I know it has been Fall for over a week already, but it sure doesn't feel like it! It has been a long, HOT, intense summer! The temps are still lingering in the 90s here in Indiana, and I couldn't want or need fall anymore than I possibly do right now. First, let me apologize for my radio silence. I've been adjusting to this traveling art show lifestyle, while also picking up a part time job at my favorite brick and mortar store, Gather, in downtown Bloomington. Learning to balance my personal business with the responsibilities of my retail job has been an exercise in time management that I quite simply haven't had since my days as a social worker.
You may remember me mentioning that I'd made multiple trips to my motherland of the Philadelphia/South Jersey area for my twin sister's wedding and an art show back in June and July. Well, I managed to squeeze in a quick trip to Philly for a whirlwind few days in early September that included a camp friend's bridal shower, meeting my newest family member- sweet Sofia Rose, two nights down the shore, and an EPIC rainy night with some of my best friends seeing the incredible Brandi Carlile live. What is this life, you ask? Well, it's the product of a whole lot of dreaming, hard work, and is only made possible by the support of my husband, friends and family, and my customers!
Last night my husband and I drove back from the Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art in Madison, IN. Just over two hours south on the banks of the Ohio river, with Kentucky just on the other side. 49 years of existence, very well organized, beautiful, art-loving community... but then there was the heat, and the untimely death of a beloved Mayor that basically shut the entire community down. It was my worst show yet. Between gas, booth rent, and the AirBnB, I didn't even break even! That was a first... but no shame here, I'm told it happens to everyone. Outdoor shows are a gamble, but I'm a sucker for the rush of a great show! "Next time..." I kept telling myself, over and over again. As we packed up the trusty Tiguan, sweaty and exhausted, I started reflecting on this wild and wonderful summer while my husband got us safely home. Yes, I dealt with torrential storms, traveled thousands of miles to maybe have a killer show, sacrificed a regular paycheck and luxuries like fancy vacations. But I've also learned so much! I've met some incredibly talented artists, made connections with folks over our love of stones, and made memories with my friends and family that I would've otherwise missed. All in the name of art!
This summer has been exactly what I've been working towards as an artist, an entrepreneur, and a human being. To be able to create and share art for a living has been a goal that at times, felt unreachable, until this summer. Don't get me wrong, I could've made way more sales, been more consistent with my social media presence, cranked out more inventory than I have... but this is my first year in full swing operations, and I'm damn proud.
Outdoor show season may be basically over for me (aside from the Irvington Halloween Festival), but I'm already looking forward to applying everything I've learned this year, and getting all of my applications ready to start lining up my 2020 shows. Here's to a fun a successful holiday show season ahead!
Thanks for being on this crazy ride with me! I'm excited to hibernate in my studio this fall and winter and see what kind of magic can be made... until next time!