Well I didn’t get into State College, also known as the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, and as I wrote on Facebook I’m not sure if I’m disappointed or relieved. It is a hard show to do with 4 days of long hours but it is a good show so I guess I am disappointed. I was also a little scared of doing it since I would be doing it alone so I’m relieved as well. More disappointed than relieved since I decided last year around November that this is The Year of No Fear.
When I first started doing art shows I would go anywhere within reason that would have me. It was scary but I did it anyway. And there were some disasters. I learned not to go out for dinner with friends the night before a Saturday morning setup. Going to bed at 10 and getting up at 3AM makes for a hard setup and a long day. I learned that a lot of shows say setup starts at 1PM but it really starts much earlier and if I get there at 1PM I’m not going to find any parking. I survived the Gasparilla setup disaster of 2010. I learned that when a show offers artist parking in a very busy city for $25, that doesn’t mean it is close and that $25 is $25 / day. I learned that some hotels don’t have flat parking and that the van doesn’t always fit in their garage (and some hotels don’t care) I have actually paid more for my van to park than I have paid for a hotel. I was fearless and naïve.
I changed things around and I learned to cope. I learned how to set up in an exactly 10’ by 10’ booth space. I learned to make refundable reservations and not use Priceline for city shows. I learned that if you want a particular hotel you make the reservation when you apply not when you are accepted. I learned that a lot of hotels have no idea how tall their garage is. I found a nice set of shows near me that were easy to do and could be counted on to bring in a reasonable amount of sales. Which meant I got complacent. I wasn’t trying new shows and I got scared.
So this is The Year of No Fear. I have applied to ten stretch shows this year. I have been accepted into three and rejected from three and four are still outstanding. If the weather holds it’s going to be a good year.