local morning news show was on television keeping me company as I prepared for work. During a short break in the news, the news person, took a few minutes to interivew a woman, who was promoting a local arts and crafts show.
During the interview, the news person asked the woman several general questions about the upcoming show, and if there would be plenty of, what he called, "Nic-Knacks and novelelties" at the show! I was apalled when I heard that statement, "Nic-knacs and novelties" HOW DARE YOU!
What do you see when you attend an arts and crafts show? You see blood, sweat and tears; rejection slips; long hours; blisters; frustrations; failures; rejection slips; and plenty of sob stories from the people displaying their work. The devotion and dedication by these people, to be the best, in their chosen field cannot be measured.
The artists, displaying their work, did not get to this level overnight! There's no magic dust here...and no free lunch, either! After they've gotten to this level...with respect to the quality of their work...they then have to find the courage to go out in front of the public and show and sell their work, etc. This is not easy to do! Another stressful issue to over-come by these artists, is to price their work, which I think is the most difficult thing in the whole process. What will a piece of your work be worth to someone, and what will they pay for it? What is the piece worth to you in dollars, and how much did you spend to make it?
"Nic-Knac and novelties" how dare you!
Bare Walls and Emply Spaces
What is one of the first things a person does, when moving into a house, an apartment or mobile home, or an office? Decorating the place is usually someplace at the top of the to do list. Family photographs; wonderful drawings produced by a child with crayons; a special painting on the wall; a great piece of pottery on the bookshelf; a piece of furniture you made yourself; or surrounding yourself with your favorite books and magazines...your library! Yes...art, craft, and writing pieces can enrich all of our lives.
I'm a woodcarver out of the art and craft world, and I don't have a background in writing whatsoever. But, many years ago, I was invited to join the Southwest Writers Workshop, by the then, president of the organization, Eileen Stanton, who is one of New Mexico's top writers. She has sold over 5,000 of her articles to some of the top newspapers and magazines in the country. SWW has some of the most talented and accomplished writers anywhere. Needless to say, I was flattered by the invitation, but at the time, I did not feel comfortable around writers and writing at the time.
As if I didn't have enough rejection slips and bombs in the art and craft world, I had to go out and get more rejection slips in the world of writing! Little by little, I started to wallpaper my wall with rejection slips, and I quickly had a new respect for writers. And, I was upset with myself, as I stuck my nose in the difficult field of writing...I must be crazy!
"Nic-nacks and novelties...how dare you!
The following true story, is one of my experiences, and shows a little about what artists and craftspeople have to go through, to get their work out before the public, etc.
I was participating in a three day show on the plaza in Old Town (Albuquerque, NM). Everything went well for me the first two days as far as sales were concerned. And, on Sunday of the show, it was a quiet afternoon and the plaza was filled with locals and tourists, when all of a sudden and with warning...THE SPRINKLERS CAME ON!
You have not seen chaos and panic, until you see over 100 exhibitor's and dozens of tourists scatter in every direction! All of us got soaked in a matter of seconds! Paintings tumbled to the ground; the sound of pottery and ceramic pieces came crashing down on the sidewalk; and several displays fell over! I quickly put my work in boxes under the tables, and covered them with plastic, and hoped for the best! Later, in checking my work, I didn't lose too much, but many people lost their shirts that awful day! We all "took a bath," that day...both literally and figuratively!
"Knack-nacks and novelties...how dare you!"
So a lot of this information I have presented in this article is not, necessarily, about sawdust; paint; clay; shutter speed; fabric; ceramic; wood; glass or a sheet full of commas and periods...it's about making people happy!