Have you ever been to a show or festival? You roam the booths seeing the unique creations and imaginative items. What you do not see are the days, weeks, months of preparation for your single moment. You get to enjoy the artist’s wares, and in that instance you are the recipient of an incredible amount of preparation. 

Over time the artists developed their ideas into marketable goods. They let the idea morph into what you see in their booth. They might have created multiples before they liked what they saw. They may have scrapped countless versions until they thought it was exactly right. That artist then finished their work, let it dry, settle, or age to perfection. They then wrapped it up, put it in a safe place to move it across town, across the city, across country to reach the festival. 

But that is not all. Now that the product is ready, they have to prepare a booth. The booth needs to highlight their product, entice you to enter, showcase everything they want to sell to the public. It has to be roomy, yet simple. It has to fill up their allotted booth space, and then fit into a transportable size. Like a piece of IKEA furniture, it needs to then be taken apart and put into small, mobile shipping packages and moved across the street, across town, or across country. The booth needs to show their personality, be unique and yet remain practical all at the same time. 

Once the product and the booth are ready, the artist needs to apply to the show. That application includes photos of their work to be shared with judges. Most shows have hundreds even thousands of artists apply, yet only a few couple hundred are accepted. They must pay the application fees, then wait patiently to see if they are accepted. Once accepted, they make their travel arrangements, for themselves, their booth and their products. This includes hotel rooms, shipping containers, plane tickets or driving instructions, maybe even camping or another way to save money to keep their expenses down. 

Now they hit the road and get to the show one or two days early to set everything in place. They painstakingly build their booth, clean their product and display everything beautifully. Their months and years of work and waiting are all going to hinge on your special moment in their booth. You are blessed recipient of their incredible preparation. So as you roam through that next festival or show, be joyous, be amazed, and most of all be astounded. Let the passion and work overwhelm you. Let their work make an impact on your thought process. And when you are moved, take out your wallet and reward their efforts by buying their work. Then every time you enjoy their work in your home, you can admire and appreciate everything that went on for it to reach your world. 

This weekend in Atlanta the American Craft Council show is being held at the Cobb Galleria…get up, get out, get there and be amazed!