The Independent Artist Podcast

A Mighty Purpose/ Listener Q & A

July 31, 2023 Douglas Sigwarth/ Will Armstrong Season 3 Episode 14
The Independent Artist Podcast
A Mighty Purpose/ Listener Q & A
Show Notes Transcript

George Bernard Shaw wrote,  "This is the true joy in life, being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one."  Being an art fair artist can push you to your max, but the rewards are exhilarating! This entire episode is part 2 of listener questions. Will and Douglas react to the topics of alternative selling funnels, opportunity scams, selling techniques, and when it's time to throw in the towel. 

Visual artists Douglas Sigwarth and Will Armstrong co-host and discuss topics affecting working artists. Each episode is a deep dive into a conversation with a guest artist who shares their unique experiences as an independent professional artist.

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artist podcast sponsored by the National Association of Independent Artists also
sponsored by zapplication I'm will Armstrong and I'm a mixed media artist I'm Douglas sigworth glassblower join
our conversations with professional working artists
well folks here we are back on the podcast it's been a couple of weeks since we have last talked it's been a
busy one for Douglas and myself Douglas how are you sir I'm doing well how are you doing my friend I'm doing fine I'm
back up here in Minnesota and just dragged myself in from the studio out there I'm set up in um
and a barn which is awesome for the space I've got it all cleaned out until
I hung my work at my last show and realized that it's dropping things from the roof oh you're kidding like little
sections of like I don't know it's it insulation or bird [ __ ] or spiders so
you're taking you're taking mixed media to a whole new level now yeah it's it's or it gets my organic face
um fingernails clippings hair yeah it's funny because some of my newer pieces
that were hanging in the booth I was looking in horror at them and checking out some of these little brown little
tasty morsels that are in the varnish and I'm looking down the street and there's not really anybody there yet my
across the street neighbors watching me as I bust out the paint and start painting with my thumb just like
like there were only like five or six little spots but you know had to fix that or right had to fix it you got to
fix it organic fluid nature of my work enable me to do so I can't imagine that you'd be able to do the same thing no
can't do any on on the street finishing touches it goes back in the band when
you take it home and fix it then but every media has its pros and cons friends it sure does
it sure does but uh yeah I was happy to come stop by your booth there in Denver
and saw some really great new pieces I'm really really excited what you had to show was great I appreciate that you
made it by on Monday morning and uh man I I felt bad because Here Comes Douglas
hobbling down the street and I'm like did I get out there on my own two Good Feet no I didn't so sorry about that but
thanks for stopping by I have Renee's in the booth she said you know not much is happening go say hi so that was good it was a good
a good Trek um I think I clocked in at 10 000 steps that day so um I'm getting stronger
getting stronger yeah I I saw the the directors I feel like Amy Amy curly said
something about about her steps as well I don't I don't count those I just um
don't have one of these fancy watches that tell you if you're moving or not no I I have enough people telling me what
to do I don't need any technology so one more thing to tell the [ __ ] off
all right yeah how long before he breaks it that'll be the game we play with with
my technology all right so we've got a special show where it's just gonna be our my special
guest today on the podcast folks is me and Doug there you go so um we're gonna
do one of those episodes where we we answer some questions but let's uh hit the kind of Preamble and and catch up
we've got some catching up to do sure sure yeah well um it's it's a long drive
to Denver it's two days for for us here's a question that I have for you what's what's your maximum date time
driving like what do you what do you guys do what do you like to do how long is is the drive to Denver and how do you
guys break it up uh 900 miles for us so that's like a day and a half I I I don't
like to drive longer than 12 hours okay so you know I start getting a little a
little dozy and but sure we can we can trade off so I mean that's that's the good thing where you know I used to be
on my own and that's hard that's just a nightmare so 12 is your is your maximum
once it's it's more than 12 that's a two day or it depends on the logistics on the road I mean the mountains are past
Denver which you know we got to drive through the mountains this week so that's a whole different ball game than
if it's if it's flat but actually funny story that you brought up about going to Denver there so we had expected to get
to a certain Benchmark and for some reason I just follow hello to our Google Maps our navigation without thinking
about it and just sure they had off the way well it took us a different route it took us through Sioux City and from
Sioux City to North Platte well once you get past Sioux City there's nothing I
mean nothing that's the direction that's the route I took okay you you have to commit it's like do you like we were
right at that six o'clock at night range where we're like do we stop for the day or are we committing to four more hours
of driving and it's four more and it was four more and we didn't know we were committing to four hours we thought
we'll drive two more hours we'll stop at eight but there were no choices at that point sorry also there was flooding so
that's probably why it rerouted you because there was flash flooding and I I ran into the same thing and I'm driving
and it what I hate about it like I plug in the root yeah and then I listen to it
and I don't think you know I no longer look at Maps or anything like that and and uh my wife will be like why aren't you
taking the interstate and I'm like I don't know I only took the Siri way to do what Siri says Yeah Siri said turn
and she guides me down a gravel road for 46 miles like this two-lane Gravel Road
and I'm like I'm so mad this washboard Road and I'm shaking up all my work and getting dirt in the yeah it was a
nightmare but I've been in the same situation where it's like how the hell did I get here and you don't want to
turn around and there's no such thing as paper maps anymore so it's like what do you do when you're stuck and then you
get driven into an area where your sell signal sucks and then you're really just oh yeah totally totally like when Music
Stops streaming so leaving for this trip I had it was 13 hours but then you gain
an hour and I'm like I can push it so I left at six in the morning and thinking you know add about
you know 45 minutes to an hour for stopping and stretching and make sure you you know you don't you don't die
you're not gonna die on the spots and the legs yeah so I'm sitting there like
but I I'm gross I'm super gross when I'm by myself I'm like well I'm not gonna
drink water and if I do I've got this I've got my large cup I mean I just I
make the best time when I'm by myself but I don't like to share that too much with my uh uh well my entire Community
like I just did like you just did yeah there you go I pee in cups everybody that's so gross I I you know and I don't
think you're you're saying anything all that unique will I think there's a lot of us they've got the peacock Posse out
there so yeah I made great time I stopped but
then I stopped in um Fort Morgan Colorado so I had an hour
left believe it or not I also have a Fort Morgan story for you
no it's just a cow [ __ ] smell in town it's like a factory farming and I mean
it's really not a pleasant stop if you live there I'm I'm sorry not for being
mean but that you live there that's I'm sorry that you do that that's a bad thing to do
you're just an hour from Denver for Cried Out Loud why are you living there
oh I mean unless you're slaughtering Hogs because God well my Fort Morgan
story is we got stuck in the mountains coming back this last week and there
were two times that we were stopped cold in the middle of i-7 traffic traffic was
completely stopped and you know sat for like 45 minutes each time so we hadn't
gotten as far as we wanted to get that day so we get down the mountain go through Denver and Renee's like it's
okay I've got the last three hours we'll we'll clock the last three hours here we'll get you know to Nebraska so I'm
I'm passenger and all of a sudden the van starts shifting Lanes on us I'm like what's going on she's like it's getting
windy and I'm like yeah and the cloud it's like black up there so I look at
the navigation and I see what's going on with the weather sure enough we're gonna drive into a big ass storm yep I drove
into the same one I had an art show friend that was like hey heads up
tornadoes and I quickly uh I quickly dialed in our good friend David Mayhew is that dude the best dude to have as a
friend like somebody just told me there's a storm coming David is that true is this real right yeah and he's
like uh yeah I have already taken my work down I'm like oh my God it's real
so I'm looking like a half hour ahead and I think okay Fort Morgan great start looking for hotels on the phone while
Renee is trying to keep a hand on the wheel and apparently there was some weird like event going on in this small
town and all the hotels were sold out except they had one room at the Baymont Inn and it was disgusting yeah is that
the you got a little get a little pock marks there on your neck there is that the bed bugs little thrown out of your sweatshirt there was uh some kind of a
loud um either a quinceanera or a wedding going on on the main level and they're
one of their rooms and it went on until like 10 30 front desk says no we're shutting
them down with after hours and we we fall asleep after all that noise
and then the fire alarm goes off somebody had pulled the fire alarm so we were up until at least two in the
morning so yeah that was a shitty a shitty drive home yeah you know I I we've been alluding to Denver and not
naming uh the show that we were at but uh we were at the Cherry Creek Arts Festival lucky enough to both be uh
juried into that gym it was great yeah yeah incredible thanks uh to all the
folks that put that on Amy and Tara and your your cast of volunteers and and employees and folks I mean just did an
incredible job it is there's a reason they call that the gem I mean it's it's it's the it's the one so uh thanks for
an incredible weekend there I just I can't thank you enough there I agree all right so um you're talking about up till
two in the morning and I was dealing uh with insomnia and it happens to me from
time to time going into a big show that I've had a lot of anxiety getting ready to go into the show and and all this
stuff and and so first night I'm staying in this low Lovely Hotel downtown you
know walking distance to the show still nothing you know like two hours of sleep go to bed at two wake up at four I mean
it's just I was just wrecked yeah and so I uh decided that I uh well I was
talking to some friends at dinner and they're like you are in the uh the great land of Oz sir why not eat this gummy
and uh take the magic you know take the magic pill isn't that how everybody gets
it nowadays is through the good old-fashioned uh sugar gummy Uh yeah sure why not it's less than your lungs
I'm not a big pot guy I gotta admit I'm not that's not my my vice so I was like
okay I'm gonna grab my book and I'm gonna read and take this this thing typically I'm smarter than this maybe
but not this night and I just popped the whole thing and started reading and then I drifted off
to sleep in about 30 minutes later I get this shock waves of uh just like I could
actually see light in my brain really waiting past my eyes and I had uh the
worst panic attacks of my entire life I was up the entire night I uh so you were trying
to help the sleeplessness and you only made it right I just killed myself and
this is going into Sunday I I was like well this is what I'm doing for the rest
of the night and I tried to rest and I could not I didn't get literally I got like no no sleep at all so no panic
attacks wore off at about 3 30 and then it felt like it had about 10 12 cups of coffee so F you into constrain I did not
enjoy you supposedly that's the the Mind numbing as opposed to the sativa which
is like more um stimulating right that's your betty Yeager yeah um yeah that's your betty Yeager string
let's go to work it keeps your mind let's get to work let's Hammer this stuff out this indicate thing is supposed to shut your brain off but man
it it uh did not work that way for me that particular time wow uh careful what
you eat folks mind your manners supers that's crazy ma'am I mean all right I
don't know why I said Jeepers yeah you're not allowed to cut that you got to leave it in you said Jeepers see what I'm dealing with folks see what
I'm dealing with I tell you I tell you um so I made it home it took me two days
to get back because I lost an hour and I had my kids with me I picked them up in Denver uh made the made the transfer
with their mom and and uh drove the kids back and so we stopped in Norfolk Nebraska and had an impromptu fireworks
display out of our hotel window as the entire town erupted into celebration so
was it actually on the fourth that you were making this drive home yeah yeah yeah so I mean the show Cherry Creek
goes till the third left on the fourth nice stop the night of the fourth I don't think we saw any fireworks at all
anywhere no no anywhere no yeah huh weird we're just stop well our first night we went West
so we were up in Silverthorne and I asked interesting way to go to um Wisconsin Wisconsin
all right yeah yeah so we had somebody kicking our tires for our top of the
food chain piece that we to travel around with every every show
we really thought it was going to happen we felt like they were going to pull the trigger well the end of the show comes
Monday night and hadn't happened so we're like okay thanks it's not gonna happen okay fine so we get all broken
down and I get a phone call it's them they're saying hey um so we're in uh
golden and we'd really love it if you could bring that big piece out to our house
and kind of set it up so my wife could see it because she hadn't seen it her husband was the one who had during gold
in Colorado Golden Colorado right and Brazil yeah so we're like yeah sure that's great except you know we didn't
know they were going to want this home visit and it's like 28 boxes of pieces in the back of our Vance we basically
always drive to their house unload our entire van for them do a little show and they liked it and they were like but we
don't want it here we would really like it in Malibu okay their other home I'm
like oh okay right and I'm like well when we get home we could ship it to you and they're like oh is there any way we
could just get it to Malibu by the weekend I'm thinking well there's like no way I can ship it to them to Malibu
by the weekend right and then the business side of me thinks there's always a way to get it before the
weekend let's do this sure let's talk I mean whatever so my he said throw out a
price I threw out a price it was made us happy he was happy so off to Malibu we go yeah so we had a very nice experience
driving it out there seeing Malibu spending some time in Malibu and then driving home so um that was unexpected
you guys go yeah you go west through uh like Telluride in Utah and and all of
that yeah that's incredible I love that drive it was an amazing Drive The Hills
the mountains were gorgeous you know after five days of 12 hour days on the
road I was ready to get out of the van and not get back in yeah I mean you guys didn't go to Malibu and hang out you
just you just went dropped and turned back around or did you did you get to enjoy it a little bit yeah we we
installed it like early afternoon and then we spent the whole rest of the day
doing fun stuff I know it doesn't sound the rest of the day like two hours I
think you can understand this we have commissions waiting at home that we've committed to that that we are just like
they're chopping at the bit so we're like we got to get home and we've got other shows to get ready for so I don't
like it I don't want to do shows anymore I just want to go to Malibu it's kind of like you know the Griswolds how long do
we stand here and look out at the ocean yes man I always try to put in a couple days I can't do that it just makes me
crazy it makes me feel bad about myself if I'm driving all the way somewhere and I just I gotta try to enjoy it yeah try
to see something I don't know oh we saw something I'm not I'm not criticizing I'm just a different I feel like you
know you mentioned way back when I think first season you were talking about being and we talked about being Beach people versus non-beach people and how
you feel like kind of crazy after you know after a while yeah yeah not me
um I am remarkably Adept at doing nothing oh yeah I can pull out the book and just
get lost in it absolutely oh six days is that all I have to just sit on my ass and I was like I don't know if I can
properly milled with the beach chair in six days I might need eight so no I can I can do me some nothing but
uh hats off to you for turning back around and getting back to work but um that makes me want to kill myself uh
yeah well getting back in the studio today that was the first day back in the studio it was like it's like we haven't
blown glass in a year or something it was like all the all of the joints are Rusty nothing was where I wanted to grab
it you know it's kind of like juggling you kind of lose that sense of where that ball is gonna land and it it was a
hard day so much that's what she said you just I just softball them in there's
just so much you pointed it out last time and I couldn't do it I just wanted to do it so actually
um we do actually make time to to do fun stuff after shows the last time that we
did Denver sure we looked up fun things to do in the mountains is that what you Googled you you just Googled yeah okay
fine there's another one I wasn't saying okay whatever that wasn't even going there okay things to do in Denver things
to do in the mountains whatever and they had the they were advertising for this Hot Springs Spa in Idaho Springs have
you ever been there or heard about it or anything uh uh oh yeah I've been to Hot Springs
before sure sure there's a great one in Santa Fe exactly we like we envisioned that we were like gonna go like sit at
the top of like a mountain with Shirley McLean and Sedona you know what I mean it's like this spiritual experience well
we get there and it's like a YMCA campgrounds or something and we paid for
this this private spa package which don't ever buy the spa package not till
you see it you get there we check in and they say okay well you know you can
check into your room come back and Lead You Off to the special private spa bath
okay so they point us in the direction of where we're going and we start walking down these stairs and Renee's
like why are we going underground and it's like this cinder block basement
right out of Silence of the Lambs right yeah that's what I was gonna say Renee gets like four steps and she's like oh
hell no I'm not going down there I'm like but we paid for this right we paid to do this special thing she goes I
would pay extra to not do it right so did you do it so she goes back
to the room I go down to check it out I go and literally this room was like this creaky old dirty the water was like
Jesus could they pour a little chlorine in there and kill some of the bacteria that's probably no no it was it was a
disaster it was a nightmare but it was a good effort at doing a little uh relaxing after the show anyway
have you tried Yelp have you tried it
ah man all right good times this episode of The Independent artist
podcast is brought to you by zap the digital application service where artists and art festivals connect so
I've started using the events list feature in zap to search up some different shows to fill those holes in
my schedule you know I feel like I should have something to say but I wasn't really listening to you because I'm looking at the events list right now
that's pretty cool okay okay so you drop the menu down and there at the bottom go scrolling all the way about third thing
down in the smaller printed just as events list that's right all of the shows appear here regardless of their
application deadline you can use the filtering and the Sorting to narrow down your search so that you can find that
right show that fills your desired time frame or location I know a lot of people love that calendar I like seeing the
list of events I like scrolling through and doom scrolling late at night it's like online dating they don't let you
swipe left or right but you can figure out who you want to date in the coming up year
all right let's get on to the topic of today's show shall we sir we shall all right so Douglas and I are going to
answer a bunch of questions from emerging artists um this may you know a lot of the uh are our veteran friends
that have been doing this for a long time might have I'm sure they have completely different ideas exactly this
is just us leaning on 22 years of experience from Craft to Fine Art to
illustration to uh wall installations I these are you know some of you might be
screaming at your radios here and being like that's not how I do it it's like guarantee you it's not how everybody
does it and there's no one right way I mean this is really just what has worked for both of us that's our absolutely
yeah this is through my experience and and every week somebody comes on here every other week when we do this show
somebody comes on here and gives me some kind of aha moment of something that I'm not doing or I could be doing better but
we really don't want to come across as an authority for what other people should do it's really we are authorities
on what we know for ourselves and what's worked for us and we're willing to share from our point of view but please
don't take it as gospel because it might not work for you it might be the wrong advice for you it's wrong in fact you've
given me bad advice and I'm very angry with you right now I don't like you anymore
all right uh let's get on to it we wanted to do this uh we've been talking
about doing this show for a while and and the idea for the show kind of got jogged by I'm mentoring uh someone from
the park city arts festival and and got hooked up with you know Renee podberg sent me this woman and she's super
talented and had a couple of quick questions and I'm like okay I I looked at you know you ever look at some of
these emerging artists and you're like um you're you're better than me oh right
yeah right you know you might need a little polish but I mean as far as the booth stuff but she's awesome and uh has
some really great questions and two right off the bat uh that I wanted to
jump into uh with this show but we are just taking emerging artist questions
and and don't feel like if you're out there listening that if you have not had your question sent in that you missed
the boat on this I think it's a type of thing that that Doug and I could make a segment on the show if we got enough
questions we'd be happy to jump in and and answer those but the first question was about inventory and
christalquist actually sent that to us as well and was like hey love to hear you guys talk on this one for a while
and and see like how much work do I bring to a show what do I what do I do
here like what what do you what do you do so how do you and Renee deal with inventory and how much stuff you need to
bring to a show well in the beginning that was a huge stress for us I mean it was basically like we wanted to prepare
for everything in the kitchen sink we brought too much [ __ ] and it really you
learn pretty quickly um what you're gonna need and my advice to an emerging artist would be just have
a good display of your booth and maybe a handful of backup stuff because as much as we want to feel like we're going to
show up to a show like that and like clean out it's it's really if if it's
one of your first few shows it's think of it as a learning experience you know don't don't think of it like I I've I've
got my golden ticket and I'm gonna like cash in the lottery winnings you know so um don't stress yourself out with with
making so much work that you kind of get in the way of preparing in other areas is my advice okay I've got um I have
three answers um when you're first starting out uh my biggest piece of advice is have a
monster on the back wall of your booth have a huge piece that is your anchor and everybody's version of of a monster
in the back of their Booth is completely different you also call it the top of the food chain piece right oh yeah
that's absolutely always you got that top of the food chain piece um do something in the back of the wall
that's going to bring people in that you don't think you can even sell that's your nicest and biggest or most
impressive piece now if you're a jeweler that's a you know the the one big big honker in the middle of your case if
you're a painter that's is your one big thing it's for for you guys it's your Towers um probably right what'd I say or maybe
right definitely so you've got that big guy in the back that's going to bring everybody in right and and also the
thing that you're happy to carry around for a while so that it's worth it when it sells but it sells a lot of your
other stuff you know exactly and then you're going to have somebody come in
that's like these these big high rollers who are going to fall in love with you they're going to fall in love with your
work and they're going to come in and they're going to be like I love this artist I want their nicest piece and
they're going to buy it and that's going to make your show for sure however and you have to work yourself up to it or maybe not I don't know I really feel
like you know people get hung up in the the ratios and the the the numbers of
how to price the work like some people will say by the intro buy the this or that and make that throw that out the
window for me what's always worked is what the market will bear if you sell the piece you get kind of selling
similar work at a clip start bumping it up until you kind of start getting that tension of when it won't sell so that's
a totally different question because we're going to get to that one later on but that's how to price your work sure
um how do how much inventory though so the other way to look at it is how I've
done this for a long time and up until this year has been I look at it as
hangings and if I have whatever side size my booth is I want to be able to
hang my booth two to three times which means if I sell the big guy I've got
something to replace it with if I sell two of these small ones I have two of the small ones to replace with so a full
hanging double it and then you can replace the booth you're not going to look picked over but do you think for
like a new person who's just getting out there their first year that that is that that is maybe a little ambitious
um no okay I think that's the minimum I think that's the minimum I think because
you don't want to look picked over I had um a very dear friend tell me this one
time that if I sold out I'd failed because it's either I didn't bring enough work
or I didn't price it correctly hmm how do you feel about that well which friend
am I going to offend if I say it's [ __ ] [ __ ] she doesn't care
yeah I mean it's all information for the future I mean obviously this is a yeah
you can be like okay well next time I can I can up my prices you know yeah you're not going to feel bad if you sell
out nobody is for sure and I've seen people sell out at shows and I'm not like not like they did a bad job and
like get get over yourself they they crushed it they did an amazing job and some of those shows you're going to come
by and you're you are going to do that but it doesn't happen often but I I'm I don't necessarily believe it I'm in the
business of selling my work but I okay so that's the second way is to have like a number of hangings I sure as hell
don't have three hangings right now I barely have one um and am I gonna cancel my show no I'm
still going so uh then the third way to look at it is a dollar amount all right
and that that's another way to look at it and I feel like you know there are
all sorts of things and this is this is going to be up to your business model I guess but there are all sorts of ways
for you to look at it but I'm looking at I want to have
sixty to a hundred thousand dollars worth of inventory that's all I want to look at okay and whatever combination of
sizes whatever it gets to whatever combination yeah and so I figured out what my hot selling size is and I have
three and I really only bring those that's it yeah I and I'm not telling you what they are
because I don't want you cup [Laughter] well you know talking numbers like that
I mean a lot of people want us to talk numbers and I I sometimes wonder if that
you know if if numbers just make people feel bad you know because numbers are hard amongst different mediums and and
different things like you mentioned you know somebody might be like how the hell does anyone sell a a piece that
expensive and it is it's a struggle I mean sometimes we do sometimes you don't
and and all the times you're second guessing yourself and wondering am I doing it right even when we've been in
this business for 22 years but yeah the numbers thing you know kind of is you
talk to a photographer their number is going to be different than a jeweler is going to be different than a painter or glass blower so um anyway I'll leave it
at that yeah um like Jewelers I I talked to my wife before before I came in here she feels like you have to have
10 times the inventory for the amount of money that you want to make
um I I don't you know that's how she felt like as far as a jeweler goes she has to have and it depends on the market
you're going to have you been to the market a bunch of times you know have you shown a number of times that the
show and well if and it's a big show for you well you better bring something new uh have you never gone to Milwaukee
before and you're you're showing at Lakefront for the first time it's like well lean into your old stuff or if
you're new whatever makes you you happy in your booth so um it all kind of depends but I do think
that that is the three different ways you can look at it yeah what to bring for a moment yeah the bright the bright
light to bring in the moths and then they you've got all of the other things to look at once they come in the
um hangings how many different hangings how many times can you hang your booth you don't want to be inundated with this
just like nonsense like constant I mean I don't I don't deal in really small things anymore just because it takes me
just as long to do a small piece as it does a large one and it takes just as long to sell a small piece as it does a
large one I feel like when I get tied up talking to somebody over a hundred dollar piece I've just missed the
opportunity to connect with somebody who wants to buy a 2500 wall set from us yeah uh I do agree there but I mean you
have to if you're by yourself then sometimes you have to just and I've I have often said to somebody hey
I'm by myself here I'd love to talk to both of you at the same time I don't want you guys to get offended that I'm
talking to somebody else let me uh maybe if you guys have questions or questions about this you can jump into and I just
try to treat it like a a room full of people but um you know it's a good way to handle it yeah yeah if you have small
stuff that's moving then you have to it's almost like you have to have two people like some of these shows that
allow me to have reproductions and and I think there are really only three that I bring them to okay even some of the ones
that that do allow me to have them I feel like they get in a way so I don't bring them
some of the ones I'm like okay let me let me talk to everybody but sometimes
you're on and you catch Taps on your toes and you just get here everywhere yeah and you're just you're just talking
to everybody and you're you're performing and it's all working but sometimes it can really muck you down it's like Julia said being a bartender
you know you're getting the one of that shot you're getting this one over here and you're juggling you're just exactly but then all of a sudden
somebody wants a shot of Pappy and it costs 250 dollars and you're like gotta
talk to this guy a little bit more than they're not just slinging Chardonnay gotta gotta give it to him all right
next next question um is how exactly do we pick the shows
we want to commit to I mean that's that's a big question right there like how do you decide we've obviously we
come at it from a different point of view because we've been doing shows for 22 years and we know what works and what
doesn't work but for a new person who's trying to vet a show and figure out huh
do I give this one a try or that a try do you have any thoughts on that I do and um yeah I don't care if I make
people mad here goes um here figure out who you sell with you
know what I mean like all around other mediums are there artists that you sell well together okay yeah together I mean
how many times have I installed and I've seen somebody else hanging on the wall and you know how many times have I hung
in the same house and I've looked over and I've seen a full bot in the corner Sarah failure on the wall or somebody
else you know where I'm kind of like oh you know they're not my competition they
are my you know they're just part of the collection you know and I'm like okay cool let me look at
their schedule and see where they're going um so if you're you're first starting out and you walk a show and you see who
you're who you think you would hang well with uh or even look at the website be like man let me let me check out some of
these shows and then you look at the shows see if it looks like something that you might you know you kind of look at the artists that go to them and you
see if you are of the same caliber well that's the hard part right there is for for as a new artist to kind of get a
clear perspective on your work you know I mean to to be able to be like to figure out
where you fit and sometimes you have to look at yourself a little more critically and and challenge your work a
little bit more than when you first start out you should really like you said look at the website and see who's
already been exhibiting there because that tells you if you're wasting your time or if you're showing up and it's
just tchotchkes you know on on flea market table well and to be honest
um sometimes those those tchotchke kind of things or and I don't want to be shitty about somebody else's work
sometimes the smaller collectible craft I mean my parents have a huge collection of small collectible American craft and
they have for years and and that's how I kind of found part of this Industries is through being taken to craft shows when
I was little and and um falling into to that but they've got these little carvings and these other little things
yeah really nice collection some dolls some Akira Blount my big paintings may
not sell in the same place that that some of these smaller collectible craft does right so I'm I'm looking at the
show and imagining myself where I am and you know who knows sometimes you you
want to be that big fish you know um well I do want to say sometimes there's a lot of emphasis put on only
doing the a show it's like if I don't do the a show if if someone doesn't only get do the a shows then they're somehow
they look down on themselves or that's their what they aspire to but there are a lot of
All Quality all kinds of shows that people make really good livings at so to
kind of like step back from that oh if I only do the a shows then I will have arrived and made make a good living for
myself you can do that you can do that just about anywhere right um some very good friends in Denver that
don't apply to Cherry Creek because they're like man I never made any money there and they end up doing their work
as a little little out there a little bit edgy and kind of I mean there's plenty of edgy work there too but it
just they just couldn't make it work and and so they're not really doing what they would typically say are the a shows
even though they can get into them they're they're grinding it out at some of these these other shows that are 10
times better for them than some of the shows that I love yeah so you gotta look at your work
look at the website of the the show see if you think it fits if that's what's there at the show maybe it's just not
for you maybe you need to go somewhere else where they're they're going to appreciate you more the other thing I would say about that is
about picking your shows is we really need to be skeptical about what we're
committing our time and money to you know like sometimes once you start doing
shows you're going to get lots of letters about wonderful opportunities for for shows that you can get in and
and they they appeal to a market or whatever and they do a good line on you but it's really up to you to look into
where's the show look at the website and figure out am I going to be wasting my
time on this up this opportunity that is they're giving you you know what I'm saying right that's a great point and it
brings me to something that I wanted to bring up for our for our friend uh David bierstrom who is the director over at uh
art in the high desert as as well as an award-winning artist everywhere from from season one uh you can check out his
talk but he had a great point and kind of a pet peeve to bring up do your research ahead of time and a lot of
shows you know they count on you once you have even applied and you know I have I've certainly declined a number I
have a lot of things that I'm juggling a lot of times try to put together a tour yeah or you go out and like east coast
and like how they they they will announce and what you get in and what you don't get in affects other puzzle
pieces so it's not as cut and dried as being afraid of declining a show that you get into but his point yeah was do
your research ahead of time if you have no intention of going to it then don't even apply well anybody you know get
into the show and then then get online and be like has anybody ever heard of the hearing aid festival at Cracker
Barrel in Wisconsin and it's like okay buddy that's you know you already got in
and it's not that one has anybody ever heard of Cherry Creek and then it's like um
we've heard of that and meanwhile people you know old-time Pros that have you know dick got rejected and they're like
yeah I've heard of it yeah I'm [ __ ] heard of it that's great because you're clogging up
the works yeah you know it's like you don't have any intention of driving I live in Boston and I want to drive all
the way to Denver then why'd you apply right you know it's like why do you apply do your research ahead of time but
you know I I'm not trying to don't I'm not trying to be mean to the um I'm just trying to express some good old beer
stream rage you're channeling him right no I mean but seriously he's got
such a fantastic point there he's just like do your research ahead of time before you even apply sometimes I'm declining shows because
I'm like okay if I do get into you know I get into Winter Park then I'm
gonna stay in Florida I don't get into Warner Park I'm gonna try to do Texas sure so if you get all the Texas shows
I'm going to ignore the Florida shows if I do all you know vice versa or hey I
got into this one that I do really well in Chicago I'm gonna stick around and see what I can fill that that schedule
out with so I mean even even when you look at artists who seem to be operating
at a very high level they get their rejections they get their wait lists and they get their acceptances and the
schedules are never set in stone so if anything that's that's part of the whole
juggling act yeah and if you if you sell everything and you get to cancel yeah
okay well another question that was sent in is just kind of like the question
about the work like how do you really know what to make that's gonna be successful to to do it a show and all
that kind of stuff uh how do you what kind of direction do people take with their work I mean how do they figure
that one out you know those first couple of shows just listen to the people and see what they say and and just you know follow
your heart and come up with your body of work but that that honestly just takes time I mean I I painted everything the
first show that I did it's like I got a guitar and a squirrel and that's a gun
and this is a man and he's a late there's a lady you know I just I don't know you just it's that it's a bummer I
can't tell you that one I I I I that's what I was gonna come down to right there is is just the reaction from the
audience I mean let the audience direct you to where you know the Venn diagram we talk about
okay they didn't like that and I like to make it so I'll make something else I like and see if they like it too so you
can be within that overlapping those overlapping circles yeah and just to repeat that Venn diagram I you know what
can I make what do I love making and what people buy yeah so the three all right so the next question is uh simply
about applications how do I know what to apply with what to send in for my jury
slide or for my application for for my zap or or what have you if you're
applying with a different way um you wanna you wanna take that one so I guess first thing I would say is
obviously apply with what you intended to show and and the work but I know
glass is hard to photograph so I never skimp on having somebody professionally
photograph my work I know it's different for different mediums maybe a 2d artist
might be might be easier for them to take their own images but that is where you don't want to cut Corners you want
to make sure that the work really presents as it is and so that against
other people who are applying that you stand out okay uh so hire a photographer
that would be one thing and then once you have the good images okay you got the four to five good pieces of the
things you're going to show anyway get a good photographer it's not you sorry you're not any good at it no you know
what you're just not you're not uh did you go to school for photography because people did and they know how to do it so
that's something that find one of your mentors or your people that are compatible with you or whatever and ask
them and and that's the kind of thing that we'll share and if you've got a good photographer um then then that that works for you I'm
not gonna gonna promote one versus the other because I know 100 that I could rattle off the top of my head but but
find somebody out there that can shoot it uh if you are 2D go to one of these print houses that that print things for
you every every town seems to have one and have a high resolution scan of that piece because that's so much better than
a photograph of a two-dimensional piece of work and they they can shoot it do that there there's my advice there and
and just show them what you got and try to tell them focus on the one thing that you
think you're good at tell a story have it have it play out have a point of view
definitely yeah have a theme have the work have it not seem like it's four
different pieces from four different series there has to be some kind of synergy and through line that makes it
seem like this is the same artist and they have a story to tell from a point of view right there you go don't just
send them the squirrel and the lady and the gun and the man yeah maybe the squirrel
no what are you saying Douglas I don't know all right uh next what's the next well
we've talked a lot about the booth thing and one of the questions that somebody asks specifically about applications and
Booth images is that they want the show directors to be more transparent about
why they didn't get in I mean how do you feel about about that whole aspect of
getting if you paid for a jury in you know application should you then get a
thorough critique of of the work back should that be part of the deal no not
at all it's it's just get over it and move on I I kind of different show it's like when you audition for you know a
show like if you're auditioning to be on stage or to be in a movie or whatever they don't call you up and say oh you're
too tall you're too fat you're too this you're not whatever they just say it next and they cast the person who's
gonna be in and that's kind of what the business we're in you know what look at the other work right look at the work
that did get into the show and that's either gonna tell you or it's going to tell you that you were close and that
you you need to polish it up a little bit um if you are consistently not getting
into the shows that you're applying to then maybe you're not applying to the right shows sure maybe they're doing you
a favor or it's never a bad thing to throw a flyer at one of those shows that you've never gotten into I will I'm
Gonna Keep applying to Jazz Fest till I get in I've never gotten in when you say a flyer what does that mean a flyer yeah
I just mean like you just it's just a roll of the dice okay you know you can't
you know you're not going to win craps unless you throw the dice on the table you gotta you gotta play so I just wanna
you're like I don't you know this one yeah they only have this this number uh artists I've never gotten in
um you know and some people are like hey I'm gonna quit giving that show my money like I get that too I get that yeah but
the other thing too about the booth image that this question this person was asking about was like just tell me is it
that I don't have Pro panels is it that I'd I have mesh walls and I I don't think that I mean the booth image is
really we've talked about this a lot it's about context it's about is it a professional Booth but it's rarely about
you didn't get in because you have mesh walls versus Pro panels it's really
about your work it's so take a hard look at your work and see how your work fits or if you need to do something different
or if it's the right show for you there's just a lot of questions about that right I don't think anybody's
getting rejected for for having mesh walls um I really don't think I mean I did the
the maybe the stupidest thing that I've ever done uh well let's not dig too deep into my
past what am I wait a minute you did this that was way more stupid than that yeah
we're gonna start getting things like actually I was at the show and I saw I saw you you did something even dumber
all right so here's here's a dumb one that I did all right I wanted a super cool looking Booth yeah and I took some
Old Pro panels and I cut the fabric of them off and I wrapped them in aluminum channel and wood and basically just
making my Pro panels way four times more than they used to and I haven't sold any
more work other artists walk by and they're like oh that looks cool yeah and
I'm like yeah also I need somebody to help me now like I can't even do it by myself it just made it harder it did so
don't waste your time you don't need to reinvent the wheel you know how much money uh some of these guys go out there
and they they make on the on the same old walls that everybody else has it's not about that it's about your work so
that's right I do you believe in upping your game and upping your display but
I just don't think once you get to a certain point it matters yeah um hey
that does bring me to another question that um one somebody I'm mentoring had asked uh and this is such a simple one
but also not that simple because uh where do you get your tent I've just
since I um got my flourish uh trim line I've stuck with it I mean I love it uh
it's gotten me through a lot of storms granted I do the stabilizer bars I do cross bracing with ratchet straps I make
sure that thing is going nowhere and I just replaced Parts over the years so I I'm a fan of of flourish
flourish okay and these guys are not uh we we probably should have we're you know oh yeah talking about dumb guy
versus versus smart guy we should have probably gone out for some some advertising here we're not getting paid
by these guys um but but some of the the big Brands um they don't make craft Hut anymore but I still got it and like
craft Huts are like um well way back in the day early 2000s had a craft Hut that
I've still just bought and replaced parts for and light Dome makes new tops
for those and helps so um there's an artist garage group on Facebook and I think that's exactly what
it's called artist garage group that that really sweet deals will come along occasionally you can find your tents
there your basic brand names are like uh light Dome trim line flourish euromax
has a pop-up uh but they have an octagonal leg those legs they're they're
really good yeah they're a lot more sturdy it pops up like an easy up but it
is a lot heavier Duty and once you attach the stay bars and and the big fat
professional weights then you've got a pretty sturdy tent but some other shows
out there do not allow any kind of pop-ups because yeah easy up easy down
is the the thing that the people say but you know we've all been at shows if the weather wants you at once you've been in
Austin when I've taken my craft Hut off of the stop sign a block away and been
right next to a easy up that stayed up it wasn't about weight it was about where the little microwave burst hit oh
sure yep so uh but artist garage group is a great place to start um I'll drop that link
I'll drop that link in the episode notes so people can go to it if they want also asking people I've got three
um I got three tenths that I I will loan out I've got a trim line I got two craft
huts and and I'm pretty friendly uh In Spite and he's not eating I play on the show
I don't know we'll see so another question we got yeah was uh
how long did it did it take us to feel like we made it or that we we got to a
point where we could feel comfortable about making a living in this industry
ah uh 30 years maybe
you know so I mean my my story is is I've had two different
bodies of work my ex-wife and I made a a line of work uh together and so she was
already creating it and I lost my job in in publishing and was kind of bummed and
and uh the the paper I was working for went under and I went home and laid out
one of the pieces that she was working on instead and it sold that weekend and then so I made two for the next weekend
and then those two were the ones that sold and so we kind of you know that carried us through a body of work for
almost 10 years and when the economy hit I already knew how to do art shows so I
started doing what I wanted and I had a Sketchbook full of ideas that I wanted
to do and a illustration degree that I could lean on and that's how I started
so I already knew I applied you apply to the The Big Show and then you you bust
your ass and get ready and if it makes money just you know there was this one um one woman who was like basically she
wanted what did she say she was like I want a pat on the head and and just to tell me that it's okay and like I'll be
damned if I'm gonna Pat anybody on the head but I'll tell you this quit your damn job your work's gonna get better
um take just a leap of faith if you've got it and just if you're getting into shows and you've got the display in the
van you're already ready and just kick your kick yourself in the ass and and
jump in there with both feet do it there's something about feet to the fire that makes your figure shut out fast yes
you know that you need that kind of that um and the other thing too is if you've already been doing shows and you know
that this is the right place for you I mean some people do shows and they're
like nope not having any business with it but for me even though we did not
have like a barn burner of of a first sale I still felt like this was it was almost
like taking a drug it was like there was a hit of something that I just wanted to keep chasing it I wanted to keep going
down it I wanted to solve the problem I got passionate about people's reaction
to what I was making and putting out there right so if you really thrive in
that Marketplace and you feel that sense of energy that's going to help overcome all of the
physical mental stressful hurdles that this business will throw at you because
you know on the at the end of it you're like that was good that was great they
liked what I did and they bought it and they get to live with it and it's so exciting you know
well once you get that first delicious shot of heroin uh you just gotta keep on feeding the monkey Doug you just gotta
keep on monkey wants more yeah monkey monkey needs yeah so no it's a it's a
gambling problem for sure and and when it pays off nothing feels better but I
do believe like if you're already selling and I think if you give yourself that time then you know tell the man
just to shove it take this job and shove it so you know talking back to past
episodes for somebody who is kind of like who's been in another career and
wants to step into this this business kind of full-time I think the episode that encapsulates that the most is
season two episode one with Cindy Ohm's talk her episodes titled fully awake she
talked about that whole struggle of her whole life just feeling like she didn't have confidence to put her
work out there and that it would sell and that she could make a living at it and then when she did
you know she had a lot of stuff to figure out but when she did and she kind of got it all together
it was great so that's a good a good kind of a pep talk that episode yeah all right get yourself a mentor too that can
help you but you got to be careful you you open yourself up to mentors and you're like I had somebody this past
weekend that showed me their work and I was like oh my God I was like doing this
and like talking up shows and I'm like he's like talking about are you saying they look to you as a mentor and you were you were not impressed with the
work is that what you're doing why was it was just a yeah just a show thing and I was talking up art shows because you
know you occasionally get these people that walk up to you and you're like how do you do this yeah you're like you know blah blah blah
do this and do that and I was just talking on and on like I'm prone to do
and uh he was he was like well show me your work and well maybe we should have
done that first before we had this long conversation yeah that's well it's not that's not for
me that's also for someone maybe speaking of the whole mentoring thing
there is a a program that's in the works uh headed up with NAIA that Diane French
and Cindy lyric are are working on I'll drop their contact information into the
episode notes if this res resonates with anyone but they're they're trying to build a mentoring database so people who
are interested in being mentors can submit your name and they'll put you in a database what you do what kind of
shows where you're located and then eventually emerging artists will be able to reach out looking for a
mentor and they will pair you with somebody who seems appropriate so very cool so yeah that's on the horizon also
um just to assure people like mentoring sounds like I don't know I I use the word mentor and I feel like I'm gonna
have to have somebody in my shop and teach them how to make shoes like oh yeah yeah like suddenly I feel like
Geppetto all right boy you put a nail right here and Hammer it in it's like no it's not like that it's like like this
this uh lady texted me and like where do I buy a tent I go on this here hey I
found one okay great and then that was it that's that's kind of like that she has more you know bring it I'm gonna I'm
gonna check out the booth at the show we're going to together and I'm gonna you know maybe give some advice but it
really is not complete I'm consuming yeah you're not you know depending on
how you you do it I mean I know Mark winter was talking about uh mentoring some folks and he's definitely taught
some lessons and and really gone extensive and you know I'm I don't know
on how to make work that kind of thing or I believe so it's in that that Mark winter episode that we did and just just
to just a hearken back to the previous but I did drop off the board of NAIA uh
just a just a couple of weeks ago and and that had been kind of a passionate idea I'm an idea man Douglas I can't I'm
like this this project itself and my career in kids and everything else you've got so much on your plate and
everybody appreciates everything you do for the podcast so yeah something has to give you know so I I didn't have any
time for it but uh definitely appreciate what what everybody there is is doing so
um you know there are lots of uh different ways that people have kind of climbed the ladder and tried to figure
things out and and uh one artist asked us you know they felt like they'd kind of missed the emerging artist boat and
they kind of feel like maybe that's a ripoff because they've been chipping away at the stone and figuring out the display on their own and figuring out
the tent and is it too late to do the emerging artist thing or is that really the question and and I'm not sure what
do you what do you think there well uh we actually talked about this last night at the at the Naya board meeting and if
people feel like you know they've already done some shows and they might benefit from being part of the emerging
artist program they should call the directors and ask them if if they're a good fit you know if if their experience
disqualifies them or not they might have a lane for them some people just want
the reduced Booth fee you know the economic help and my thoughts on that is if your work
has already been seen for a while if it's got some sense of Polish because
it's you know you've evolved through what people have seen and blah blah well then maybe you don't even really fit in
this emerging category anymore anyway so you're going to be displaying your work amongst people who are just getting
their footing and if if the audience will walk and look at the emerging section
and already put you in a different mindset of than where you actually are
in your career I mean that's my thoughts on the matter yeah I mean honesty really
I mean the show directors of the the person in charge of the emerging program be like look if if be like send them an
email and be like look I I've been trying to do this on my own and I've I've had several shows under my belt and
I really could use some help and I'd like to do the emerging program if you think I I qualify for it because I feel
like I'm really missing some um some key information here and yeah just to ask them you know like uh no
will you can't get into the emerging artist program you've been doing 15 to 25 shows a year for the past 22 years
but I didn't get in and I really went no no that's not you know it's not people
about people trying to you know break rules or whatever it's about people trying to get some help so okay so
here's another question and this this kind of comes to some veterans and emerging artists but you know when you
get to a point where your your work kind of hits a wall and you're not either getting into shows or you're not selling
how do you kind of get through that that impasse wow um
maybe they're Just Not That Into You yeah I don't know I guess I guess our
business where I mean we talked about it earlier there's always this this element of of moving forward of trying new stuff
of growing and if the work isn't selling it does not mean that the show is sucky
you know right I mean I sometimes feel like that is the the go-to you know
you've got your artist friend who's not doing well clearly they're not doing well I'm not going to rub it in that I
am doing well or I don't want them to rub it into me when I'm not doing well so you know of course the common
denominator is well this show sucks or is it is it really just that you need to
make a change in your work yeah and I do think that that goes back to one of the earlier questions
um so we kind of have I'm gonna I'm gonna give a similar answer to something that they asked us early on like you're
you're just starting out and and yeah you've got the the booth and you've got the lady and the squirrel and the gun and everybody's gravitating toward the
gun and they're like okay well what what are you saying here about this this is in interesting and well maybe you lean
into that topic and and the next Booth you you know if you have time before the
next show then maybe your next piece explores that direction because clearly it's something you love anyway well let
me let me work more into this and hone my body of work we're like okay and then you you show that next piece and they
say well this is this is interesting about this and this and maybe you can combine elements of those pieces until
you've figured out I'm I'm sure that your first glass blowing installation piece where you have those to forgive me
for for for calling it not like a plate but it's like this wavy kind of um piece that you put on the wall that
installs with a number that becomes this installation he probably I'm guessing just made one the first time right and
then somebody came along and said hey can I buy two or three of these and you're like oh my God you know it Sparks
the imagination so listen to your people we had self-limiting beliefs that people
would only want the one and then the collectors pushed us in a direction that let us know that we could up the scale
yeah and I I can't say this enough in this this uh so many of the the veterans
fall into this too and you and I do sometimes too people say really dumb things to us all the time and you can't
let that hurt your feelings try to figure out what they're saying to you yeah you know and sometimes they're just saying like Okay that that's got to just
bounce off my back but sometimes if you look into why they're saying those things they're trying to connect or
they're trying they're not trying to be rude they're not trying to to be ignorant um in spite of how it feels sometimes
just listen to what they say and then that can be a stepping stone into and
don't just do what they say but if they're responding to something and they're like oh man this is this is
really interesting right like or talk to people like well what's your favorite piece you know and that that can be a
sales technique but it can also just be a learning thing you are trying to learn for those first
few years whether you like the industry whether you're you know you're out there I know I talked to Jaja the last few
shows that he's been a guest on the show and just the sweetest guy and he's you
know going to his Booth it doesn't look exactly like it did the first time we saw him he's getting more professional
and um dude can draw anything sure you know so he's experimenting with bringing
his stories into new stories and and trying to become more sellable and and
still focusing on what makes him happy and drives his his uh inspiration sure I
remember when we first started I wanted to chase any rabbit hole that the
collectors would say they'd be like do you make light fixtures okay I'll make you light fixture do you wanna I'll make it and it's like I was so knocked off my
game at first because I wanted to do everything for everybody and I thought that when they would ask that they were
really serious and it was possibly just part of the conversation for the day and
they might have walked out of the booth and never thought about us again but somehow I wanted to reinvent what we make because of what that one person
said so I think we need to be careful in the beginning that we aren't so impressionable that we really think that
every conversation is going to lead to something sometimes they're just out for a walk and they say something nice about
our work and it doesn't mean they're going to buy it you know it's it's a it's an ongoing dialogue and you might
not get a pearl for you know a bunch of hours you know that's a really really great point to
kind of rein in my my broad point but um I do think it's your job to listen
yeah and and hear what people are saying and not get offended and and not be like good what an idiot
um well what goes along with that is somebody had asked us how do we keep them in our booth and
make the sale so that you know what I mean we don't lose them hmm that's interesting um
I you know you can't just you can't Hard Sell art I know some people do but I do
try to here's a good example that I had a client that came in and they were like
it's between you and somebody else they've been back several times and and I'm like
all right let's let's freaking do this all right and I just became you know I'm like I just tried to tell them exactly
who I am right and who you know what my inspiration is behind every part of it
and I try to be as likable as I can and I try to just be kind and if it comes
down to them or me you know the other person gets it that's that's fine but I just I tried to do everything I could to
let them know who they were buying from and and that it was you know that I'm not a jerk and
um I mean it kind of is almost like when you're forming friendships or you're into a new relationship or
something right you know you kind of have to be anticipatory you have to be kind of I'm
taking one of you boys home tonight which one's it gonna be like oh okay you kind of have to lean in but then you
can't be too much you can't be like a blanket that's smothering them no don't leave don't leave because that's the biggest turn off of all
here's a great piece of advice that an old-timer gave me when I was first starting out I had a really bad show and
I was going into the next show really needing some money okay and he goes trying to get he's like trying to get
paid it's like trying to get laid when you're horny he's like you just they can smell the desperation yeah so gee take
it easy I don't I feel like when they say it uh okay I'm gonna walk around have
put up maybe some kind of a confident statement that well when you come back we can talk about this or have enjoy the
show when you come back we can talk more about it or something that makes you sound confident that this is just the
start of your your conversation about the work yeah and I'm not I don't want to hear
um Everybody using my lines but I've got a good line for that that I'm I'm not telling
it works though baby I have it wrapped up in the back waiting for you that's
right I got you taking me home all right
hey you mentioned earlier about um you're stepping into this this world
from another career and that is we were talking earlier
about somebody else who wrote in a question about wanting to leave their career and what it's right and everything I just know that when I
started in this business in you know the early 2000s a lot of the people who are retiring now
they were just starting and it was their second career you know this was they were starting it in their 40s and in
their 50s so this is really never too late of an industry to kind of kind of like switch gears and and start yeah
when I retire from this I'm going to go into human resources that makes me that does you know I talk
about like not you know I'm not immune to people saying dumb [ __ ] making me crazy don't get me wrong
um that that one doesn't matter like I'm gonna do this when I retire like have fun your back is gonna be broken you can
have my walls take have have a good time you're gonna cut yourself on a craft Hut yeah but at 40 years old I mean you
still got a lot of life ahead of you it's not like you're retiring and you're just like now you're taking on a really
hard hard job no absolutely people can do it at any age I guess I mean look at the rat keys I mean they've left really
great careers and they followed their passions yeah look at the red Keys they're bitter broken people they're they're a mess
they can barely walk down the damn street well it's not a young man's game whether
you're in this business or not the 70s are coming whether we like it or not and uh yeah
[Laughter] I love you Ma I'm not she retired from
shows she can't come get me anymore that's right
so anyway I mean I I recognize what she was the what the person who wrote in
about the whole golden handcuffs it's like if you're used to a certain kind of life where you go to work and you've got
money that you have like um budgeted in the bank and you know what you have to spend every month and
it's everything is predictable that's not this life this life is all about
a lot of other stuff a lot of other things that are great and other challenges so better have some room on
those credit cards if you want to jump into this game better have a little room don't come in don't come to me maxed out
yeah you gotta have a parachute yeah I have to I have to admit when we started we we leaned heavily on credit and it
was scary I think a lot of us do you know the worst thing about this business I'd say is that the rent is due for the
entire year pretty much in January February and there aren't any shows in January
February so you got to have room on on either have the money in the bank already or you've got to have credit to
put it on and wait and just just pay the piper later on that's a huge that's one of the huge huge challenges that's true
well the timing of this this industry sucks too because the the rent is due in January February and then taxes are due
right on the heel of that so everybody's kicking the can I that I know it's kicking the can down to September until
they've had a decent year and then you do September and then you pay your taxes and then all of a sudden you got uh no
good shows after September really if there's not you know the kind of big big shows have happened and then you got
October November December oh rents due again are you talking people into this industry or are you uh no it's a [ __ ]
nightmare are you kidding me I love it but it's a night it is a night it has its it has its challenges yeah
yeah yeah welcome welcome I'm your Mentor now it's me Bert here's another
challenge that people are writing in about they're saying what do we do about shows who won't even follow their own
rules I mean we've complained about the reproduction Rule and buy sell and all that kind of stuff I mean what can we do
that's a show to show basis yeah you know you can you can get into a game where you're like chasing every cheater
down the and I feel like that that's going to ruin your show it does um you know I don't want to I don't wanna I
know people are out there cheating and I'll walk at a show and I'll see reproductions and it's like sometimes I see it it's a friend of mine that's
doing it I'm like you know what you're a dick but I I don't have the time to
chase it maybe somebody else does I don't know it's not gonna be me it's gonna wreck my show if I'm I'm there
like wagging my finger or whatever but I don't know I feel like it's that's a
show to show basis you put your your faith in an industry and you put your faith in somebody to do the right thing
and you hope they do it I think you have a really good point about not getting
knocked off your game I mean there's really no it's like are we going to be the police
at a show or are we going to sell our work and like we can operate within kind
of a a peaceful easy place and that stuff can just be dealt with by other
sources um it sucks that it happens but it doesn't have to be our personal cross to
bear and I know it is some peoples and that's great and and I admire some people that
do it but I don't want to get shaken off my game I don't want to be I don't want to talk about the negativity I'm only
about the positive in my booth I'm only you know sunshine and rainbows and that's all I want to be it's just it's a
small man's game but the small people do the small thing and and rise above it and our collectors they sense when [ __ ]
is off with us if we're if we're worrying that we're not going to sell if the if we're mad because of what's going
on in the booth across the way from us why would we shoot ourselves in the foot that way uh you gotta shake that [ __ ]
off and just really be present yep exactly I mean it's a bummer but what you know what
you just gotta hope the show handles their business and you handle your own and it can be a decider for what you do
in the future like let's say a decision that was made for a bunch of Buy sell in a show you can't change the fact that
they're there but you can change the fact if it's a good place for you to sell in the future yeah I've cut I've cut a couple of shows
off my list because of that I'm like oh well this isn't the one for me I don't wanna I don't want my work shown with that so if they don't follow the rules
um that's really the only recourse you have right totally so let them do their thing and I'll do my thing all right so
somebody has a question here about how we choose the shows that we do and I
know how I look at it but how do you how do you go about choosing the shows and in the markets that you want to be
inducted well specifically I think it comes down to like this an informal rating that artists will give shows
about like you know wanting to choose the show that might be considered a top
show right because like if you get in you're obviously got like the golden ticket and you're gonna make Bank maybe
maybe I mean maybe definitely no you know I was you know we talked about Cherry Creek last weekend my neighbor across the way had a bummer of a weekend
so it's not for everybody um but plus your Factor who knows if
like Cross Country 2 000 miles away well you have to now pull out those
expenses from what it needs to be for a good show for it to make a difference and that time away from the studio of
the work you're going to make where maybe that weekend you would have made five thousand less four thousand two
thousand whatever that number comes to but you're not away from home and you have less expenses and the bottom line
is appropriate so you know yeah and we make a lot about you know oh this is an
Asia this is a b show this is a seat it's like I somebody's somebody's a is somebody
else's C I mean it just kind of depends on your own Market it's not like there are you know these magic shows and and
everybody is going to make money I mean there are some of the ones that are more highly rated among artists but you know
everybody's got those back pocket shows that they they do that they're like I'm not telling you about this one well some
of these other uh recommendation sites like let's say Facebook or or even like
the different review subscriptions uh magazines they all have like let's say
reviews written about a show and they rank it and they say what average sales are and I used some of that stuff early on
but I came to realize pretty quickly that the responses were a handful and
you know my the results didn't match what my results were so I almost feel like some of those resources that we can
spend our money on to try and make our business better for ourselves actually is a hindrance
but maybe or they could work for some people I don't know but I would say this um just get some friends you know go on
to some of these groups and and be loud and proud about your ignorance and be like hey I'm new I I hope this is okay
or search uh the function um I don't do Facebook anymore but I
know there you know you can definitely do do certain groups and and ask ask people I do find if the question has
been asked a number of time you might get some salty veterans or whatever you're like hey anybody heard of Fort
Worth right and then we're like get the hell out of here yep use the search
function yeah but don't you feel like to uh a lot of the the reviews that people
put online about a particular show or whatever uh maybe uh the more of the complaints
go out from a handful of squeaky wheels and it doesn't necessarily give the full picture because some people want to keep
those hidden gems as their their own special back pocket show yeah also it
comes off as gloating too if I'm you know somebody you know 10 people get on there like oh my God what a terrible
weekend and I banked I'm gonna be like I mean like not for me yeah
want to be that guy you know just just be quiet you know move on be like hey sorry you had a bad weekend and then you
might look at the artist list again and be like well this person's being awfully quiet but
they're there every year they only go back if it's working for
you yeah like David beerstrom was saying early on I mean he's like dude do you research ahead of time before you even
apply and that way you'll know what you want so um yeah what else we got man we've been
uh at this thing for over an hour and 40. 45 minutes before you start cutting the fat
um you want to end us out here with something Douglas One Last Thing Before we wrap this episode this long episode
we've had here um is I've been having conversations with artists lately and this topic seems
to keep coming up and it's kind of this this insecurity of their business model like whether I'm never insecure yeah
right never life is like uh Jesus the self-loathing yes all right but
basically the idea that well if I don't make a living out of my art or a good enough living off of my art maybe other artists will look down on me or
something like that and I just feel like we are pro artists in every regard you know whether you have a second career or
a spouse that kind of picks up the slack it's it's really about the doing of the art uh it is about I'm glad you brought
that up it is about the doing of the art and it doesn't matter and I catch myself uh falling into the same Trope or I'll
see artists that are doing better than I am it shows and I want to try to keep up or something like that and it's not it
has nothing to do with them you have to look at it it's like each each 10 by 10 you know you're walking down the street
is is its own individual storefront you know you're doing your best you're
you're growing you're figuring it out so yeah I I totally agree with you there
it's each business model is its own business model yeah I mean so this whole episode has really been about us giving
our our reactions to what we've experienced and you know some of it may be beneficial and some of it made maybe
hogwash so it's like whatever whatever works for you you really have to invent
your own wheel but these are just some of our insights yeah exactly little little tidbits you can plug in and and
um I don't know I've read uh I would really call them self-help books but uh
whether they're meditative books or or things like that [ __ ] it self-help is fine if you glean one thing from from
the book and you remember it and you carry it forward then it's been worth it and if you can adapt something that
we've said here today then uh great I feel like a job well done otherwise you
know just move on by and listen to your true crime I'll see you next time right that's
right well this has been fun so Bob thanks for thanks for having this talk with me will this has been a great week absolutely great idea talk to you soon
all right bye-bye this podcast is brought to you by the National Association of Independent Artists the
website is also sponsored by zapplication that's
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