Saturday, May 7, 2016

Outdoor Festivals are SO NOT for Sissies


Spring has sprung!  In fact it sprung so much that I totally spaced out and forgot to post in April.  For April, I was planning to welcome spring and tell you that spring means ART FESTIVALS are coming.  And then I was going to tell you about several of my prior outdoor art festival experiences.  Well, since it’s May I’ll tell you about some old shows and some of the most recent shows as well. I mean, hey, it’s still spring right?

I’ve attended many art festivals as a patron and always LOVED being surrounded by so much creativity at once.  Attending them is inspiring and motivating to another creative person.  They are great places to do shopping when I’m looking for something unique.  And they offer great opportunities for me to just stroll around leisurely and enjoy the outdoors. 

Now, I’ve also attended many shows as a vendor.  Again, I LOVE being surrounded by so much creativity.  I also love getting a chance to mingle with other artists.  I always meet new wonderful people, whether they are patrons or fellow artists.  As an artist, I’m here to tell you, every show presents a completely unique experience.  And I’ve loved them all.  I’ve had many shows that have gone over without any hitches.  I call those “Bright and Shiny Show Experiences”.  I’ve also had many shows that have presented unique challenges.  Those are called “Great Stories”. 

You want to hear about the “Great Stories” don’t you? I tell them best over a glass of wine.  If ever we share a glass of wine – which sounds fun so just let me know where to be when – I’ll tell you all about last year’s “Great Stories”.  See the list for the quick overview of last year’s “Great Stories”:

·      The Hottest of all Hot Shows:  A heat wave came to visit this particular “Florida fall festival”.  It was over 98 degrees in my spot. No foolin’.  It was that hot!  Patrons who came to see me made comments about the temperature inside my booth in particular.  They couldn’t wait to get out of there.  When you’re participating in a festival it’s all about location, location, location.  And for this one, I was not in a good spot.  Not a tree in sight.  And the sun was a blazin’ all day long.  Oh, and it rained a little too, intermittently that day, which made things pretty sticky.
·      The Torrential Downpour Show:  This show was great in the morning and then the storm came.  It didn’t just rain, it poured, and it poured and then it poured even more.  The second half of the whole show was completely deluged out.  Everyone – I mean everyone –"split the scene”.   This was the day when I learned that pop up tents are not waterproof.  If it rains hard enough water comes right through those suckers.  Who knew???
·      The -Holy Cow- There’s a Parked Car in my Spot Show:  I was completely stressed out about setting up for this show because my husband was not going to be able to help me in the morning for much longer than an hour.  When we arrived and found my spot we noticed that there was a parked car IN MY SPOT.  No other cars were there at all.  Just one in my spot and the owner was nowhere to be found. The show’s producer found me a new spot very quickly, so all was good.  But I’m telling you that fiasco had me on the verge of tears for a bit.  Every second counts when you are setting up for a show.  Well, especially when the person who is there to help you needs to leave in an hour.
·      The Blustery, Gusty, Bitter Cold Show:  We entertained gale force winds and 40 degree temperatures during this entire two day show.  Working like crazy in order to try to stay warm and hold my tent and jewelry down kept me from being able to attend to my customers.  It was a rough one indeed – ALL WEEKEND LONG!

You know, looking back over my list, I can’t help but wonder if perhaps someone fashioned a little Voo-doo doll in the likeness of me at some point along the way.   Hmm….?

But one thing I can tell you about me – I mean if you really want to know what I’m like, read on.  My overarching feeling about all of that is that I’m lucky to have had each and every one of those challenges.  I can’t fathom the thought of facing a challenge and not figuring out how to get through it.  I think that may mean I’m stubborn or something like that.  In the midst of a challenge I’m definitely all about figuring it out and making it work.  I accept that things may not be perfect.  I understand that perfection actually rarely (if ever) exists.

Now this year’s spring festival experience was very different for me.  I participated in four shows this spring and had great experiences: so great in fact that I won two first place awards.  I won first place for my booth display at the Mandarin Art Festival.  And then I won first place – BEST OF SHOW – for everything at the Atlantic Beach Arts in the Park festival.  How exciting!  I don’t mean to brag  - though I am mighty proud.  What I really mean to say is that as we go through life doing the things we love to do we face challenges.  But if we muster on through those challenges we are often rewarded.  I think the universe has a way of honoring hard work and tenacity.

I really do love doing these outdoor festivals.  I love seeing old friends and meeting new people.  I am a people person and I’m definitely not a sissy.  So, outdoor festivals are for me!

Thanks for reading!
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