We completed the first full day of the American Craft Council show and it went fantastic! We had sales and there was so much traffic in my booth that we had to refill the business card holder, and will have to do it again for day two. However, the day did not start off well. Kevin and I stayed in a hotel the night before due to the late Thursday evening and early morning start. Neither of us slept well, and that is being kind. I slept poorly and woke up at 3am and never got back to sleep. So when eight o’clock in the morning rolled around I was a bit out of sorts – cranky is more the word. Once we arrive at the booth and began turning on the lights I forced myself into a better mood and hoped that client interactions would set me straight. Then I got a reality check. One of the artists around me said hello and I asked how their evening went. They are from out of town and drove about six hours to participate in the show. They said they didn’t sleep very well because the trash collector kept them up. Trash collector? They then told me that they are sleeping on a mattress in the back of their covered pickup truck because they can’t afford a hotel room. I was instantly disgusted with myself. How over privileged and spoiled did I feel…and an art show lightweight. This couple travels to over thirty shows a year and sleep in their truck so they can afford the shows. It puts a whole different perspective on commitment and courage, and doing whatever it takes to get the job done. When was the last time you were passionate enough about something to sleep in your car to get it done?
So when you visit your next art show or festival and wonder if you should make that purchase, take a moment and remind yourself that the artist has put their heart and soul into creating that work. This is their dream, their livelihood, and their ‘job’, and may be what allows them to feed their children. They took the leap to create it and present it at their booth, take the leap as a consumer and buy it to share in the creative dream. Believe me, your reality check each time you enjoy that work of art will be like waking up in a clean bed instead of the back of a pickup truck.