Has it REALLY almost been a month since the art festival? Wow! I needed to take a little breather and enjoy some family time after the show and it's been lovely to slow down these past few weeks. Of course, my mind hasn't stopped mentally creating and I'm SOOO excited to start working again on the many projects and ideas just swimming laps around in my brain.
Like I said in the previous post, selling my art has always been a dream of mine, but the thought has always seemed intimidating. My husband and a few friends were really encouraging me to apply, so I finally got up the courage to do it and never looked back. This was my first show (already looking forward to participating in other shows!) and I really had no idea what to expect. Back in April when I applied, I thought the committee just accepted everyone who entered, but I learned that's not the case. In total, there were about 40 artists selected out of almost 90 to show and sell their work. I didn't know that until the last day of the festival...but when the co-chair informed me that there were many more applicants that were not accepted, I was happily surprised that they had taken a chance on me. I had sooo much fun and my confidence in my abilities has really grown from all the amazing feedback. I don't share this with you to sound boastful or prideful or what have you...I share it because I feel like that was a mini victory for me...just dropping my application in the mail and actually DOING IT!
The months and weeks leading up to the show were packed with work and play. I think I averaged 5 hours of sleep/night...sometimes more, sometimes less...it was like having a newborn all over again :) But I remember thinking that even though I would be up until 1am most nights working (sometimes later) and up at 6 or 7 to start my day with my son, I always enjoyed what I was doing and couldn't wait until the next evening when I could continue to create. The need to create and be artistic is something that has always tugged at me and I know it will never go away. It's who I am. Even just days after the show was over, I wanted to start painting and sewing again because I had so many new ideas (even though I had promised myself that I would take a break for a few weeks).
The day before, John helped me with the last minute preparations. He has been my #1 supporter and there is absolutely no way I would have been able to do this without him. It's nice to have your best friend also be your husband :) We took the tent over the the lot where the festival was being held and set up the basics...tables, chairs, tent, etc. On Saturday morning, we got up early, packed all the goods into the car, and dropped it all off in front of my booth space (which btw was reassigned to an even better location at the last minute...I was so blessed to be right at the front!). We decorated all the tables and hung up my homemade buntings, garlands, picture frames, and pom poms. I found all of my 'tablecloths' (ie. sheets) at Goodwill...they complimented each other perfectly...I couldn't believe my luck! I love a great find and at a bargain price no less!
Then around 10am people started wandering though and we were officially open for business! HOORAY! It felt so surreal, but SOOO AWESOME!! I tried to temper my excitement a bit, but inside I was bursting! I'll never forget my first customer. It was a little family of 3...mom, dad, and a little girl close to Michael's age. I assumed the mom would start flipping through all my illustrations, but it was the dad who was intrigued. He had LOTS of colorful, detailed tattoos and was an artist himself. He ended up purchasing an 8x10 'Special Delivery-Ocean' print. MY FIRST SALE AT A PUBLIC SHOW!! I think I screamed a little when they walked away :) John gave me a hug and told me he was really proud of me..I felt so great!
Had I not known what the rest of the day had in store, I would have been content to live right in that moment for a long while :) But the rest of the day was B-U-S-Y!!! An awesome type of busy!! I sold over half my dolls, almost sold out of my Petit Pablo Pencil Packs, tons of prints, card packs, and hair accessories. It was a bit of a whirlwind at times and I know I would have been scrambling without John's help. He was amazing with everyone! I think one of my favorite parts of this whole festival was meeting all the friendly people from my neighborhood. They had such positive, kind, encouraging feedback and I was so flattered that they were buying my art to hang up in their homes and give as gifts! I kept thinking 'THIS IS FOR REAL!!! People like my creations!' I won't deny it...I felt good :) I also kept thinking that I was so glad I had taken this 'leap of faith' and conquered one of my fears...I had conquered one of my biggest fears to live one of my biggest dreams. SO WORTH IT!
When the festival ended that evening, I picked up some fresh strawberries at the fruit stand next door to my booth and we headed home. We were both completely exhausted, but really happy too!
The last day of the festival was on Sunday, same hours, 10am-5pm. There were some great local bands, delicious food vendors and so many more friendly faces and fellow artists that I spoke with. I snapped photos of some customers wearing/holding their purchases :)
My first doll sold to this cutie pie!
Bitsy blooms for a sweetie
This is a photo of me and Linda...who I lovingly refer to as my 'BFF'...'Best Festival Fan' ever :) She came back to my booth multiple times on Saturday AND on Sunday and brought her friends! She is the kind of person you just want to be around all the time...she's so encouraging and bubbly and genuine. AND, she's an entrepreneur herself with one of the coolest jobs I've ever heard of...she writes custom fortunes for fortune cookies and delivers them for events like weddings, office parties, baby showers...you name it, I'm sure she's done it. But seriously, how much fun is that!? She really does have a gift with words. She sent me the sweetest email after the show and it meant so much to me :) So Linda, if you are reading this post, thank you!! You were a favorite part of the festival for me and I'll never forget your support and encouragement in this new endeavor of mine :)
A photo of me and my John 'workin' the booth'! haha :)
Bitsy Blooms and Rosy Rosette Barrettes
Gale Lurie was my booth neighbor...she makes beautiful pottery and gave me a piece at the end of the show! I have it resting on a shelf in my kitchen and I love it! Thanks Gale :) I hope I see you next year! Gale is actually the founder of the show, but has since turned over the duties to new people.
Haha, love that her tongue is peeking out when she spots the licorice. I had candy jars full to the brim ready to hand out to whom ever wanted some...cause hello, it's me here...I LOVE candy so why not share the love? :)
Her mom bought this rose headband from me...I'm currently working on adding some more of these to the shop!
On Sunday, a fire engine came for the kids to explore...sadly, Michael missed it because he was napping, but the fire chief told us to come by any time and Michael could explore all he wanted...you better believe we'll be doing that soon :)
My sister Ann who helped me with the booth, loaned some of the props to me for my display and gave great creative advice on color schemes and more...LOVE YOU! Thanks for coming up that weekend and helping so much. Not pictured: my other wonderful sister Eve, and my mom and dad...they watched Michael for us while we were at the festival both Saturday and Sunday. You guys are the BEST!! I had no worries since Michael was in such capable hands!
Ella and her new bitsy blooms!
Emery, Ella's sister, sporting some cute flowers...these girls are as sweet as they look! TRULY!
I thought this headband looked so cute on her...she was excited to get it and put it on right away :) She told me that she wants to do this type of thing (be an artist) when she grows up. I thought she was 19 or 20 and home for the summer from college, but she's only 13. Isn't she beautiful?!
And little Ruby with some fancy new Rosy Rosette Barrettes...and a tasty ice cream cone :) She's ridiculously cute!!
I love that I did this. I actually did it!! I am already looking forward to next year's festival, as well as possibly doing a couple of other local craft fairs. If you have any questions for me, shout 'em out in the comments and I'll answer them. Also, if you are looking for a specific item that you see photographed above, try looking in my Etsy store or contact me at email@example.com if you don't see it listed. I will be adding more pencil packs, dolls, headbands, and *new* illustrations in the near future.
If you just made it to the end of this post, you must be my sister, mom, or memiere...or someone who is really patient :)
Hope you're all happy and well!